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Enger questions if jail items bought locally

By Staff | May 4, 2009

To the Editor;

It’s been interesting following the commissioners stumble through the construction of the new jail and now trying to make budget cuts.

Doesn’t it seem ironic that the county board, who just spent $23 million dollars ($11 million plus interest) for an overbuilt jail, is now trying to make us believe they are concerned about our property taxes by making county employees take a 3-percent pay cut.

The jail will cost the taxpayers of Faribault County approximately $1.5 million dollars extra per year with debt service and expenses. So the county board will save about $150,000 or around 10-percent by this cut in pay. The new overbuilt jail has cost taxpayers 10 times that amount annually alone.

While I understand that several county companies have provided labor and material for the jail, I am curious to know how much of our tax dollars actually stayed here as a percentage of the total bill. So after patting the commissioners on the back, they dropped the ball when it came to buying beds and furniture.

It seems the commissioners just spent $7,300 for 67 new beds and the only furniture store in the county was not even contacted to see if they were interested in bidding. Now, I realize these are special beds that have no wires in them and do not burn. A simple phone call could have been made to find out if those beds were available. Over $9,000 was spent on chairs and tables, again, neither the county’s only furniture store or office supply store were asked if they were interested in bidding.

Then there is the $40,000 non-kitchen kitchen. Were the appliance stores in Faribault County asked if they would be interested in bidding on any of the appliances in the new $40,000 non-kitchen kitchen — No?

None of the above should be a surprise to anyone. To think that the commissioners would get anything right at this point is just wasted thought. In fact, government at every level seems to be preoccupied with their own self-indulgences.

Someone once told me that only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; I’m not sure about the universe.

Uffda Megge,

Mike Enger, Blue Earth