Dr. Max Grossman and Brutus at El Paso Speak did the heavy lifting for this one.
You remember the $413 million Public Safety Bond that the voters passed almost two years ago.
Included in that package was $11.8 million for Fire Station 38. Fire Station 38 is supposed to be 10,000 square feet, with all the accoutrements of a fire station: bays where you can park the firetrucks, sleeping quarters, a kitchen. You know. Fire station stuff.
For $11.8 million.
Now let’s see. $11.8 million for 10,000 square feet works out to $1180 a square foot.
According to Dr. Grossman,
Fort Worth just broke ground on a 10,000-square-foot fire station that will cost $4.6 million, or $460 per square foot.
Two years, ago the City of Edinburg, Texas built a 10,000-square-foot fire station for $2.5 million, or $250 per square foot.
Three years ago, the City of Ennis, Texas built a new 10,000-square-foot fire station for $2.4 million, or $240 per square foot.
On September 17, 2021, City Council agreed to pay BRW Architects $553,787 to design the facility, with another $100,000 set aside for contingencies. Typically, architects get paid ten percent of a project’s budget, which would make the true cost of the Fire Station $5,537,870, or about half what the City is budgeting from the bond.
I’m thinking someone’s got their thumb on the scale.
A que terminos?
Further intrigue is stimulated by the fact that City Council voted to not have a Citizens Oversight Committee for the Public Safety Bond.
From Dr. Grossman again, via email:
At the City Council meeting on December 10, 2019 under Agenda Item 19.1, four City Council representatives (Svarzbein, Annello, Hernandez, and Lizarraga) voted in favor of creating such a committee and four voted against (Morgan, Salcido, Ordaz-Perez, and Rivera).
Of your elected officials who voted against the Citizens Oversight Committee, only District 5 Representative Isabel Salcido is up for reelection to City Council, though Texas House Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez will probably run for another term in Austin.
A responsible City Council would probably ask questions about this excessive expenditure without citizen oversight, but you, dear citizen, are stuck relying on bloggers and ankle biters.