Sonoma County Administration building
photo credit: Marc Albert/KRCB
Another major public construction project will move forward, at least in concept, after county supervisors Tuesday unanimously agreed to further explore replacing the Sonoma County's mid-century office complex.
The two proposed options, costing an estimated $721 and $682 million respectively, would cover only part of the current site.
The rest could be sold and turned into a new neighborhood, offsetting a portion of the expense.
The initiative comes nearly a year after the board cancelled plans to move county offices to downtown Santa Rosa, mainly due to cost.
Board Chair Chris Coursey wasn't thrilled with the financial projections for the new plan.
"We went thorough a long, detailed process before and this is less money that we're talking about, but it's still a s***-load of money. I mean, it's a lot of money is what I meant to say. We need more information on this, and that is the only reason I can support this at this point."
Coursey wondered how much money selling part of the 40 acre campus would generate. The county has for years deferred maintenance on the current complex, saving some funds up front, but creating an expensive backlog should replacement plans founder. 
A redesigned campus would have considerably less parking. County officials outlined several initiatives to encourage people working or visiting, not to drive there.
Supervisor Susan Gorin told officials such habits take time to change, and should be started now.

"I would encourage you not to wait until the building is built before you start operating those services. We all have to get used to taking transit, riding bikes, taking the train, and the sooner we can get to that, the better," she said.
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