Higgins Nails The Western Sheriff Substation Issue
Geary Higgins is obviously the best of the two western Loudoun supervisors. While Janet Clarke is busy trying to placate her supporters who don’t want it and/or want the land the county bought for it by killing it, then trying to steer the county towards her supporters’ unleased office space for rent, Geary Higgins takes a pragmatic look at it and decides the best thing is to move forward. Just like Mike Chapman did after looking at all the facts and the significant investment in time and money already spent. Only Janet’s BFF on the BOS Eugene Delgaudio would go along with her scheme. Good for Geary, I’m glad to see he isn’t under the spell of the Pville Mafia.
here’s an excerpt from Higgins’ recent constituent newsletter describing his reasoning. Please note, there were no advertisements for any Higgins aides’ side businesses as far as I can tell in this newsletter. Another welcome distinction between the two western Loudoun supervisors.
Over the past few weeks, people inside and outside of our district have shared their concerns with me about the Western Loudoun Substation project. I fully understand and agree with many of the issues relating to this project. Unfortunately, as the details of the project were revealed to the board, it became evident that significant financial resources already committed to the project, made it fiscally irresponsible to simply walk away. If there was a way to get out of the project without incurring additional loss and financial damage, then I would fully support that option. The problem is that we have already spent close to $2,000,000, the bonds have been issued, and these bonds which cannot be spent on another project or paid off for ten years are costing us interest, we are told, in the amount of $400,000 per year. Here is my take on the situation: right now we are roughly $2 million into a now $5.7 million project (down from $8.3 million) with $400k annual interest cost, so for 2012 we will spend $2.4 million of a $5.7 million project or 42%. We will add $400k to that for the next 9 years ($3.6 million more in interest). If we just walk away, all that money is lost (roughly $6 million) on a situation where everyone agrees that something needs to be done. If we do an interim fix now, that just adds more expense to the lost money until we find a permanent solution. While this might be cheaper in the short run, when we look for a permanent solution in the future we will have to start from the beginning, it will be more expensive and all that money will be lost. I do not view that as being a fiscally prudent option at this point unless different information becomes available. Let me be clear, if we could start over from scratch on this project, I would do something different. However, we must deal with the consequences of actions made by the previous board. Cutting our expenses by 33% and proceeding with the project seems to me to be the best, least expensive option at this point.