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Tax Stewardship: Bountiful City Finds Way To Quintuple Pet Project Costs

August 30, 2013

This is a follow-up to my previous post on the city’s pet project (please read it for background). At that time, I noted that the city had managed to take a $1.5 million project (half of which was supposed to be paid by private donations) and managed to inflate it to $7.2 million.

The city’s efforts continue. The project is now up to $9.5-10.5 million for the new city hall alone:

Bountiful resident Dean Collinwood, along with more than 100 other residents, have requested that the city council halt construction plans for the new building, which is projected to cost the city between $9.5 and $10.5 million dollars.

Since this new figure is only for the City Hall portion,  adding in the $2.4 mil for the art center/museum brings us to $11.9- $12.9 million.  When they started to look at remodeling the art center/museum, we were looking at $750,000 (half of $1.5 mil.), then we came to $2.4 mil. After that, using secret ninja RDA gimmicks, the city wanted $7.2 mil to include a new (unnecessary) city hall and a loss of revenue for schools. Here is the breakdown of the cost overrun depending which of the initial art center estimates you want to use (I’ll use the “low” $11.9 mil. estimate) – SEE UPDATE 2!–:

  • $750,000 to $11.9 million = 1,587% increase
  • $1.5 mil to $11.9 million = 793% increase
  • $2.4 mil to $11.9 million = 496% increase

Mr. Collinwood has a letter to the editor encouraging citizen action along with who to contact.  He may have ulterior motives in doing so, however.  It turns out that he chairs the Bountiful Historical Commission which pushed for what initiated this debacle in the first place.  I wonder if he’s worried that the major cost overruns may end up downsizing the art center/museum or outright terminate it.  He may be afraid of losing his pet project.

If his motives are singular to stopping a massive waste of citizens’ money without regard to the outcome of museum, I wish Mr. Collinwood the best and will do my part but I’ve dealt with this stuff long enough not to hold much hope. Citizens are complacent and like ‘local Santa’ giving them stuff. They fail to make the link that the ‘freebies’ are paid with someone else’s money (including art centers and museums). They haven’t internalized the limited, core functions of government they pay lip service to.  Please prove me wrong.

UPDATE: I made major edits to this post after finding out that the $2.4 mil. art/museum project was separate from the quoted $9.5 mil. and after noticing that Mr. Collinwood’s motives may not be entirely altruistic.

UPDATE 2: Per the latest Bountiful City Council agenda, the cost of city hall will be $9.97 Mil.   Here is the cost increase (overrun) breakdown based on this number (9.97+2.4=12.37):

  • $750,000 to $12.37 million = 1,649% increase
  • $1.5 mil to $12.37 million = 825% increase
  • $2.4 mil to $12.37 million = 515% increase
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