New county building not wisest financial choice

I wonder about the logic of supporting spending a proposed $28 million (the estimated cost of the new proposed county office building) in order to save $1 million a year in county office rent (Viewpoint, June 3).

If the Viewpoint writer is correct, taxpayers won’t break even for 28 years after the proposed new county building is built. The county could instead buy the existing office building at One Main and start saving a million dollars a year immediately, and the other office tenants in the building would today provide enough income to pay the property mortgage.

If the county reconsidered its proposal, in the same proposed investment period of 28 years, the County of Maui would have saved $28 million in rent and could own the One Main Plaza property free and clear of any mortgage. The continued income from the other tenants would be simple cash flow the county may elect to use for other purposes.

It seems like what the administration really wants is a new office building, regardless of how financially sound that desire is. Let’s apply sound financial/investment principles to this idea of a new county office building. Wouldn’t better utilizing county funds be a much better way to honor those who so thoughtfully came before us? Seems those involved in the proposed new county office building project may do better to focus on what is actually best for taxpayers in Maui County.

Danna Lark Christensen