From the Editor: Build the Library Already

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Build the Library Already

Sheesh! Now we hear the new Crozet library will cost $9.6 million to build. Two years ago, it could have been done for $6.9 million, according to the architect’s estimate. As the recession—the time of depressed construction costs—rolls merrily along, we just dropped another $2.7 million on the library by waiting around. That’s $1.35 million a year in procrastination expense. At this rate it will never happen because it will always keep ahead of our ability to pay for it. Are we going to wait for the inflation that’s coming thanks to federal stimulus spending (where did all the “shovel-ready” money go after all?) before we sign a construction contract?

When Tom Perriello was in office he found a way to get a federal rural development loan at 4 percent to pay for the library (at the lower cost) but the county wouldn’t take the deal.

The government exists to provide service to the citizens, not employment to its workers. If it can’t provide the services, why does it need the workers? How many salaries does it take to make the payments on the library construction loan? This shouldn’t take more than a few pencil scratches to figure out. How many jobs are created by the project and subsequent business expansion in Crozet?

Nobody is more skeptical of government’s management of its money—our money—than the Gazette. But the time to act is now.

Let’s remember the history of government projects in Crozet: Jarmans Gap Road was supposed to be finished in 1998. The Crozet Avenue project was supposed to be done by 2008. The library was supposed to open this year. Time equals money and both are being wasted. The supervisors should take a loan and make the cold hard budget choices they ask to be elected to make. Build the library already. Sheesh.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Amen, Amen, Amen!

    At Wednesday’s (6/1) Board of Supervisor’s meeting, at the end of Mr. Trevor Henry’s (County staff) update on the Crozet Library, Mr. Ken Boyd asked for a report on how much has been spent on master planning and projects in Crozet and how it breaks down on spent or budgeted to be spent. Mr. Tom Foley, Crozet resident and County Executive, said he’d get him that report.
    I’m concerned to what purpose Mr. Boyd plans to put that report. I suspect yet another attempt to delay or de-fund projects.
    They gave us the growth, the new residents, which we’ve welcomed and adjusted to. But as you rightly point out, they’re very slow to provide the promised infrastructure to support all this growth. Sheesh, indeed.

  2. I’d like to challenge the cost increase estimate for the Crozet library in June 2011’s From the Editor column. The cost went from 6.9 million to 9.6 million in 2 years? That’s a 40% increase in two years which is 20% per year. NOTHING has gone up 20% per year over the past two years. Further, it appears that the economy is slipping and construction is at a low. Something is wrong and Albemarle County may be being taken for a ride. I think we need some new negotiators for the county.

    Let’s see some detailed documentation related to this exorbitant increase.

  3. The Gazette apologizes to its readers for misunderstanding the $9.6 million figure for the cost of the new Crozet library that county officials used in their report to the supervisors last week. This figure is the total estimated expense of the building, established when it was first listed in the capital projects list, and not the amount needed to carry it to completion from its present state of design. Some parts of the project, such as architectural costs or the construction of Library Street, are paid for. The county has recently been trying to establish what the present cost of construction would be and I mistakenly took this figure to be their most current estimate. As for the rest of the editorial, I still think they should borrow the money now and adjust their budget as necessary to make the loan repayments.
    Michael Marshall, editor

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