2007-02-08 / Letters to the Editor

Questions about recent letters

Two letters in last week's Press left me scratching my head.

The first letter dealt with the Environmental Protection Agency designating Jamestown as a sole source aquifer. Does Jamestown really need another agency, group or individual reviewing plans for a particular project? As of right now there is the possibility of a single project being reviewed by the building official, the planning director, the zoning board, the planning board, CRMC, DEM, DOT, and possibly the Narragansett Indians. Now we want to add to the mix EPA?

What would EPA do for us? In effect a duplication of DEM. But, in reality it would just further delay the project. It could also interfere with our plans for affordable housing by getting the federal government involved. Do we need another layer of government that would further delay projects? Not when it takes us over 25 years to build a town hall. Twenty years later we still don't have a highway garage. It should also be noted that the individuals who initiated this request did so, as stated in their letter to EPA written by the consulting firm they hired, because of their concern about locating the highway garage at the former landfill.

The second letter in some ways is more baffling. The writer concerns himself with the location of the highway garage. Because of my past experience of working on EPA-designated Brownfield projects in reviewing permits, procedures, practices and site inspections of numerous landfills I believe the proposed plan for locating the highway garage on the footprint of the former landfill would actually protect the ground water and prevent possible pollution of the adjoining wells by providing an impervious cover of either blacktop or concrete.

However, this particular writer says, "Because I rely on well water, I do have a problem with taking unnecessary risks with our fragile bedrock aquifer." His solution then is to locate the highway garage adjacent to the water shed where, by using his line of reasoning, the only thing that we would pollute there is the town reservoir.

The writer also indicates that locating the highway garage in this location would somehow help the rate payers by adding 10 percent more users. In fact, there are just about 100 homes in those areas by extending the water lines to those homes along East Shore Road and into the neighborhoods east of that road. That is actually only about 7 percent.

Hmm, a house with a minimum of a 100-foot frontage would be charged about $200 a foot for the installation of the water line equaling $20,000 then an additional $3,000 to hook up to the line and then pay the going water rates. I can just envision the residents in those neighborhoods lining up to get town water.

As I said before, what's wrong with this picture?

Bill Kelly, member

Town Council

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