Clifford’s financial assumptions incorrect

Clifford’s financial assumptions incorrect

Mr. Michael Clifford is at it yet again.

Mr. Clifford in a paid ad seeks to once again dissuade the residents of North Smithfield.

First and foremost, he continues to make assumptions that simply are not true. The proposed document and report to be presented to the North Smithfield Council about the space use at former Kendall Dean School absolutely does address housing the School Department and Municipal Offices under one roof. The recommendations, which will become public soon, meet 100 percent of the criteria and general intent of the bond passed and language within. If Mr. Clifford would stop making assumptions this town would be better represented.

The money spent on Architectural Services by previous boards for the original bid process was not well spent. However this needs further clarification. The Contract for Architectural Services to produce bid and construction documents was $277,632; plus additional services budgeted at $30,188, bringing the total to $307,820. Of the $307,820 there remains $68,283 for Construction Administrative Services; which have not been used nor paid.

So, the total dollars expended against the contract is in fact $239,537. There are minor additional costs billed against that agreement, but they have never been approved. I’m not sure how Mr. Clifford arrived at a figure of $415,000 (which he claims was spent on plans) but I’m sure it’s incorrect. Let Mr. Clifford justify his broad based, inflated, and un-supported figures.

Were the taxpayers duped as he would suggest? They were duped by some of the more influential members of the previous council; and others who directed the architect to proceed and spend money for construction documents, knowing fully well the project in its entirety could not ever be completed. There was no excuse for this as the previous council approved $7,500 to the PBIC to hire a consultant to properly price out the scope of the work to be accomplished; and they chose not to. It’s like having a budget and financing to build a 2,000-square-foot home and insisting on designing and building a 5,000-square-foot home. In the end you still do not have enough money and now you have a set of plans you paid for which you can’t use.

We were also duped by some of those same people, who borrowed the entire bond proceeds prior to even having a contractor on board and an approved project. Now, we are paying interest on the entire amount borrowed; instead of borrowing the money as needed, using BAN’s (Bond Anticipation Notes).

That’s being fiscally irresponsible.

We will have a recommendation through this process which will have a scope of work recommended with an estimate to complete the work; which we will be able to afford, and be within the confines of the bond passed for this work. This is what should have been done by previous people involved in the process; had this been done, we would not be in the situation we are now in.

David Chamberland

North Smithfield