Mount Vernon Letter: Costs of Capital Projects

Mount Vernon Letter: Costs of Capital Projects

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

There are two capital projects in the Mount Vernon District being proposed for the upcoming Bond Referendum. Neither of these projects seem merited based on their projected costs.

The project to renovate the Eleanor Kennedy Shelter is projected to need about $11MM of the Bond Proceeds. This is a renovation for 50 beds. Nearby is a Comfort Inn with over 130 rooms with an assessed value of about $3MM. Thus the county could buy the Inn at less then one-third the cost the renovation and have four to five times as many beds for the Shelter. How is that $11MM cost justified?

Similarly, the other capital project, a community center in Lorton has a projected funding of $18.5MM. This project seems to roughly compare to the Gold's Gym on Richmond Highway. The Gold's Gym is assessed at a little over $8MM. Thus the county could buy the Gold's Gym at less then half the cost of the projected community center. Again, how is the projected Bond Funding justified?

Surely a more realistic solution to meet these project goals can be found then the excessive renovation spending.

Jay Jupiter