Where’s The Fire? (Designs)

Posted: Monday, July 6, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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It usually doesn’t take me long to zip through the Argus Leader each morning. I guess I’m not all that interested in the things the Argus thinks I should be like the latest medical acquisitions of our illustrious billionaire banker, Denny Sanford.
But something on the front page this morning nearly caused me to fall off my porcelain perch.
I wasn’t shocked by the fact that Sioux Falls sales tax revenue is way down which means some city projects, like a new fire station at 41st and Powderhouse Road, will have to be put on hold.
(We’re in a recession, you know)What made me flinch was the fact that the city had planned to spend $166,000 to DESIGN the building!
I know, I know..that seems pretty drop-in-the-bucket-ish when the entire capital improvement budget is 85 and a half million..but, jeeze..166 thousand here and 166 thousand there and before long you’re talkin’ real money..at least in my little world.
We already have ten or twelve regional fire stations spread around town..many of them built within the last 10 years..why not use the blue prints from one of those and save the “designer’s fee?”
I’m sure the city could find one that would fit into the neighborhood. Besides I’m pretty sure people would prefer speed and function over esthetic considerations when the smoke alarm goes off in the house.
 Pick a designAny design..we have lots to choose from.
Let’s see, what else seems odd.
At a time of nationwide unemployment approaching 10 percent and business owners being forced to lay-off people by the boatload in order to stay afloat..along comes news from the state labor department that they’re going to slap a surcharge on them to the tune of 150 dollars per employee in order to replenish the jobless benefit fund which is running dry because of all the newly laid off people receiving unemployment benefits.
If you’ve ever wondered about the term “Catch 22” that pretty much sums it up.
The surcharge should only be in effect for about a year..or until the economy improves. Plus businesses will not charge more for their goods and services to make up for the added expense. They’ll take the hit.
Yah, sure, you betcha..

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