Plan B, C, D

I had the opportunity to attend the most recent meeting of the Loudon County Corrections Partnership committee. This is the jail study committee.  

Even though we've already paid an architectural/engineering firm $27,500.00 for one study, the committee voted to spend another $30,000.00 to $60,000.00 to draw up various plans for an addition to the existing Justice Center. All this money spent before they even know if there will be any money to do the addition

I'm not a member of this committee but it sure seems to me they are going at the issue a little backwards. I'm thinking they might want to find out how much money, if any, county commission is willing to put into the project. Any addition costing more than a million dollars will require a property tax increase.

The first estimates (that costs $27,500.00) for an all new facility or a large expansion of the existing facility ranged from Twenty-four million dollars to forty-seven million dollars.

After that sticker shock set in and everyone knew that wasn't going to happen, less than 2 months ago a new plan was decided on that would cost about ten million dollars. (Would still require a property tax increase)

At the meeting I attended, that ten million dollar figure quickly went from ten million to fourteen million to sixteen million in less than an hour. But I didn't hear much talk about how they plan to pay for it or if commission has agreed to raise property taxes to pay for it.

I also didn't hear was anyone discuss what steps had been taken to alleviate the over crowding concerns without spending millions of dollars.

Any property tax increase would require a majority (6 members) of the commission to vote for it. Without 6 votes, no tax increase, no additions. So why keep spending thousands of dollars if there not going to be any money.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't imagine starting out to build a house without having any money or knowing if I would ever have any money.

I guess government does things a little different.