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Menlo Fire Artificial Turf

Original post made by CuriousKat, Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks, on Aug 17, 2014

Peter,

Please add me to the list of people that don't merit a response. Indeed, I would be pleased if you didn't respond to this posting.

The Menlo Park Fire District replaced the natural lawn at all 6 of its stations with artificial turf. You did too and chose to call attention to your decision in an Almanac article. I couldn't help but be interested in the the nexus between your choice and the Fire Department's, of which you are an elected Director.

You have gone on record and said you did not use the same company. Thank you. This dispels my primary concern that you might have somehow financially benefitted from the arrangement. You didn't. Great!

But, the publicity you have brought does place the Menlo Fire Chief and Board in focus. You suggest that the payback period is very long and that you hope, at best, to break even at the end of 15 years. Assuming the Fire District did a similar cost benefit analysis, it is reasonable to call into question whether their decision was a good choice for the taxpayers.

I believe dry spells will happen from time to time. Certainly, within 15 years (perhaps within 1 year), I anticipate the situation will be corrected and that we will have abundant water. I, thus, call into question at least one of the assumptions that lead to this capital investment.

That the Chief was empowered to spend these funds within his delegated authority also leads me to question whether the Board has proper controls in place. I trust that it cost well in excess of $100,000 across 6 stations. As someone who funds this district, I would like to know more. Much more.

The Menlo Fire website, supposedly the model of transparency, offers very little information on the topic other than the Chief's announcement that he's replacing the grass with turf. There is no financial information. How much did the District pay its supplier?

Other than the Chief's report, there was only a report on KTVU:

Web Link

It seems this choice was made out of a perceived political correctness of not wasting water and not with an economic justification. If you choose to spend your money this way, so be it. It is yours to waste. But, taxpayer dollars should not be subject to political whim.

Comments (5)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 17, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Please add me to the list of people that don't merit a response."

Done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2014 at 6:55 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

curious:

[Portion removed. Please post your information without characterizing other posters in a negative way.]

From another thread:

Some posters have asked about the artificial turf which has been installed at the fire stations.

Those installation were done by a different company than the one that did the installation at our home.

Here are the costs for those installations;

Station 1 $9,600
Station 3 $6,688
Station 4 $12,256
Station 5 $5,742
Station 77 $9,968


That totals $44,254 [portion removed]. No where near $100,000. where you pulled that figure from one can only guess. If you really question the cost, go to a board meeting and make your concerns known.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:40 am

Wow.

So 100k in tax payer money on a stupid project = bad

47k in tax money = okay

???


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Does anyone know if the Fire District considered a drought-resistant landscape instead of plastic grass? That would seem like a reasonable alternative when removing lawn.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

taxpayer:

where did I say $47k is "okay?"

I was pointing out the factual inaccuracy of curious' statement that it cost "well in excess of $100,000." Cleary it didn't. Not even close.

If one is going to come on here a trash someone else they ought to at least get their facts straight. It lends more credence to their argument.

Based on curious' post I can only conclude they have problems with reading comprehension and math.


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