What’s $19 million between friends?

Good grief.

The decision Tuesday to spend another $19 million of Gwinnett County’s savings to pay for a 50 percent cost increase in the county’s new stadium was so straightforward, it didn’t require any public discussion or debate, county commissioners said.

The commission voted to spend the money as part of its consent agenda, a package of typically non-controversial items that on Tuesday included filling a vacancy on a golf commission, accepting the donation of dog food for the county animal shelter and spending $16.7 million to replace county transit buses.

Commissioners said the decision didn’t require public debate because there was little choice but to approve the money, without which project officials said they could not build the stadium currently coming out of the ground on Buford Drive near I-85 in Lawrenceville. The stadium will cost $59 million, up from an initial estimate of $40 million.

9 comments

  1. What ticks me off about this is the arrogance of some, most notably Richard Tucker, who basically said the taxpayers should “just suck it up.”

    Tucker said this happens all the time in real estate deals but I seriously doubt he’d “just suck it up” if the cost of one of his developments increased by 50%. He’d step back and reevaluate the feasibility of the project.

    Gwinnett simply cannot step back and reevaluate this stadium because of the time crunch and the egg on our face we’d get from backing out at this late hour. Sadly, the taxpayers do have to suck it up because we’ve been backed unto a corner.

  2. Icarus says:

    Don’t worry, y’all are just going to take money from your “rainy day” fund. What are the odds that the economy will slow down, tax receipts will follow and… – er – , o.k., nevermind.

  3. joe says:

    Among other things, the increased price tag includes a concourse that circles the stadium — the original design excluded the outfield — as well as a canopy over part of the stadium, underground storm water retention and upgraded finishes.

    “I don’t want just to go to a high school field,” said Commissioner Kevin Kenerly. “I want a first-class facility there.”

    Maybe they should have considered all of the upgrades in the original proposal. The commission just did this because they can, and you can’t stop them.

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