We assume that none of the members (or at least former members) of the Project Development Board read the article because they never slowed a bit in their decision to have the buildings torn down as planned.
Now the new makeup of the board is faced with a decision of whether to spend more than $100,000 to demolish the jail building for 20 parking spaces or just do without.
We recommend doing without. Although the downtown Cadiz area doesn’t have any parking spaces to speak of now, we just can’t see how 20 additional spaces at that cost would have any long-term benefits.
That’s not even taking into consideration the parking spaces would be on the side of a hill if the project were completed.
Judge Executive Berlin Moore stood far back from the discussions when it came time to discuss the question of what to do with the Confederate Monument now located in front of the current courthouse.
He may have known then – but never mentioned it – the monument is a part of the National Historic Register. Prior to the demolition of the courthouse the monument must be protected. In order to do so, the county must first get permission from the National Register. Next it must find a qualified monument mover to agree to the work. When that is done, it must then cough up another estimated $100,000 for the project.
One delay has been the moving of the sheriff and dispatcher from the current location in the courthouse to the purchase and refurbishing of what will soon be nearly a $200,000 location that is still nothing more than an old building.
That move is still “two weeks away” according to the sheriff and dispatcher. We say “two weeks” because that is the time frame that has been used at several of the monthly meetings of the PDB by the two officials.
The move is still not complete.
When the courthouse is finally ready for demolition, there is still the question of how to dispose of the debris. Unfortunately, a landfill is not readily available and it may take years to have a new landfill permit granted if that is the only choice.
Architect Dennis Arthur told PDB members last fall that he planned to have the courthouse on the ground prior to the first of the year. He was talking about 2007.
We think he was off by at least a year, maybe two!
So, is there a solution?
Prior to the current site being selected, the Project Development Board had an option to choose a site that would have:
Plenty of room for a one story building (reducing costs);
Would be in the downtown area:
Have plenty of parking (there is little now and the expectancy of even less when the project is completed);
Street access from four directions; locating both the sheriff and dispatcher in modern new facilities (instead of spending upwards of $200,000 on a building that should have been demolished);
Demonstrate to visitors what good planning could look like as they entered Cadiz from the west (rather than wondering why a 35,000 square foot building located on a lot to hold a 4,000 square foot building).
Is it feasible to stop the project dead in its tracks and start from scratch? We don’t know. But we do know about the old saying about tossing good money after bad.