Victorious; Ever Vigilant
Well, our presentation went well this morning, resulting in LifeStar and our Sheriff's Department combined hangar project being funded. The Martin County commission accepted our "Safety First" strategy and delivered a nearly unheard-of unanimous vote to allow us to build in an area where we know they didn't want us to build. This in and of itself was a major victory, and astounded some of the folks on our team. And I got to make the pitch!
Second, the Sheriff's Department will be allowed to move with us. This is great news as their current site is ever being encroached and the new site will be much safer and easier to operate from. Sheriff Crowder made part of the pitch himself, which I think was one of the keys to success. Another 5-0 vote. Amazing.
The next issue was building configuration and funding. Here, we didn't get everything we needed, but we have a platform to get it from. We'll build two 8,000 sf spaces sharing a central wall, providing each agency the hangar space they need, and room to build their support spaces. LifeStar was denied the funding to do the interior buildout, primarily (in my opinion) because the construction per foot numbers didn't make sense to the Commission. They don't to me either, but hey - I'm the pitch man, not the construction guy. We're confident we can push the construction cost down to accommodate the additional $300K in crew quarters construction we need, so its only a matter of time. At least we'll have the space.
We were well prepared, made it clear what we needed and why, and put the Commissioners in a position to win on the points they needed to win on. Each commissioner asked insightful questions, and in the end we got the necessary support. I'm a big believer that given the option, folks want to do the right thing, so we worked really hard to present a decision package that clearly showed what "the right thing" was.
All in all, this was a great team effort, and it was great to see our hard work and carefully crafted strategy pay off. But it was a tough project, too - several different organizations, three different organizational cultures, politics, etc. Just keeping everyone upbeat that we could get this done was a major task.
Closing any $2M deal is a tough job - this one was tougher than many I've done. Now, I can relax a bit, maybe even take a day or two off next week!