Added Opportunities for Public Comment

Please come and I will attempt to answer any questions that the public has. Note…This is not a called or advertised meeting of the Board of Commissioners. This is an opportunity to get information out to the public. I will ask that anyone that has questions please submit them in writing to me at the meeting. That way I can answer them in person and then also answer them here on this site. Index cards will be available at the meetings. I felt that in response to comments that the board has not made an effort to inform the public, I would provide additional opportunities. There has been a large number of meetings on this topic and multiple opportunities for the public to be heard. I believe in giving the public as many chances as is possible to be heard. Please come see me…

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2 thoughts on “Added Opportunities for Public Comment”

  1. As I see it Sir, You are wanting the County Taxpayers to throw money into a project that has no defined outcome. The building cannot be built on the present location or the extension due to high water table and flood plain. The proposed farm property to the south does not belong to the city. The contractor failed to provide adequate soil samples for both previous properties. End result: You do not have a firm cost for the project or a place to build it. In addition, the County has paid out a large sum of money to a contractor that has FAILED !! I can tell you, I worked for one of the largest developers in the United States, and if this were the results of my Project Management Team, they would ALL be fired.

    1. Mr. Brown,
      There is a defined outcome. A new jail that has adequate bed space to meet our needs now and in to the future, a repurposed existing jail to expand community corrections, the relocation of the probation and prosecutor departments, provisions for a fourth court, and much needed roof repairs on the courthouse. We do have a viable location. There were three potential sites originally suggested in the study. Yes, the first choice adjacent to the existing community corrections has proven to not be viable. It is not that the building cannot be built there , but that it clearly would not be the most cost effective in construction costs or in the long term in ongoing maintenance costs. (Water would have to be pumped away from around the basement for the life of the building) The alternate down town site has had favorable geotechnical reports. It was the second choice, but only second for minor reasons. As far as the engineering firm “failing to provide adequate soil samples”, geotechnical reports are never performed until a project is far enough into design to warrant the cost involved with such testing. This is why the study originated with multiple site locations to explore. Much as you can’t peek in a pigs ear and tell how many pork chops it will produce… you can’t tell what soil conditions are 20 ft down or exactly where the water table is until you have ordered and paid for that testing. The firm price down to the penny is arrived at by going through the design phase as we are currently doing. There is a place to build the project and we have an estimate of cost that was set at $55M maximum. That number will be adjusted to an exact figure… that exact figure will be below $55M it will NOT be above. The money that has been paid out to our engineering firm is for design… that is what they are doing. They have in no way failed. They have performed testing, reported the results, and continue designing the project based on that new information.
      $55M is an extremely large amount of money, granted. Much higher than the $35-40M it would have cost had the Council and Commissioners acted eight years ago when the need became apparent, but much less than the $70-75M it’s going to eventually cost if our current leaders follow suit and kick the can any further down the road. Construction costs continue to rise daily as I’m sure you are aware with your experience in the development field.
      I would ask that you come out to one of the evening meetings this week and gather more information on the project, rely on facts you receive there and if you have any further questions or comments, ask.

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