- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

GONZALES, La. (AP) - Bids for new consolidated Ascension Parish government offices in Gonzales have come in about $1.3 million more than officials set aside for the project.

The parish received several bidders for the 33,480-square-foot, one-story building. Parish President Tommy Martinez attributed the higher cost to a 10 percent rise in steel prices.

Parish government had set aside about $5 million for the proposed administrative complex, surplus funds left from the now-defunct East Ascension Hospital in Gonzales after the hospital service district board was dissolved in 2012.

The proposed complex would be built on the site of the now- demolished hospital, which is near other government buildings in Gonzales.

Martinez tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/TwcmAw ) officials are in the process of trimming back costs.

The finance committee will receive the bids on July 7.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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