Good Adam Kaye piece in the North County Times about the city finally sobering up to the fact that all the groovy capital projects they have planned are really, super duper expensive.
Nobody has asked what I think but here it is anyway (heh heh),
The Library $13.6 million
I agree with councilman Jim Bond when he says we can't eliminate the view deck. All architecture begins with the site and that site has one of the best views in this whole town. I like that he envisions intellectual conversations taking place on the deck of a fine library looking across our fine downtown. I can't promise anything intellectual coming out of my mouth but I do look forward to sitting on the deck with my wife while she does research and I can use some w-fi to blog with my laptop. That just sounds really great. It sounds like living in a real town even.
The library design is what you call non-threatening yuppie modernism. There are a lot of wacky angles and such that are driving up the cost. The city hired a value engineer for $150,000 but all they needed to do was give the plans back to the architect and ask him to streamline the design a bit.
My advice, take out the angles and just make a nice big deck. The curve with those jagged angles just don't work for me. Unless the architect can justify the existence of the curve and the angles we should axe them.
This is the University of North Florida's library. It's bigger than what we want and I couldn't find the cost but imagine something like this, only 2 stories and with a nice big deck. I think that is the direction our library should take.
The Hall Park $11.7 million
The Hall property park is way over the top. We don't need a giant sports complex that parodies the YMCA. I say plant some grass, put in some benches and try to seek private donations for the baseball diamonds. If they city really wants a skatepark then they need to get creative and approach the multi-billion dollar skate industry that exist right here in north county.
The city should design the park so that in the future some of the more expensive amenities and be easily added.
Downtown Encinitas StreetScape Program $3.1 million
Shelve it for now. The downtown area looks good, sure it needs some fine tuning but obviously the downtown is popular and thriving. Give the money to the library.
The street fair draws a crowd, no worries.
3 New Fire Stations $7 million
Go ahead and build them, it's political suicide to deny firefighters anything. This city always gives the fire department whatever they want even if they can barely put out a fire. (I kid, I kid)
Remember when 4 downtown business 2 blocks away from the fire station burned down?
Leucadia Boulevard Improvements $2.8 million
This had better mean finally doing something about the FUBAR 101 intersection. Isn't there supposed to be an account hidden somewhere for this that was overlooked to make Leucadia seem more blighted? Do this.
Olivenhain Road Widening $925,000
This involves using eminent domain to take part of the horse farm. It is bizarre how clunky that road merges. I think some creative minds could figure out some creative line painting though. This widening is to serve the newbies of San Elijo Hill returning from Target.
Safe Routes to School $3.8 million
I'm not really sure what this is but with a name like that the soccer moms are probably licking their chops. I always made it to school safely (unless Swami's was good). I say give this money to the library. Don't get mad, tell your kids to carry pepper spray and look both ways when they cross the street.
North Coast Highway 101 Improvements
Keep Leucadia funky? You guys want to take one for the team and send this 3.5 million to the library?
New Public Works Facility $5.2 million
Jerome Stocks says we don't need one, good enough for me. Give that money to the library.
Moonlight Beach Master Plan $700,000
New megaphone for the lifeguards to yell at me when I accidentally surf 2 feet into the empty swimming area?
From the article:
Officials blame skyrocketing materials prices ---- for concrete, steel and asphalt, in particular ---- as the forces behind the higher-than-expected bids.
The rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina, an unprecedented demand for materials from Southeast Asia and ever-escalating petroleum prices are driving up the cost of the key ingredients for projects such as the library and the StreetScape Program, officials say.
The competition for materials from Asia is something that is putting a lot of pressure on my family business so it is close to my heart. I could easily write a 3,000 word rant about this subject but I will spare you.
Unfortunate quote from article,
What to do?
"Rob from Peter for Paul, borrow from Paul, or do a combination of the both," said Richard Phillips, assistant to the city manager.