Thursday, March 22, 2007

How to spend weeks arguing over $500,000
Also, Open Thread

Mostly this is a good ol' fashioned Open Thread, but I do want to mention a couple things about the great bathroom debate of '07.

Here's the QCTimes article about how the council tabled this important restroom-related decision.

According to the article, "Professor" Lynn pointed out "At this price per square foot, I could buy a 1,500-square-foot house with all gold fixtures in it.”

That's real interesting there Bill, but has about as much to do with a flood-proof concession/restroom pavilion as if I'd pointed out that I could buy 525,000 McChicken sandwiches with that money.

Barb Ickes also gets into the act in her column, comparing the cost per square foot to structures many times the size of the proposed building, completely ignoring the economy of scale. She also continues the myth that all we'd get for our half million is a bathroom.

The funniest part of this to me is that this money is already budgeted towards the "Active Recreation" section of Centennial Park, so saving $200,000 by going with ugly prefab restrooms and no concessions, lockers, utility rooms, etc is only going to leave $200,000 more for fancier basketball hoops or something else for the park. Why not build a central hub for this segment of Centennial Park that will even earn income for the Levy Improvement Commission.

Sometimes I wonder if some of the Aldermen are the types to give kids $1 for Christmas and tell them to buy themselves some new roller skates and a pack of Bazooka Joe.


At 3/22/2007 8:54 AM, Anonymous joe american said...

Good one QCI. I think Lynn was talking about buying rental property with that kind of loot and yellow zinc plated fausets.

At 3/22/2007 9:34 AM, Blogger George said...

QCI, you made my morning.

At 3/22/2007 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, because this is a public structure, all construction workers must be paid prevailing wages. Handicap accessibility requirements also increase the cost. Building in a flood plain will require that the building floor either be raised to a foot above flood level (complicating handicap accessibility), or the building will be required to have flow-throughs that open automatically to allow flood water to flow through the building. Flood proofing sewer, water and utility lines add to the cost. I worked with a city who built (just)restrooms next to the bike trail 15 years ago, and construction costs were over $150,000. Considering inflation of wages and building materials, particularly concrete, the larger size of this building, and the fact it's being built in a flood plain, $500,000 does not seem unreasonable.

At 3/22/2007 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so typical of Aldermen Lynn and Meyer to try to put a spin on everything. If you look at what the money is actually going for you will see that the bathrooms is only a part of the costs. We are building for our future, don't mess it up now.

At 3/22/2007 1:29 PM, Blogger Snarky Chick said...

Who'd have thought after all the talk of wasteful spending with the last council that we'd be telling this council to loosen up the purse strings a bit.

At 3/22/2007 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you read all of Ickes' column, you'll see that she does, in fact, speak to the entirety of the project, not just the bathroom:

"To be fair, that’s what some city officials in Davenport were doing when they came up with this half-million dollar bathroom idea — trying to be creative. They figured it made more sense to put the bathrooms, concession area, video game space, and mechanical room for the whole park in one spot."

At 3/22/2007 5:22 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Rereading the article, I see that there was really only one line that bugged me:

"Remember when a half-mil could buy you a whole lot more than a flood-proof bathroom and counter space for candy bars?"

That bothered me because it IS buying more than that.

At 3/22/2007 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may wish to reread the Ickes column. Try it with your eyes open this time.

At 3/23/2007 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"To be fair, that’s what some city officials in Davenport were doing when they came up with this half-million dollar bathroom idea ...."

Yeah, be fair AFTER I (Ickes) have made my sarcastic untrue comments!!

At 3/23/2007 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, QCImages, somebody points out your mistakes and you delete them, huh? Very fair. Very responsible.

At 3/23/2007 4:26 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

What are you talking about?

At 3/24/2007 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI...It has to be balanced...and yes, that is very high per square foot for commercial (even handicapped) construction. On the high end, it should be $150.00 per square foot, this is $350.00 per square foot. If Joe idiot is agreeing with you, then you know you are on the wrong side of an argument.


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