After years of questioning and writing about the other reason behind the Hall park construction delay, it looks like the public will finally get to find out what it is going to cost to build the park. Thanks to a city that is freaking out.
The city has been withholding the construction cost estimates for about a year now. In fact, THE CITY WAS SUPPOSE HAVE STARTED BUILDING CLOSE TO A YEAR AGO (the schedule was created long after the lawsuit), and nothing had been standing in their way for a long time .
The city has communicated to several citizen's including myself, that the construction cost estimates were weeks from being completed. That was as far back as July 2010. We were also told construction would begin soon afterward. In retrospect it looks like a lot of electioneering for Dalager, rather than real openness.
During that time the city refused to share its "draft" construction drawings or estimates. As we have seen with the City Traffic Study, the Pavement Report, Health Care Study, the Cardiff Specific Plan, and the Hall Park EIR, it looks like the city is delaying the release of documents to avoid: 1) providing an adequate time for public review, and/or 2) hide the fact that the costs are way more than they have been telling people and budgeting for.
Well, right now the city is working on its 6 year financial plan. This is the time to look at the BEST GUESS at what it will cost to build the park. According to the former parks and rec director they were pretty damn close to being done a LONG time ago. That means that what they've worked up should be better than basing the estimate on pulling a number out of the air. No?
I did a records request a week ago for a copy of the construction cost estimates (in what ever form they are in). I did this for TWO REASONS: 1) Begin tracking the progress of that project, and 2) get an idea if the city's draft budget is reasonable.
Well, they haven't rejected the request yet, as they have in the past. So, maybe there is hope.
Below is the budget for the Hall park in the DRAFT budget (click to enlarge).
Or, is it that Jerome doesn't want to have to explain why there is no money budgeted for the operation of the Hall park?
Speaking of which, why was the city estimating the operations would cost half a million a year 4 years ago (see below), but now says it will cost 30% less to operate. What part of the earlier estimates were way off? That's assuming the current estimates are to be trusted.
(Yes, it is my guess is the council majority know exactly what the estimates say, and they have decided that it is better to keep it a secret. A lot of the Hall park financing plan has been a secret. )
Burning Question: Why didn't any of the council members blink at the last budget meeting when Tony Kranz and I suggested the construction cost estimates be released, and thus used in the budget process?