Carl Nelson’s Folly

Douglas R. Boese #24525 MSP

This time last year the inmate population on both the high and low side of the prison watched in wonderment, the befuddled installation of the new “sprinkler system”.

This new “sprinkler system” turned out to be a simple mainline water-pipe connected to water stations from which inmates on the yard crews could drag garden hoses to those very same areas that were reached by the hydrant manifolds used for years to water the prison grounds.

The Montana State Prison’s maintenance supervisor apparently directed this contract to two of his friends, which were down on their luck. I must assume they were friends of Carl Nelson as they didn’t have any common sense either.

This two month befuddled irrigation installation ended with blown valves, broken pipes, and a system that will never operate…oh, and thanks to Carl Nelson the Montana taxpayers are out $90,000.00 in these tough economic times.

I have installed “sprinkler systems” on numerous Museums, College Campuses, and Golf Courses with everyone of them still running to this day, with minor adjustments and repairs due to general wear and tear.

Now, lets jump to present day with abandoned “sprinkler system”, Carl Nelson’s friends allegedly being escorted off prison property with the Montana taxpayers $90,000.00 in their pockets, and officials from the Montana Department of Corrections, Montana State Prison, and of course Carl Nelson wanting to sweep this irrigation fiasco under the rug.

I’m sure most of you reading this letter will remember in recent months, the newspaper articles with the Dept. of Corrections director Mike Ferriter touting reform and more accountability for contracted services to these state agencies. Well, a lot of hot air from Dir. Ferriter and $90,000.00 later neither Carl Nelson nor his friends have been held accountable for bilking the Montana taxpayers.

So, if anyone out there is looking for a slightly broken but never used “sprinkler system”, Carl Nelson has one in underground storage here at the Montana State Prison.

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