Here’s some of the work done recently by your team at the Malheur Enterprise.
Public records and the county – an update
The question seemed important: How much public money is going to be needed to finish the Treasure Valley Reload Center?
Last week, the Enterprise published an editorial with that question. We made the case that with $26 million about to be spent, there was no choice but to push. You can review that editorial here.
At the same time, the Enterprise requested public records about costs and budgets. As we explained in that request: “The public most recently was led to believe that now the original sized building bid at $6.955 million can now be built for $3,150,000. Project officials have provided no actual accounting or the basis for these numbers. The shifting numbers deserve proper and full explanation to the community, to taxpayers and to legislators.”
You can read the request delivered Aug. 17 here:
Budget documents are basic records of government. Most public agencies provide that information readily.
Not the Malheur County Development Corp., which is in charge of the project.
Grant Kitamura, president of Malheur County Development Corp. for the past five years, responded right away. “I do not possess the documents that you have requested other than minutes from meetings when Brad reported these estimates,” he said in an email.
The company itself hasn’t responded.
Greg Smith, project manager, hasn’t responded.
Brad Baird, president of Anderson Perry & Associates and keeper of the budget, hasn’t provided the documents either.
But the request and editorial seem to have triggered some fresh math. On Tuesday, as reported elsewhere, the development corporation board finally heard numbers about what it will cost to finish this troubled project.
The Enterprise will continue to press for actual documents. We know the community is vitally interested in this topic, and our team is working hard to get at the facts. We will keep you updated.
–Les Zaitz, publisher
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We get some of our best stories and photos after tips from readers. If you have an idea on something we can report on or just have questions about something happening in the community, send an email to Editor Les Zaitz at [email protected].