Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What shall we cut in the River Greenway Project?

It looks like nothing is easy when it comes to River Greenway Project. KELO TV reported that there are now hidden costs associated with this project. There is an additional $1.4 million contingency built into the quality of life bond to deal with unexpected construction issues like this. At first, the general consensus was that the mayor was going to go ahead and spend the money to do it right but based on this news story, it doesn't look like it.

The city is obligated under an agreement with the Cherapa property owner to build that segment of the greenway as it appears in the River Greenway Master Plan. If the mayor cuts costs and changes the whole concept of the master plan, it might expose the city to potential liability under that agreement. Contingency funds are for unexpected changes that come up during construction which is expected and not a surprise in a redevelopment site like this one.

There are probably some things that could be adjusted to deal with these ongoing issues but if his approach is to do it on the cheap then I think the whole thing needs to be reassessed. Costs in construction, costs related to a potential agreement liability. There are legal issues involved here. Let's hope the Mayor's "business acumen" is sharp as a tack.

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