Letter: Flooding concerns prevent support of school bond

Posted 10/19/23

While the district leaders, architects, and engineers attempted to paint a rosy picture of the new high school and the building procedure, they completely failed to assuage the fears and concerns of myself and my neighbors who have been suffering from flooded yards and basements for decades.

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Letter: Flooding concerns prevent support of school bond

Posted

To the editor:

Last Wednesday I attended the presentation held by the Bristol-Warren School District specifically geared toward the neighbors and abutters of the the proposed new Mt. Hope High School, and while I was grateful to the district leaders for inviting myself and my neighbors to this presentation, unfortunately I left with more doubts and concerns about this project than I arrived with.

While the district leaders, architects, and engineers attempted to paint a rosy picture of the new high school and the building procedure, they completely failed to assuage the fears and concerns of myself and my neighbors who have been suffering from flooded yards and basements for decades due to the present high school being built on top of environmentally sensitive wetlands.

And while we all were unified in our concerns for exacerbated flooding issues should this project move forward, I want to make it clear that I do not put the blame on the current elected leaders for these flooding issues, as they are the result of inept politicians and town leaders making the terrible decision to build the present school on top of a large creek back in the early 1960's.

The group putting on the presentation heard from myself and numerous neighbors detailing how our flooding problems became worse over the years with projects such as the expansion of Mt. Hope High School when regionalization was approved and the more recent renovation of the athletic practice fields on the north side of the property, but for me the most poignant moment of the meeting was when a long time former Town Council member — who resides nowhere near the high school and dealt with many flooding issues in town while in office — expressed concerns about potential flooding far downstream of the high school, potentially extending all the way to the southern end of Wood Street, should the new school be built at its current location.

I have been very public about my support for a new high school as it is obvious the present school is in deplorable condition, but to build another environmental nightmare on top of an existing environmental nightmare is foolish, reckless, and a waste of taxpayer dollars. Due to the concerns myself and my neighbors have been raising for years about flooding problems in the area, I will be voting against this project when we go to the polls next month, and encourage my fellow voters to do the same.

Mike Proto
245 Chestnut St.

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