Curbing Our Cheap Instincts (12/4/07)
A recent mass e-mail from Metro Council member Doug Hawkins criticizes Mayor Abramson for alleged fiscal irresponsibility because of the current project to replace crumbling curbs along a few downtown streets with more expensive granite curbs.
Mr. Hawkins says, "It is obvious that granite curbs cost far more than standard concrete would."
Well, that's true, as far as it goes. But that's not very far.
Of course cost should be a consideration when spending public money. But so should cost-effectiveness. And studies have shown that while granite curbs initially cost about two-and-a-half times as much as concrete, they last five to ten times longer.
That's called a bargain. And when you consider the additional factors of added safety and attractiveness to downtown visitors, there's really no comparison.
When the beautiful state capitol in Frankfort was built, they could have just used logs and timbers. And the Humana building could surely have been built with cheaper materials. But in both cases the goal was long-term value. And they achieved it.
Mr. Hawkins seems to equate doing everything on the cheap with fiscal responsibility. But as any homeowner can tell you, it's just not so.
What are your thoughts? Call, and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.