Letter to the Editor

The cost of not acting

Thursday, March 8, 2018

To the editor:

There is much debate and heated discussion at times regarding the Regions Bank Building project, the Jail/Justice Center project, and the new Cascade High School. There is plenty of blame to go around as to why these projects are out of control.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned here is simple. Once a project has been deemed necessary, every time that project is delayed it costs the taxpayer. Failing to vet such large projects through the proper county committee process is a disservice to the public and increases the chances of a costly mistake. Having worked in county government, there can be times when forgoing committees makes sense, but this should be the exception and not the rule.

Here are a few things to think about….

The Regions Bank project got off on the wrong foot and has never recovered. To this day it continues to be a political football that does not have consensus among commissioners as to its value and or benefit now. No doubt had this project been vetted by the proper committees it would have been either killed in committee or completed by now. The current proposed amendment of $204,000 alone reflects approximately a 40 percent increase in the cost for this project.

Project costs always increase year over year. Based on 4 percent inflation, the Jail and Justice Center is automatically going to cost approximately $4.7 million more dollars simply because it was not built four years earlier. This estimate does not factor in change orders, cost overruns, or “unknowns” which plague every project.

Cascade High School is automatically going to cost approximately $3.2 million more dollars simply because it was not built four years earlier.

These three examples represent approximately $8.1 million dollars in taxpayer money that could have been used to get our children out of portable classrooms.

We must have a new vision for our future… Together we can make a Better Bedford for all of us!

Chad Graham,


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