Monday, May 24, 2010

Enough Already

I don’t think the county commissioners know how to stop spending. They sure as hell can’t keep within the budget. (Budget?) It wasn’t enough that they spent $45,000 for the “parking lot”, $47,000 for the “bridge” to nowhere, and $25,000 for the old port of entry facility, but now they went and spent $20,000 more for access to the port of entry. How much more can they spend before the end of the year? I mean what is going on here? As far as I know, none of this money was in the “budget” for 2010. (Don’t you just love the quote marks? (“”). I mean it adds so much emphasis to what I’m saying don’t you think? If I’m not cynical about my own writing, I’m liable to take it out on the commissioners.
Now let’s stop a minute and reflect about what is happening here. They are or have spent over $45,000 for a “temporary” parking lot for the court house. The city of Elk Point waived the demolition fee if the commissioners, excuse me – the county - would put up a sign saying “public parking.” So of course they agreed to that. The building that occupied the “parking lot” has been demolished and the hole filled in; graveled and is ready to be paved. Oh come on! I believe Campbell construction in Jefferson came in with an excavator and demolished the building but the county did the rest of the work. I wonder if the highway department budgeted monies for the equipment, manpower, gas and whatever else for doing this work. You can bet your bottom dollar they didn’t, so where is the money coming from? Oh, silly me, it must be coming from the contingency fund. I wonder how much money is left in this fund before we go broke. You would think it was a bottomless pit because they can’t spend it fast enough. Well, that is enough about the parking lot, but before I leave this, do you think people would have minded parking on the street if they knew they would be saving the county over $50,000 for the “parking lot.”
Now for the bridge to nowhere. This bridge in Prairie Township was marked for replacement in 2003. Now 7 years later, the state let a contract for $247,000 replace the bridge. Wait a minute! Isn’t the state running over the budget this year? I remember the politicians in Pierre passing a budget on the last day of the session for a $32,000,000 shortfall and they have money to replace the “bridge to nowhere.” Enough already, I can’t stand it. Anyway, of this $247,000 the county is responsible for 2% of that total or $47,000. I do not remember seeing any money in the 2010 budget for this. If it is, I apologize. I really do. After all, I think the county ran out of money after paying for all the snow removal this last winter because they are going to opt out in July because of a shortfall in funds for highway maintenance. This is getting really serious ladies and gentlemen. The county is going to opt out because of a shortfall in the budget for maintenance and upkeep yet they are spending money like there is no tomorrow. Is this called responsible government or what? I sure as heck can’t figure this out. Can you? The commissioners must figure we can’t add 2+2 and come up with 5.
I saved the best for last because the commissioners bought the old port of entry facility from the state to either use it for a substation for the sheriff’s department or for the highway department. Funny thing is, neither of these two departments wants anything to do with the place. If the highway department uses it they must put somebody down there. In the winter if they use it for sand they still have to drive a sand truck down there to fill up. They can’t just leave a truck up there because it runs on diesel fuel and takes time to warm up before they can get going. Does that make sense to you? Doesn’t to me. If the sheriff uses it, does that mean he is going to increase manpower because if it is manned as a substation then somebody has to be there just to answer the phone I would think. Now can the place be left unmanned? If it can, why do they need it in the first place? God I hate it when I have all these questions about how the county runs its business. Now here is the best part. That $20,000 they spent on the facility this year – they had to spend it to gain access to the property because there wasn’t any way to get there except from the interstate, it was landlocked so they paid Jon Nelson $20,000 for an easement to get to old highway 77, or maybe they spent the $20,000 for the adjoining property (whatever) so they could get to it. Either way it cost the county another $20,000 THAT WE DON’T HAVE! Is this getting past the point of being silly or is it just plain sick? Enough Already!


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