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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Will Fleming's great "save" cost us more?

What happens when you make big symbolic gestures for no.good.reason?
Troy City Council may increase transit center's operating cost per square foot to symbolically 'cut' federal spending
By Jeff T. Wattrick |

Tonight, Troy City Council will vote ona revised proposal for a federally-funded intermodal transit center.
The initial $8.4 million proposal was rejected by a 4-3 vote in December.The plan was scaled back to accommodate the wishes of Councilman Wade Fleming. He originally voted against the project, saying he couldn’t support it unless it cost around $6 million or less.
The new proposal is expected to cost $6.27 million. Just as with the previous plan, already appropriated federal dollars will pay for the entire cost of the proposed transit center. If Troy spends less than $8.4 million, the fund balance will be returned to the federal Department of Transportation and re-allocated for other projects.
Most of the revised plan’s savings come from shrinking the size of the transit center building from 2400 square feet to 2000 square feet while eliminating aesthetic features like “decorative sidewalk finishes” and reducing the “amount of glass on [pedestrian] bridge.”
If Troy prefers a more modest plan, that’s their right. However, one change may ultimately cost Troy taxpayers, who will fund the facility’s operating cost.
Both the initial 2400-square foot and the new 2000-square foot plans anticipate similar operating costs of around $30,000.
So why does it cost the same to operate a facility one-sixth smaller than originally planned?
The new proposal replaces an energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling system with “a standard natural gas furnace and electric air conditioner.”

Read more here


  1. The article certainly seems to suggest so, but I don't think CM Fleming is concerned about that. Perhaps he is using the transit center as a means of attaining higher office. If that is the case, by the time the TC opens, Troy's problems would be of little concern to him.

  2. Leaving out the insulation would save some money too.

    Be sure to use wingnut approved incandescent lights which are cheap and non polluting; as compared to the leftist compact flourescents.

  3. After reading the revised proposal the heated sidewalks have been deleted. There is to be no heating in the bridge, and "minimal heating in elevators only". So no heat in the sidewalks or the platform surfaces, and no heat in the stairs? Minimal heat in the elevators and no heat in the bridge.

    What happens when it snows?
    What happens when temperatures are below freezing?
    Chemical ice melters are corrosive.

    I didn't see the estimated operating cost mentioned in the proposal. Where did this number come from?

    1. Agree, the heated sidewalks might have seemed luxurious and easy to attack for not being "spartan",as CM Tietz complained, but what about the ongoing man power costs of having someone lay salt down, shoveling and earlier replacement of concrete (not cheap as one who has had to replace a driveway). Also, might there have been liability insurance savings in having heated sidewalks (no ice for accident prevention). All new-fangled ideas may not be bad!

      Although I'm glad the revised transit center went through, I deplore the uninformed, off-the-cuff, knee-jerk second-guessing of the original plan. Sometimes it is better to go with the experts (architects and engineers), or ask why something was done before lambasting it. That is due diligence.

  4. I am glad the transit center has gone through, although it is sad that a compromise had to be made. I never understood the difference between 8.4 million and 6.27 million and I surely do not hail Fleming as some savior for saving the country 2.13 million. Fleming has been aware (or should have been) of the cost of this project for years and to come up with this las minute compromise does not bode well with me. He is just another "old fogey" as far as I see.