Chicago’s got some real problems.
After a weekend loaded with looting, it was announced Tuesday that the city was adding 1,000 more police shifts from Friday through Sunday.
Chaos in Chicago last night as mass looting broke out after police officers returned fire on a suspect that reportedly shot at them
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 10, 2020
Amid all the chaos, here’s one more disorderly item: City taxpayers reportedly spent $66 million transforming a convention center into a Code Red coronavirus facility.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the contract for the renovation went to a politically-connected company rather than one which would’ve allegedly waived fees or donated the dough to COVID relief groups.
And as Mrs. Beckham’s doctor said when David was born, here’s the kicker: It never got used — hardly.
Courtesy of the Sun-Times, I give you governmental thriftiness:
Just 38 patients were transferred to the sprawling convention center — meaning taxpayers’ cost for the makeshift hospital turned out to be more than $1.7 million per patient, on average.
Efficiency at its best — it’s why we need more state and federal involvement in our lives.
Don’t mistake it for a mistake:
[T]op aides to Mayor Lori Lightfoot say her decision to initiate the project with the federal government and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority was an important “insurance policy” at a time of “immense emergency.”
Lori’s deputy mayor, Samir Mayekar, is downright beaming:
“It’s something I’m incredibly proud of,” says Samir Mayekar, Lightfoot’s deputy mayor for economic and neighborhood development who says the money was “not spent in vain.”
He may be right in his view: Perhaps otherwise, the government would’ve spent one-point-eight per patient.
As for the contracted construction, here’s the CS-T with more:
That followed a selection process so frenzied that [city-state governmental body McPier] hired [Walsh Construction] just hours after receiving proposals from three construction companies, according to interviews and records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times that show:
- McPier solicited proposals from three giants in construction: Walsh, Pepper Construction and Power Construction Company. And it hired Walsh even though Power said it either would forgo any fees or donate them to pandemic relief because it didn’t want to profit from the pandemic. Walsh charged $65.9 million, including more than $5.1 million in fees, records show.
- An official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — which hired McPier to build the facility, for which the federal government is covering at least 75 percent of the costs — said in internal emails that Power or Pepper was the best choice. But that decision was left to McPier, which picked Walsh, saying its rates were not “significantly different” than the others and that it “had the most experience . . . working with the [Army Corps] and working on emergency projects.”
Just add this cluster to the heap of Chicago’s current calamity.
In a way, the mega-million-dollar coronavirus center only serves to affirm the city’s nickname.
It’s called the Windy City, and that makes sense — because the government blew it.
See more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.