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 | MLive.com
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.”
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