It’s for bathrooms, and it’s a good deal

It’s for bathrooms, and it’s a good deal

In regards to Mike Davis’s letter to the editor titled “Who is in charge” I feel it is necessary to clear up a lot of misinformation. Unfortunately this misinformation is not the result of confusion of the facts, but of purposely misleading people in order to get them to agree with a particular point of view.

Part of the town’s agreement with the developer is once the solar farm receives final approval from the Town Council the developer will pay the town an upfront payment of just under $195,000. What we got him to agree on is in lieu of that payment he will build bathrooms and a concession stand at Veterans Memorial Field. If we were to build the bathrooms ourselves it would cost approximately $325,000. Conservatively, construction costs increase approximately 6 percent per year. In just five years the cost will increase over $100,000. But in real money since we are having the developer do this in lieu of the one time payment our cost to do this in just five years would increase to over $230,000. Having the developer build the bathrooms and concession stand in lieu of the one-time payment is a great deal for our town. We are getting approximately $325,000 of value in place of an up front payment of $195,000. Where else could we make 40 percent on an investment?

So why does it cost so much money to build something that seems so simple? It would not cost much at all if we had sewers running up Rt. 5. However since we don’t we need to tie into the existing septic system at the middle school and high school. DEM will not allow us to just do that without a lot of data showing the current system can handle the additional flow. This requires engineering studies, DEM permits and approvals, flow testing just to name a few of the hurdles. All this takes time and money. And then the actual tie-in will be costly.

Mr. Davis and those opposed to this idea have called it just about everything other than what it is – a hot dog stand, a lemonade stand, a concession stand – but not once do they refer to it as what it really is: bathrooms. A clean sanitary place for our children to go to the bathroom and wash their hands when they are done. Currently that does not exist. If you have to mislead people to get them to side with your argument then maybe you don’t have a very good argument. Not everyone agrees on everything but at least let people make an informed decision.

Currently what we have there are dirty smelly porta-jons with graffiti on the inside. Supporting this does not mean you support the solar farm. If the solar farm does happen let’s get as much as we possibly can for our town from the developer. It would be nice to get some kind of community benefit out of the deal in addition to taxes.

John Beauregard

North Smithfield

Beauregard is the former council president.