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Reload center construction costs climb past project budget

Construction is expected to start later this month on this farmland north of Nyssa to raise the Treasure Valley Reload Center. (AUSTIN JOHNSON/The Enterprise)

ONTARIO – The first phase of construction on the Treasure Valley Reload Center appears to cost nearly $3 million more than budgeted under a contract awarded on Friday, according to county records.

That could drain every dollar that Malheur County has held in reserve for cost overruns on the project.

The chief engineer has warned for months there would be “budget challenges” because of escalating costs of materials such as steel and a tight labor market for contractors.

Now, the challenge is here.

The Malheur County Development Corp. board, a public board set up by county commissioners, on Friday awarded an $8.5 million contract to Steve Lindley Contracting . . .