Monday, October 25, 2010

I Stand Corrected

I made a mistake in last nights post. I took Mr Gray at his word and used his math for the cost of the S. Limestone project. I should not have done that.

According to the morning Herald-Leader that claim is FALSE. It did not cost $7,000 a foot, it was more like $5,000. It also was priced for far more than paving as I said last night.

This was a project that had its beginnings in the Town-Gown meetings between the University and the City. If I recall correctly, the Vice Mayor was initially part of that committee and may have kept attending through their recommendations. The Downtown Development Authority also included it in their Downtown Master Plan, which Mr. Gray served on is some capacity. It is also unclear whether he was still attending when the final plan was passed.

One thing that is not unclear is the vote that Mr. Gray cast to NOT decrease the budgeted amount. With the economy in decline and some certainty as to funding from Stimulus money( not like the CentrePointe deal) or other Federal money, Gray and the rest of the Council went along in approving this street rebuilding. It WAS much more than your normal, seasonal repaving.

From the comments that I have read about the project, I believe that some property owners and businessmen looked at this as "just another pie-in-the-sky, city plan" and, if it gets underway, it will be like the house-flipping shows on TV. This was an "extreme makeover", not just putting lipstick on a pig.

The contractor also won the job, not on the lowest bid but on the best bid. The only other bidder could not make the original finish date, ATS not only completed on time, but under budget despite the unforeseen extras found while excavating Lexington's history.

I can only hope that the Herald-Leader has better things to say when the S. Lime/S. Upper/Scott St intersection is rebuilt in the next few years.

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