Budget woes crashing down on city projects
Encinitas may delay fire stations, park
By Angela Lau
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
May 12, 2006 SignOnSanDiego.com story
ENCINITAS--Bad news continued to roll in this week as the City Council wrestled with a budget squeezed by rising construction costs.
At a workshop Wednesday night on the 2006-07 budget, council members were told that three major projects might have to be phased in or delayed because their current construction costs have far exceeded original estimates.
Council members and city officials didn't comment on the budget during the workshop, although City Manager Kerry Miller previously had said that the city was facing an astronomical increase in the cost of building materials.
We can only partially fund our capital program, he said.
According to North County Times bi-weekly columnist Michael D. Pattinson construction cost are high because of city fees and protesters. How does this apply to the current situation?
The cost of building materials can be blamed on the Gulf Coast reconstruction and China's appetite for raw materials (a country Pattinson recently praised for new California style sprawling home projects).
Priority projects that lack funding were:
Three replacement fire stations estimated at $12 million. The city appropriated $1.5 million, but that money has been used to buy a bigger piece of land in Cardiff to build one of the fire stations.
Could we just remodel the fire stations in phases? Do the fire stations really need to be razed and re-built? Could we just call a plumber, go to Home Depot and give these stations a fresh coat of paint? How bad are they? Leaky and moldy or just sort of worn around the edges? Is all this just envy over of the new fire station on San Marcos Blvd?
The first phase of a 43-acre park west of Interstate 5 and south of Santa Fe Drive. Initial work would include laying turf and drainage and sewer systems and fencing off an area for a dog park at a total cost of $19 million. The city has appropriated $9 million. An environmental study is scheduled to be released July 21.
$19 million? Holy freaking...are you kidding me? Who is in charge of building parks these days, the freaking mafia?
I don't want to pull out the "when I was kid" card but when I was a kid we just played in natural open fields. We built our own tracks and jumps for our bikes and we layed out our own baseball diamonds. Do kids these days really need $19 million of Martha Stewart style landscaping?
A central public works yard at an undetermined location to replace current facilities at a cost of $9.3 million, which does not include buying any land. The San Dieguito Water District, of which the city is a partner, has appropriated $2.5 million toward its construction. Public Works Director Phil Cotton warned that construction costs are estimated to increase 1.5 percent every month.
This tiny little paragraph is such a huge can of worms it makes my head hurt. Pass.
The only fully funded capital project is the new $20 million library under construction at Cornish Drive behind City Hall. Funding was made possible by taking money from the public works yard and street beautification projects.
I've been defending the need for libraries a lot lately. People say we don't need libraries because we have the internet. I disagree and I support an Encinitas library but...$20 FREAKING MILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS OVERDESIGNED YUPPIEFIED GOOFBALL WHITE ELEPHANT LIBRARY I CAN'T BELIEVE I SUPPORTED LEUCADIA GIVING UP LANDSCAPING FUNDS TO HELP BUILD THIS THING WHY DID YOU TEAR DOWN THE OLD LIBRARY WHAT ABOUT THE LIBRARY IN CARDIFF??? AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGH!!!
The council didn't make any decision at the Wednesday night workshop, but will hold another meeting May 24 to discuss the pros and cons of not building or delaying some facilities.
Another option would be to issue bonds, but it was criticized by some residents and the Encinitas Taxpayers Association as a poor choice.
I can't be broke, I just got another credit card offer in the mail!
Resident Teresa Barth suggested looking for new sources of revenue and Bill Rodewald, president of the taxpayers association, said the city would have to pay back double the amount if it borrows money.
But remember folks, the city can't afford to pay for the library, mega-park, 3 fire stations, Leucadia blight fighting landscaping and a public works yard because YOU voted against the clean water fee!