2007-05-10 / Letters to the Editor

The rest of the highway garage story

A husband and wife team has sent letters to the Jamestown Press and Town Council touting the fact that two highway garage committees have recommended a new highway garage be built on lot 47, a lot which abuts the former landfill. This may be true, but it is only half the story.

I was one of the members of the second highway garage committee. Our charter from the Town Council was to review all available parcels and present at least two sites that were large enough to house a new highway garage. Additionally, the committee was told not to take into consideration any environmental factors, since they were so complicated they needed to be dealt with by the Town Council. I assume similar instructions were given to the first highway garage committee. I believe it is appropriate to ask that future references to the highway garage committees' site selections include the fact that these recommendations were made without their considering, nor investigating, any environmental factors that may have affected these sites.

The Town Council is presently entertaining the idea of a referendum to have the public select one of two sites. The same lot 47, which still has numerous environmental, as well as legal issues that must be answered and addressed, and a parcel located between the Newport Bridge and the sewage treatment plant.

I believe we are putting the cart before the horse. Shouldn't the town ensure that all required legal and permitting processes be satisfied before the town incurs tens of thousands of dollars for a special referendum?

Several letters have also been written to the Press about how placing the highway garage on any lot other than lot 47 will result in a split facility. This is a totally inaccurate statement. Lot 47 and the former landfill contain or will contain restrictions on any storage of sand /salt. There also cannot be any truck washing, and there cannot be any vehicle refueling. All of these functions are currently accomplished at the sewage treatment plant. The truth is having a facility anywhere other than at the sewage treatment plant will result in a split facility.

Ray Iannetta

Jamestown

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