Bridge site sale terms finalized
Town Administrator Bruce Keiser reported last Monday that the town had finalized its agreement with the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority over the sale of a piece of property on Taylor Point critical to the town's plans to build its new highway barn.
Keiser said that he felt comfortable that the town had "reached an agreement which represented the town's interest as well as the bridge and turnpike's."
The process, however, was not without hurdles.
Chief among the concerns addressed in negotiations was the final authority over the aesthetic design of the building. Keiser said that RITBA had requested final approval authority over the proposed building design. According to Keiser, RITBA has agreed to sign off on the project based on artist renderings, while the town has agreed to return to the authority should the design change significantly.
In another give and take, the town has agreed to assume liability for third-party damage to the garage facility stemming from bridge maintenance, while RITBA has assumed full responsibility for any further environmental remediation necessary at the site. As a final provision, RITBA also asked, and received, a right of reversion should the barn not be sited within two years.
The purchase of the site, located on upper Taylor Point, had been a critical component to the town's proposed highway barn facility. Funding for the project, which was contingent on the final disposition of the property, was approved in a special referendum in September.