May 17, 2021

#SUPPORTDPW

Posted

Have you ever wondered what happens to a loan amount once Town Meeting approves it? Picture sitting in the auditorium listening to the sales pitch, because basically that is what it is. “We need $250,000 to study the concept of installing turf on Connelly Field at the High School.” This of course was not a loan to borrow but instead money drawn from our Free Cash Account. Still, a resource of money gone.

The study conclusion is drawn and now we have a request coming for turf plus a rebuild of the Mooney Track, concessions, etc. All to the tune of $2,700,000.00. This will be no doubt a loan to which taxpayers will be told, “it will only cost you a few dollars per month over the course of 20 years.” Seriously? First it was presented as turf. Turf for the football field. Now it has grown into a Sports Complex. With our money! Let me know when the name is changed to Gillette South.

Does anyone recall the need for a new DPW Facility? I do. They were listed as a priority 3+ years ago. It has taken less time to “fast track” the rebuild (not expand) Aitken Elementary School $10,000,000.00 later.

What we have seen is unfair to the Town in its entirety. When you look at the need to replace service equipment annually and the price tag of all the equipment parked at DPW it is ridiculous to think any other project could be more important.

The narrow mindedness and tunnel vision of the School and Town Leaders playing on the emotions of parents and students above the needs of the entire town is too much to bear.

The conditions within DPW should be condemned. The employees there and the services they provide to everyone are being ignored. Yet for the sake of rebuilding (not expanding) an elementary school for approximately $10,000,000.00, turf and more priced at $250,000.00 + $2,700.000.00, a library asking for $19,000,000 with only a minimal of $7,500,000 reimbursed if the funding is available, maybe seems more important than the health and wellbeing of those employed at DPW and all the service equipment there. Not to me.

How about we switch buildings? The Library can move to DPW and DPW can move to the Library. Or maybe we can juggle School Administration to DPW, and a new service area can be located on Water Lane. Add a few garages and school grounds and town services are all in one place.

You are sitting back thinking this writer has lost her mind. You are probably right but have you been inside DPW? Have you walked through what is left of that building? Have you seen the deplorable working conditions? Would the Library be satisfied at that location? NO Would School Administration be satisfied? NO.

Until DPW gets “fast tracked” to the head of the line, this voter is NOT supporting any further building, renovation, expansion, or whatever projects. No matter how it gets “fast tracked”.

When you consider the health and wellbeing of our employees and the expense of keeping all our service equipment in the condition it should be kept in, fields, libraries, and anything else they want must wait. The Library and the Schools are functioning. DPW is surviving. Barely.

Doreen Taylor
Seekonk, Mass

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