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Letter: Westport squandered 18.5 percent of road budget so far on Beach Avenue

By   /   October 2, 2013  /   3 Comments

To the editor:

It is my understanding that the state provided the town $676,000 for 2013 routine road maintenance.

At this point, a conservative estimate of  what the town has spent on Beach Avenue is around $125,000. It will take  a lot more money to “correct unapproved cut and removal of coastal  dune,” as the DEP has ordered. It will take even more money to pave  the allowed part of the road.

Meanwhile East Beach Road remains in terrible shape, and there are no  visible middle or white side lines on many of our main roads. Former  Highway Surveyor Jack Sisson is under indictment for unlawfully liquidating town property, larceny, and conspiracy. The town is trying to sell road equipment over EBay. And, Westport is only able to  afford a part-time town administrator. The schools are in dire need of repair, general maintenance,

and better equipment. Our municipal buildings are a mess.

Westporters should be mad as hell over the squandering of our  municipal and state tax dollars!

Constance Gee

Westport

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About the author

Sakonnet & Westport Editor

3 Comments

  1. westportknows says:

    Here we go again, more baseless facts. How did you come up with $125,000? Do you have payroll records for the Highway Dept. and who was assigned to the job and what days?
    Constance, you have lost the battle and the road will be paved and is open. Instead of continuing the fight why don’t You be part of the bigger picture and the solution.
    Enough already!

    • As a rule, I do not engage with hecklers who hide behind pseudonyms. But for you, Westportknowslittle, I will make this single exception.

      The Town of Westport began plowing up Beach Avenue on August 26th. For six weeks, 3-5 men operating 3 to 4 heavy machines have worked almost daily, often logging substantial overtime. A low hourly cost estimate per one man and machine is $125. (This figure was provided by a well-respected local contractor who noted that it could easily be more, as public employees generally have a much better pension package than do privately hired workers.)

      Three men operating machines would be $375/hr. Six weeks of work (240 hours) would tally $90,000. This sum does not include administrative overhead, i.e., the many hours spent on this project by Selectmen, the Town Administrator, the Conservation Commission agent, or the head of the highway department.

      The sum of $90,000 does not include work done by the Town to clear the road after Hurricane Sandy—during which the Town worked for two solid weeks to remove even more sand and loam than it did this time around.

      As of 2010, the town changed its policy regarding its post-storm treatment of Beach Avenue. Rather than pushing sand to the side of the road or redistributing it to areas where it had washed away, the Town began trucking out the sand. This has meant that this fragile barrier beach has been robbed of thousands of cubic yards of sand, soil, and vegetation over the past three years.

      I will not reply further to you, or to anyone, who is too cowardly to sign a comment with his or her real name.

  2. westportknows says:

    You cannot say they blew 125K of the 671K when in fact the 671K is for road resurfacing and repair not the maintenance of clearing the road. The work done initially is not covered, nor is the Conservation Agent, or other overhead charges you listed. The 671K is strictly for road repair which would encompass the most recent work only. This means the other work that has been done which you so unwisely included, actually comes out of the already established operating budgets of the departments.
    Just so you know almost everyone I talk to is thrilled about the road being opened and having access to the beautiful beaches.
    Enjoy your day.
    We should all smoke a “peace pipe” one day and get a plan together.

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