Good reasons to vote to approve
After twenty years of deliberation, the Town of Jamestown has crafted a brilliant solution for the town's pressing needs to store and maintain its trucks and heavy equipment. The selected town site, augmented by land offered by the bridge authority at a reasonable cost, is adjacent to the Newport bridge and has all the requirements for efficient and economical operation: town water, sewer, electricity, an existing access road and easy access to the town's infrastructure of roads, buildings, underground water lines and waste water lines. There will be sufficient on-site storage space for working quantities of road repair materials. Because current fueling, salt storage and vehicle washings will be continued at this site no matter where the barn is located, a huge increase in efficiency will occur when the central facility is completed here. The site will be protected from fire, theft, and vandalism by nearby town police and fire stations. Around-the-clock staffing of the adjacent waste-water treatment plant will further enhance security. Renderings of the facility show that it will be nearly invisible. This plan is as close to perfect as any will ever get. All alternatives have already been rejected by two town councils.
The one remaining question is whether the citizens of Jamestown really want to resolve the highway barn problem or would rather live with the status quo indefinitely. There are serious environmental and zoning limitations that would eliminate an alternate site. Should taxpayers be willing to overlook the certain additional costs for delaying construction and be willing to shoulder the perpetual additional costs of operating a facility located far from the work? If we pass up this opportunity and the current offer of the bridge authority to sell land to the town is subsequently withdrawn, then what?
The town council has voted to build the highway barn on the bridge authority site and is awaiting our funding approval. Reflecting our independent, self-reliant island nature, Jamestowners have a reputation for making the right choice, embracing reality and committing to durable solutions. It's time to demonstrate these qualities and move forward. Jamestown will face many difficult challenges in the next twenty years. Let's take this one off the list by approving the Aug. 28 referendum to provide the funding to construct the barn.
Daniel J. O'Neill