What Goes Around …
Guest Post by Michael Chambers (guest posts are moderated, but not approved or endorsed by the CCA Steering Committee)
Well over a year ago, I proposed that the state could increase employment by focusing on the repair of our declining infrastructure. Roads, bridges, culverts, sewer systems and transmission facilities in this state need to be addressed. If there is an inventory statewide of crumbling facilities, our legislators are putting it on the back burner. What will it take to get our legislators to recognize that there is a real problem with our roads and sewers? Forty years ago we knew that a one-inch rainfall caused the Providence water treatment facility to be bypassed and runoff went directly into Narragansett Bay. And we wonder why the bay is in poor health and the shellfish growing beds north of Prudence Island are consistently closed to shell fishing!! I proposed that the state should pay attention to what it has and to improve and maintain its infrastructure by funding reclamation projects. I stated that Rhode Island should stop spending money like drunken sailors on unnecessary projects like affordable housing that benefited only the developers. I was roundly criticized by the Town Democratic Committee members.
Recently, the Administration has set its sights on the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and is offering grants for proposals that will resurface, revitalize, and retrofit our roads, bridges, culverts and sewer systems. This is above and beyond the current grant programs that are underfunded. Now the Administration sees that taking care of what we have can create jobs and help the country get out of the economic problems that have existed for the past decade. Good for them, they are beginning to get it. Stop the continual development that rapes the land and take care of what we have. Smart developers will be able to reinvent themselves from end-game purveyors to maintenance services. Even the local Democratic Town Council members are jumping on the bandwagon. I guess the word from Washington was all it took. These politicos do not have the foresight and native intelligence to see that local issues do not need Washington to solve the problem. I hope that in the future the local Democratic Party and Republican Party start thinking on their own because if they don’t the Charlestown citizens will do it themselves.