2005-10-20 / Letters to the Editor


Foundation helps school programs

I arrived at the Jamestown School on a Monday afternoon to help with some sewing.

How nice it was to see nine students come into the “sewing” room and be able to sit right down and start sewing. I was amazed at how they knew just what to do. They took out the sewing machines, threaded them, wound bobbins, ironed fabric, and got right to work.

Their mission was to hem part of the 400 napkins for the Empty Bowl Project. These students have participated in the after-school Sewing Club program, and it was obvious they loved what they were doing.

I am writing to give some background information and thanks to a very generous Jamestown benefactor — the Ali’s Run Jamestown 5k Foundation.

Three years ago, when the Ali’s Run Foundation was starting to distribute grants, a proposal came from the After School Program at the Lawn Avenue School. One of these programs was and is the Sewing Club, open to fifththrough eighth-grade Jamestown students. This club was originated and continues to be led by Lark Goodyear, a seventh-grade teacher.

The request was to buy some sewing machines. In the second and third years, the requests were for additional machines with accessories and cases.

Over the three years, the foundation has supplied eight machines and various accessories, cases and tables. The result is the students in this group have been able to master basic sewing skills and have contributed items to various charitable organizations, as well as working on their own individual projects. They have constructed and donated several quilts to Americares. This year they have already hemmed napkins for the Jamestown Food Pantry Empty Bowl Project.

The Sewing Club will start again this year with a new group of students. Their project, as part of a statewide school group, will be making comfort quilts for Hurricane Katrina victims.

So, many thanks to the Ali’s Run Foundation for making it possible for young Jamestowners to have the opportunity to learn and serve. And isn’t that what Ali Dunn Packer was doing during her lifetime.

Carol R. Todd,

occasional volunteer at the after school program Major, not minor, cost increases

The town recently sent the required 30 percent design plan for the proposed highway barn, at the closed landfill, to the state Department of Environmental Management for initial comments. DEM’s initial response contained some requirements and some concerns. This letter will mainly focus on the DEM requirement to dispose the refuse removed for the highway barn and parking lot footprints to a state certified landfill.

The amount of refuse to be moved had been estimated at 7,847 tons by GZA, the town’s engineering firm. This assumes that the existing top layer of cover will not be required to be disposed of in a similar manner. If this top layer were included the tonnage could increase to 12,500.

GZA had planned on excavating the top layer of refuse and depositing it at the top of the closed landfill. In their bid to the town, GZA projected $47,000 in excavation costs and $0 in disposal costs.

At the Oct. 12 Town Council meeting, I presented the council with a quote from RJ Cawley Contracting, who has experience in similar refuse removal work. Their cost estimate to excavate, truck, and dis pose of the refuse at the Johnston landfill is $105 dollars per ton ($65 per ton disposal charge at the Johnston Landfill, and $40 per ton to excavate and haul to the landfill). Using GZA’s projected tonnage and the Cawley Contracting removal and disposal costs, the cost for this phase of work should be projected at 7,847 tons X $105 or $823,935. The Cawley Contracting also stressed that a 20 percent contingency is normally added for any hazardous material, engineering, and disposal costs that may be encountered. This would bring the total to $988,722.

I’ve been informed that the town of Jamestown does have a special rate at the Johnston landfill of $32 per ton. However, there is a limitation cap as to the amount the town can dump at that price. I am assuming the town’s cap is based upon its normal dumping tonnage but will check this further.

The important point is, GZA’s preliminary site development costs totaled $200,000, of which $47,000 was for refuse relocation on the closed landfill site. Whereas, a DEM requirement exists to dispose of the refuse elsewhere that could cost $988,722 to $1,575,000. The higher number results if the entire12,500 tons, plus 20 percent contingency, were required to be disposed at the Johnston landfill. Whatever this number turns out to be you can deduct GZA’s projected $47,000 from it, and that is what the projected cost overrun, at the 30 percent design stage, is expected to be. Therefore, it would be prudent for the town to revise the cost estimate prepared by Mr. Haddad (the former town administrator) from $1,090,000 to $2,090,000 plus.

As a side note, Mr. Haddad stated (that) if the highway garage estimates exceeded the $1,090,000 he projected, then he wouldn’t recommend placing it at the closed landfill.

The next question is could the costs continue to spiral upward? That is certain to happen since Mr. Haddad’s $1,090,000 forecast doesn’t include the following:

• A septic system for toilets, showers and sinks.

• Digging a waterline from lot 47, a residential lot east of the landfill, across the refuse to the proposed highway garage.

• The pavement of roadways across the landfill and to the storage area.

• Paving of the 1-acre storage area.

• Oil and other hazardous waste separator for the garage bays.

Lastly, GZA has forecast $50,000 to build an underground storm-water detention system which must be located under the proposed highway garage. This system must hold the runoff from roads, parking lots, and building rooftops. In sensitive areas, many states require the first inch of water coming off parking lots and roadways to be filtered of pollutants. Is it possible such a large and potentially complicated system could be built for $20,000 more than a residential septic system? Most people think not. One local architect stated a system for an area as water sensitive as the north end could cost between $500,000 and $2,000,000. Hang on.

Raymond Iannetta

1219 North Main Road

Editor’s note: Mr. Iannetta is a leader of the North End Concerned Citizens, a group of residents who are concerned that building a new town highway barn adjacent to town’s former landfill might contaminate the water that supplies their private wells. He has served on the town’s Zoning Board of Review since 1997. Please return missing ring

We held a yard sale this past Saturday “rain or shine,” and we want to thank everyone who trekked out in the pouring rain. Some of our items were left on our enclosed front porch overnight.

On Sunday, someone came into our front porch while we were not home, long after the yard sale was over, and left $3 for items that included a gold ring that was not priced. We truly appreciate their honesty in leaving money; however, the item was not marked and is worth a bit more than $3. There was also a sign we left posted on the table saying, “If it’s not marked, just ask.” We were not home to be asked.

We would like this person to please return the ring. If they would like the ring, we can certainly tell them the price we had planned to ask for it at our next yard sale this coming Saturday “rain or shine.”

Donna & Greg Kohler

14 Union St.

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