Dear Friends and Neighbors,
My last communication centered on why I voted against a new General Service Building (GSB). Since that writing, some very observant and experienced citizens have pointed out details that were not provided, but are necessary to have in order to make an informed decision on a construction contract.
The bid for the new GSB includes specific line items. A contractor’s bid covers only what is in the contract. All changes and additions are “extra." A retired commercial architect (35-year career) submitted a 5+ page analysis of the contract and building specs. Below are highlights of his research:
- The basis for costs and building operation was left open to speculation without adequate definition.
- Significant changes were made at the last minute, e.g., parking spaces.
- Operation, maintenance and other rent costs were not defined or estimated.
- Project construction costs are not adequately defined and cannot be fairly evaluated for comparison to determine if they are reasonable.
- “Ground Lease Agreement” shows numerous inaccuracies and incomplete issues.
- Lease costs are extremely high.
- Savings of $4.06 million by eliminating 38 FTE’s is not explained.
- Missing information in the design development, such as:
- unspecified carpeting
- incomplete specifications in bathrooms
- fire sprinkler system does not mention a dry pipe system (which is likely to be required)
- acoustical issues and required solutions are not identified
- roofing and painting specs are not clarified
- extent of air conditioning is not clearly identified and electrical requirements are not thoroughly addressed
We have no crystal ball to say whether we will have the approximate $8,000,000/year for 30 years to pay for the lease. We have no crystal ball to say we will need 273,000 sq. feet of rentable space in 30 years either.
Keep in mind, the federal government is well over $100 trillion in debt and deficit. The state Legislature is in session right now looking for more revenue. Government debts take priority over your house payment, groceries, property taxes, etc.
A referendum to require a public vote was filed shortly after the ordinance passed. I’m sure most of you are aware that the County Executive directed the County Prosecutor to sue the citizen who filed the referendum to bring the GSB to a vote of the people.
Tomorrow, the Council will present a resolution requesting that the prosecutor drop the lawsuit. The Council does not have the authority override that action. If you would like to watch the meeting, PCTV will cover it live beginning at 3 p.m. There is a lot on the agenda, so we don’t expect the day to be quick.
Thank you for all your emails. I appreciate hearing about your concerns and issues.