The Cost of Calamity

The trail was expensive, but it sure was short…

Something that nobody has talked about when discussion of the controversial “Trail to Nowhere” occurs, is the inflation of construction cost in the 5 years since the grant application was submitted.

what’d that scary man say?

ENR cost indicies show a construction cost increase of 27% percent since December, 2019. It’s very fair to apply the same percentage for soft costs as they tend to closely follow the trajectory of hard construction cost. Ditto the cost that in-house “contract management” add to the budget, since that is a fixed percentage. This means a likely cost increase of $540,000 on the original estimate of $2,000,000 for the Trail to Nowhere, give or take.

Off we go, into the Wild Blue Yonder…

And the project still requires detailed working drawings and all the necessary permits. Then the mess has to be let out to bid, undergo bid review and contract award. Of course, if the bids blow the budget out of the water, more delay will ensue.

Abandon Ship!

Since the State Resources Agency grant allocation can be assumed to be fixed, this means that the City of Fullerton’s Park Dwelling Fund will be on the hook for over $800,000, with a concomitant hit to other, real park facility construction/improvements. And of course these numbers presuppose an accurate project budget to begin with, a presupposition I wouldn’t place a bet on.

Children at play…

Our City Council doesn’t seem to take this sort of thing into their thinking about the silly trail that no one will use, but it’s the kind of thing that should be ever-present in their minds. The problem is not only maintaining the linear park strip (as the City has proved completely incapable of on Phase I), but now of building Phase II at all.

22 Replies to “The Cost of Calamity”

  1. Stop filling their heads with facts. Zahra says it is “offensive” to talk about the cost of things in his district.

  2. Money was never the point of the Trail to Nowhere. It was all about the gesture. And the more wasted, the better the gesture.

    1. No, it’s about fulfilling a promise in the passed into law bicycle master plan given outside funding became available.

      That’s not just a gesture.

      Instead of a fulfilled promise we got the trail knifed, money wasted, and not so much as acknowledgement from council majority that they even know the master plan exists.

      Dysfunction junction.

      1. And why do you say the bicycle plan was “passed into law?”

        Was it?

        If you are right, then, in the words of the City’s handjob lawyer, you have legal recourse in the courts.

        Go for it, big guy. Maybe you can get Skaskia Kennedy to chip in to your legal fund!

        1. The city adopted the bicycle plan in 2012. That act governs the bureaucracy. That and other acts are why the bureaucracy applied for a grant. The were carrying out the wishes of council expressed in administrative law.

          That doesn’t mean I can sue if the city doesn’t follow through. It’s a plan. Plans change. I don’t have standing to bring suit because I wasn’t harmed.

            1. Thank you for finally admitting there was no harm. And also that you have no standing.

              P.S. Nobody else was harmed either. In fact the taxpayers of California got a win.

              Guess we won’t see you in court, lightweight.

              1. No, just because there is no legal cause of action doesn’t mean Fullerton wasn’t harmed… Council gave up almost $2M of outside funds in favor of keeping an empty lot empty.

                It’s stupid and it’s dysfunctional and the best legal remedy is to fire these clowns and never let them back into government again.

                1. No harm, no foul. In fact, beneficent action by council majority.

                  No $2,500,000 Trail to Nowhere for you Hoogersugar.

                2. Beneficial to whom?

                  It was a shit show and benefited no one except some other city that ends up with the grant.

                  A functional majority with have known about this well in advance, known about the master plan, had an alternative plan in the works and steered the bureaucracy in that direction.

                  Planfully. Ahead of time. Not just show up with a vote that looks like they were making a decision to drive the blue car or the red car today.

                  I get that you think it shouldn’t be developed as a trail. But it should be developed and we should have a long term plans for what we want Fullerton to be because these grants come long on their own timeline. You have to be ready to take opportunities when they arise.

                  Instead we got a total failure.

                3. Beneficial to the people who would have paid for a useless white elephant that in a year wold have looked just like Phase I.

                  So how come you never want to talk about the disaster known as Phase I?

                  You do know it doesn’t line up with Phase II, right?

                4. Again… my biggest problem with this exists whether or not the right of way ends up as a class 1 bicycle trail.

                  Government isn’t a person coming with a piece of art that you can be good or bad, that you like or don’t like.

                  It’s a system for producing services that its citizens demand. Since it’s not a person that can keep all the moving parts in their head and you can hold accountable for good or bad results, what it produces are products of a system. If you do a bad job fixing my car, I will just hire someone else to do it.

                  If the city is producing bad results its probably not going to be fixed by firing one and electing a different person. If it’s to blame for producing bad results it’s because of a systematic failure, which would require changing the system (“reform”).

                  In this case we had long term planning in place, that had passed muster with the elected council. From what I can see that system functioned reasonably and as designed right up until council majority knifed the trail at the last possible moment. That act revealed that the system was dysfunctional: council majority revealed itself as clueless about the long term plan and how the path they as an entity (if not the same persons) had put the bureaucracy on.

                  How can anyone see that as anything but a failure? Regardless of whether you want a trail or not?

                  Why hasn’t council amended the bicycle master plan to not do UP Phase 2? Why haven’t they created an alternative proposal for using the right of way? Why can’t they articulate a comprehensive alternative when asked? Why didn’t they know in advance of the vote whether the grant could be repurposed? Why did they let Parks spend a bunch of time and money on planning and grant seeking that majority didn’t want?

                  City government isn’t always going to do what I want. But I expect it to be functional and make sense as a functioning system, at the bare minimum.

                5. Oh, Harpoon, you know damn well that no Phase II booster will acknowledge the complete failure of “Phase I.”

                  So what if it’s a weedy, pissy, poorly-designed home for the homeless and druggies. Who cares if it doesn’t connect to Phase II.

                  It’s “offensive” to talk about Phase I!

  3. What’s another half mil, right? It’s not their money and even a useless project lets them their time against the Park Dwelling honey pot.

    So what if the extra $500,000 could be used elsewhere. This project is shovel ready. And all the new cliff dwellings coming along will bring in a tsunami of new Park Dwelling fees.

  4. I wonder why the Council majority doesn’t roll out ANY all these great reasons to support their decision. It’s like they’re afraid to engage the issue, letting Zahra try to make them look bad with his little cohort of misfits.

    1. Maybe because these aren’t the reasons. Maybe because the reasons are dysfunction and incompetence or because the real answer would be unpopular.

  5. But what about the shelter it will provide for the “homeless”? Does the trash enclosure at UP Park count for Fullertons RENA numbers? It should since a white male presently claims it as his abode and has a lock on it.

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