Letter: The roads need that $6M

Reference: The March 6 front-page story, "County has $6M plan for new offices."

I would suggest anyone interested in this expenditure of $6 million investigate where and how this money is available by reading the article!

First off, the majority of the money would come from the Highway Users Revenue Fund. The primary purpose of this fund allocation is to repair and maintain roads in the county. One-sixth of the funds would come from the Sanitary Landfill Closure Fund, repaid over the next 15 years.

The first question is: "How much is the majority?" How much will become a further financial burden for the taxpayers when the original funding is collected from these stated resources?

As badly as our highways and roads need immediate repair, why is it necessary to even consider expensive new building(s)?

Public Works Department is a blue-collar department made up of working men and women using whatever heavy equipment necessary to do the job. Why is it necessary to have offices suitable for white-collar executives?

Arnold Plaza still has many years of service left by judicious remodel and repair, when comparing price to new construction. Why, exactly, is "structural remodel" possibly necessary in another 10 years? Remodel and repair now can easily increase the building life to at least 25 years.

Any brand new building constructed now will, within 25 years, be remodeled once, if not twice or more!

There are three buildings described in the article I am referring to, so the other two buildings are the E.W. Hardy Turquoise complex. These buildings appear to be structurally sound and well worth remodeling.

Before diverting $6 million of badly needed road maintenance funds to construct an office showplace, set forth remodel plans, specifications, and then let contractors submit bids to do the work. Don't depend upon engineering firms to theoretically establish potential remodel/repair costs.

Call our present economic downturn a "recession," or more accurately a "depression," but one thing to be assured of, this economic condition has not bottomed out yet. When it does, times will not rebound to what they were during the last years of the 20th century.

Those are gone forever!

Roger Smith