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Archive for Monday, February 11, 2013

Letter: Cost specifics

February 11, 2013

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To the editor:

The City Commission authorizing an open bidding process for the recreation center is good news for Lawrence residents. A major remaining concern is the commission’s seemingly absolute commitment to spend $25 million whether we need to or not. According to the Jan. 31 Journal-World article, “The city will contribute an amount to the infrastructure that brings the city’s total contribution to the project to $25 million.”

In testimony before the commission, city staff said the planned recreation center budgeted amount for operating expenditures is insufficient. The two letters from the Kansas University Endowment Association to the city manager place significant costly demands on the city. The taxpayers need to know how these issues are being addressed and what it will cost us now and in the future.

The City Commission promised the recreation center would not increase our taxes. Before we spend all the bond money we should hold them to their promise as they make commitments. The City Commission needs to present to the taxpayers, and hold hearings on, an understandable and specific budget outlining both short- and long-term costs; capital expenditures; promotional, operating and maintenance expenses, and income from all sources for the recreation center. The income should ensure that our current and future city operating and capitol budgets will not be impacted, nor a need to raise taxes will result in the future based on constructing, operating and maintaining the recreation center.

The commission also owes us a contingency plan outlining bond reserves if our income projections fall short.

Comments

blondejuan 1 year, 9 months ago

I want a detailed explanation of what we are getting for our money. Thanks David.

Dan Eyler 1 year, 9 months ago

I too would want more information on this project. The fact that it was a no bid project to start with is a huge red flag. The fact that the developer selected for this project nearly grove Junction City into bankruptcy is another red flag. The 25 million to build the facility don't take into account daily operations and maintenance, computers, phones, transportation, ground keeping, and all will be cost over runs that will require yearly funding from the taxpayer. But like many projects in Lawrence and other communities all is necessary is to tell the people that the whole thing is for the children and the deal is sealed and price, common sense, and past experience isn't even an after thought. This will simply be another government project that will then compete with other social welfare projects, schools, buses and transportation, roads, and government services in general. It won't take long for the typical crowd in Lawrence to ask for more from the tax payer all in the name of the less fortunate and the children.

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