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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Safe Clear: 600% cost overruns and counting

Massive cost overruns on Houston's Safe Clear program will lead to discussion in City Hall today:

Mayor Bill White and City Council members will discuss the cost of the Safe Clear program during a budget meeting Wednesday, Local 2 reported.
The City of Houston expects to spend $2.1 million on the program this year. The city originally projected the cost to be around $300,000. Tow companies that pay to participate in the program and METRO fund the program. The tow companies pay about $900,000 and METRO pays about $442,000, in which the money comes from a 1-cent sales tax allocation that is collected for general mobility issues. "One major trauma accident costs us over $1 million. So, if we spend a million dollars on Safe Clear that benefits the entire city and saves lives -- statistics show it does save lives -- I'm good with that," Council Member Michael Berry told Local 2.
What statistics, Councilman? What statistics can you possibly cite to show that Safe Clear saves lives? I'd also be very interested to know how major wrecks cost the City $1 million a pop. Do Life Flight choppers run on Chanel No. 5, or what? I've contacted Councilman Berry's office for a clarification. This should be good. [Hat-tip: LST reader Bill Howerton]

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