Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

October 22, 2013

Wait for State funds

Dear Editor:

The headlines for last Friday’s Mt. Vernon Register-News read “Voters voice tax concerns.”

I believe that sends severe alert signals to all Jefferson County residents, especially those living in MVTHS tax district. Taxpayers, beware of hidden agendas!

My understanding of the proposed and approved new high school’s construction financing is that of this date, zero dollars have been received from the State of Illinois. Perhaps the fact that Illinois is completely broke, nearly bankrupt, just might be the “real reason” why no money of funds have been sent or received. After all, the State of Illinois can not print money like the federal government does, even as our federal government is worse off financially than Illinois! Since the state doesn’t have any money, there’s only one way for the state to get any, and that is through more taxes for State of Illinois residents.

M360, the MVTHS project construction manager and FGM, the MVTHS project architect apparently are being paid from sources other than the state project construction money fund. Recently, the Register-News reported that the projects bid period was starting Nov. 5, 2013, with a public bid opening date of Dec. 5, 2013.

I ask, why are contractors being asked to bid on a project that may or may not be funded? With that said, it’s a “free” way of finding out the actual price for the new high school. In my opinion, bids should not be requested until the State of Illinois project money is received locally.

For those not in the construction business, I can emphatically tell you that it costs contractors a lot of money to bid large construction projects. I know this first-hand, as before retiring I spent 47 years in the plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical construction and engineering business. I personally bid many very large projects over the years. The only way a contractor can recoup their bidding costs is: First, be the low bidder; second, be awarded a contract; and third, have a profitable project. Sometimes for reasons beyond the control of the contractor, a project completes without any profit or event worse, at a loss.

My gut tells me more and more that this new MVTHS project is going to be a financial burden for Jefferson County taxpayers for a very long time. Finally, don’t be surprised if bids received for the project are more than their estimate of $72 million.

Richard Acklin

Mt. Vernon

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