Detention center project should be vetted more

Published 10:20 am Monday, January 21, 2019

To the Editor:

First I would like to thank the Windsor Weekly for bringing this issue out in the open. I made several trips to the microphone (although I had not planned to speak,) and by the end of the afternoon meeting I did not have a good feeling about the process that has gotten this far along.

First of all, as I pointed out to the County Administrator Randy Keaton, that it does not speak very well of him and his office as far as transparency and openness, on how this has moved forward behind closed doors, and then hiding behind “no public hearing was necessary prior to the Board of Supervisors giving its assent because the county government does not own the available land.”

Additionally, when I questioned him on what our (the taxpayers’) return on investment (ROI) would be on over $2,000,000 (which I am sure that number will go up,) he could not give a number. He gave some unquantifiable generalities such as increased revenue to Windsor from meal taxes, and potential benefactors of extending utility services to the site.

ROI is a basic part of any sound business plan that you and I would need to present to investors. As I pointed out at the meeting, this is not good accountability to the taxpayers by the county administrator and the Board of Supervisors for the potential expenditure of over $2,000,000 of taxpayers’ money.

I think this should be vetted more before it moves any further, as I am sure there are more considerations and concerns that deserve complete answers, so an informed decision can be made or, if need be, turned off as the City of Chesapeake did.

It is not clear to me how this project adds value to the Comprehensive Plan for Economic Growth and Development of Isle of Wight County.

Glen Little