November Agenda Is Out

magnifying-glass-29398__180The agenda for the November Monroe County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting is up.  Of course, there’s more wastewater spending.

There’s an item to provide connections to soon-to-be-developed properties.  That’s estimated to cost about $2.5 million now and another $5.6 million through build-out.  

There’s an item about serving solar-powered homes.  The agenda cover sheet doesn’t say what the total damage will be, so I’ll guesstimate.  There are 134 homes at a cost of up to $30,000 each.  Assuming it costs the maximum to serve each home, the cost will be another $4 million total.  I’m sure the BOCC’s lopsided funding policies will continue.  Those taxpayers will only contribute $4,500 per EDU or $603,000.  That means county-wide taxpayers will kick in another $3.4 million.  Many of those taxpayers, as we know, pay far more than $4,500.  This assumes the county will respect the $30,000 limit.  When have they ever respected a financial limit?

So for those two items combined we’re looking at another $5.9 million or so in the immediate term, and increasing to $11.5 million at build-out.  It’s not clear if these items are included in the $190 million already approved, or if they are in addition to it.  I guess we’ll find out after it’s too late to object.

If you haven’t ever looked at the county administrator’s monthly report you should check it out.  It certainly gives the impression of “busyness”.  Is there a method to the madness?  Who can tell.  What are the objectives?  What are the priorities?  What are the emerging problems?  What are the proposed solutions?

Great example – the “Job Board”.  It’s got this color coding scheme.  Green means on schedule, on budget.  Yellow means slightly delayed or changes to the budget.  Red means off schedule, off budget.  It’s very kindergarten-ey.

There’s no indication of what the completion level of the project is and what’s been spent so far.  That would give a better indication of whether a given project is on track or not.  If a project is 50% complete but they’ve run through 75% of the money then you know that project is in trouble.  If it’s delayed then it’s delayed.

Apparently both phases of Higgs Beach are in trouble.  Phase 1 is “red” and Phase 2 is “yellow”.  No indication if it’s budget trouble or schedule trouble.  For an organization like Monroe County, who can’t hold its water when it comes to spending, I think closer monitoring of capital projects by the public is definitely needed.  That means timely, meaningful reports.

Most interesting, there’s nothing in writing about the overall progress of the sewer projects.  The largest project they’ve got by far, Cudjoe Regional, is $190 million and growing.  It started at $147 million.  They’re trying to keep it quiet I guess.  They don’t want to advertise that they’re $43 million over budget.  They monitor the Pigeon Key roof project on the “Job Board” which is $65,000.  But the $190 million sewer project.  Nope.

That’s weird.  Don’t you think that’s weird?  Ignorance is bliss for the BOCC, but not for the taxpayers.

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