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City projects at a halt

Register • Jun 11, 2013 at 11:11 AM

My topic this week is about city projects moving at a snail’s pace.

The city projects are moving so slowly that I have to wonder if the projects have come to a complete halt.

Commissioners very seldom inquire about how the projects are progressing along when they are at the commission table. The city manager barely mentions the progression of her to-do-list of projects and when she does mention them, she needs to be prodded for further information. Sometimes a statement is offered here and there about environmental testing going on or the paperwork is holding things up, but how much longer can the excuses go on before something starts to happen? Is the city being honest with us about what is really going on with the projects?

We have projects going on for months and even years with nothing happening. How are the commissioners really communicating their directions to the city manager? Are they communicating through e-mails or are they personally communicating with the city manager by receiving information one at a time? Governing on a one by one basis is not a good way of governing because the other commissioners never know what is being discussed and how other commissioners’ thoughts are being conveyed on a particular project. In other words, some information may not be reaching all seven commissioners.

We have the Keller Building, City Hall, Lions Park Pathway, Apex, and the Fifth Street partnership project still unfinished. As for City Hall, there is a group lobbying to demolish the building while on the other hand, there is another group trying to save the Keller Building. There is always hope as long as the buildings are still standing. I understand that the same developer is possibly looking at taking another try at the Keller Building. Even though there is an order to press along with demolition of the Keller Building, I have to wonder if the city is purposely dragging their feet to assist the developer with one more try at saving the building. When will the wrecking ball finally rule? Time is running out and the safety risks are growing with each passing day.

It is frustrating not to see some of these projects move off dead center and completed in a reasonable time frame. I realize things move slowly when dealing with the government, but the situation has become downright ridiculous not to see something accomplished. Will the city’s procrastination cause it to lose out on grant money, or are we waiting for the engineer to be hired?

Until next week, I hope the city will not be kicking the can down the road a year from now on the same projects?

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