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April 9 I spoke at the Hardin Fiscal Court meeting in opposition to moving county offices. We were allotted 4 minutes to speak; therefore, I had to omit some key points.
My greatest concern about the potential move is the inefficiency of operating the county government from two locations. I estimate travel time/car mileage will cost $15 per trip. If they move the county attorney to Ring Road, then those employees will have to make even more trips to the Justice Center for court cases. This is an expense that will continue forever.
I also find there are problems with the amount of space they plan to build. Even though they say the county attorney will stay downtown, they include 9,575 square feet for the office in their estimate. The second and third columns do not add up.
A good business manager about to spend $12 million would have caught these errors. It is obvious neither Icon Engineering nor Fiscal Court members checked the report before posting it to their website. These errors are on page five of a 51-page report. How many other mistakes have they made? These figures are not even “close enough for government work.”
The current space for these offices is 36,599 square feet. The court resolution calls for a building of 60,000 square feet, an increase of 64 percent.
Looks like our government is about to expand drastically. This increase of 23,401 square feet will cost an additional $4,680,000.
One magistrate has chosen to label the opposition, the “vocal minority.” In the opinion poll ran by The News-Enterprise, 73 percent of responders voted opposition to this move. I don’t consider that a minority.
Everyone tells me this is a “done deal.” The judge-executive and all but one of the magistrates think you don’t care, but it is my hope everyone will continue to call magistrates to express oppo-sition. It’s the only voice you have until the next election. It is never too late for Fiscal Court to correct a mistake of this magnitude.