What has the county learned from Regional Justice Center construction?

Clark County officials are tired of me saying that by dilly-dallying since Nov. 30 over whether to challenge an arbitrator’s binding decision over the construction of the Regional Justice Center, the county is costing taxpayers $10,000 a day in interest.

Even if the figure is $3,200 (deducting the interest the money is earning), that’s still $192,000 for two months.

But just now, County Manager Virginia Valentine said by taking their time and challenging the interest calculation of the arbitrator’s award, the county was able to save $2 million. The award was reduced by $1.5 million and $558,309 in interest since Nov. 30 was waived.

So the amount the county will pay AF Construction and it’s insurer, instead of being nearly $53 million will be $51.2 million. Add to that nearly $5 million more because when the county fired the contractor it also stopped payment.

Saving $2 million is admirable. I’ll give the county that. Kudos to who negotiated that downward.

But on Tuesday, county commissioners will still be asked to authorize payment of $56 million to settle dueling lawsuits.

Because of poor management on the county’s part, taxpayers are paying $56 million to a construction company it blamed for delays in construction. Turns out the county was more culpable than the contractor.

Anyone expecting a thoughtful discussion Tuesday among commissioners about lessons learned from the construction fiasco? Surely. Well maybe. At least I can hope.

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