Currier Park sale complete

Currier Park sale complete

Building official, engineer give all clear signal re: mine concerns

CUMBERLAND - Civic Builders of New York took ownership of the Currier Park last Friday, paying the town the full asking price of $249,000, even as state Rep. Jim McLaughlin continued to raise red flags about construction of a new middle school in a neighborhood that's experienced a couple of cave-ins related to two 19th-century coal mining operations.

At the same time, Building Official Neil Hall told The Breeze an outside consultant has finished reviewing the geotechnical designed-based report of Pare Engineering in Lincoln and verified its finding that there's no indication of danger from underground voids.

"I have gone to the maximum extent the building code allows," Hall told The Breeze about reviewing the project in anticipation of issuing a building permit.

Noting that he's not a geologist, Hall said that state law permits a community to seek out a peer review, that is, a review of the engineering work by a disinterested third party. Hall says the state Building Official's Office recommended the extra precaution. The peer review was performed by a firm of Cumberland's choice, Barry S. Porter & Associates of Cambridge, Mass., he said.

It reviewed the findings of 14 test borings scattered around the 1.3-acre site, some of which were 25 feet deep.

Neither coal nor voids were reported.

According to the technical report, which restates Pare's findings, the profile was reported "to consist of up to about 8.5 feet of existing granular fill overlying up to about 9 feet of naturally deposited glacial outwash sand overlying up to about 9 feet of naturally deposited ground moraine" or glacial debris.

Groundwater was found in three of the test boring at depths of about 10 to 15 feet.

Currier Park, across from Town Hall on Broad Street, was offered for sale early this year by the town at the suggestion of Mayor McKee, who said developing the site could enhance economic development more than a park.

Later, Blackstone Valley Prep, the mayoral academy founded by McKee, was the single best-bidder for the land and acquired it after concessions were offered about parking and traffic concerns. Civic Builders will build and own the three-story middle school building and lease it to BV Prep in an arrangement that could lead to the school acquiring it.

It will have no basement, it will stand 76.5 feet tall and cover 18,450 square feet of the site.

McLaughlin, who represents Central Falls and Valley Falls at the General Assembly, has been virtually a lone voice on the dangers he perceives in the area, although the district's Town Council member, Manuel DaCosta, also opposed the school construction.

Last week he secured information from the federal Department of the Interior that in May of 2005, following a cave-in on Chase Street, recommended filling the hole that was 6 feet in diameter and widened to 12 feet beneath the surface and extended 17 feet vertically.

Within weeks it was accomplished by J.H. Lynch & Sons.

Mayor Daniel McKee has been critical of McLaughlin's aggressive challenges to the school plan, suggesting "this is nonsense and needs to stop."

McKee says McLaughlin could jeopardize area homeowners and businesses as they attempt to sell or secure refinancing from lenders or buyers who become skittish about the area.

About the town's inspection of the school building going forward, McKee said Cumberland has monitored the construction of far larger buildings at the Highland Corporate Park. "This is not a difficult task and we will make sure it is done right."

The Currier-Chace Play Lot and Currier Park is named for Andrew Currier, a mid-19th century Fall River native who was an agent for the Albion Company and Valley Falls companies, served on the Town Council for six years and was a member of the Republican State Central Committee. He was married in 1875 to Lucy Clark, a daughter of John Clark, the long-time town clerk who managed the town.

The mansion Currier built at this site was occupied by a daughter, Carrie Currier, until her death at age 91 in 1966. The town demolished the structure and carriage house after years of neglect and created the park.

It's expected to be replaced by a recreation site behind the nearby B.F. Norton School and another community area on Wildwood Street where the town acquired the Sousa family's flooded-out residence using federal funds.

Comments

The sky is falling the sky is falling....the ground is sinking the ground is sinking...too funny. We can only imagine how he represents Cumberland at the State house.

Well you may not like his style but he is probably one of the few reps that doesn't have their own agenda. Elections next year have at it .

Unfortunately it's not style that counts, but substance. Give a 100 on style....not much done in the substance category.

Our Representative may have gotten a little over-agressive on this...., however, lets also give credit where credit is do? Jim is a responcible, caring, concerned and honest indivdual....further he could be considered one of the most honest state reps out there or elected in a long time!

Also, less we forget....what he spoke of WERE FACT and until the issue surfaced, it was a potential issue that also was kept very quiet....were it not?

Having lived in the Valley I am aware of a number of these sink-holes....and some of them were good sized. As a matter of fact, and I mentioned this once before here on the Breeze's Comment Section....the day we were moving out of our home in the Valley, a large sink hole droped in the middle of our street.

If you all are going to comment....how about commenting on the Royal Screw Job that our esteemed mayor (Wanna-Be Lt. Governor - God help us!!) gave to the residents and taxpayers of that part of our town....ignoring their wishes and that of their elected Town Councilman, by taking away the only playground, an area for the local youth to gather and play at!

OK....McKee says there will be another playground.

Then if that is going to happen, I want to, as should everyone in Valley Falls, and our Town Council, want to see that new playground constructed, up and running before the old Currier Playground is touched?

Is that fair....or is it not?

No worries, when BVP falls into the sinkhole, Mayor or maybe Lt. Governor McKee will swoop in, and rescue all the students and teachers with his super-hero cape flapping in the breeze.

Alfa, Rep is lying. #1 says he is doing to save from sink whole, wrong. Doing it because he is against BVP but will not admit it. #2 If so worried why hasn't he moved to evacuate the area residents? Because he knows there is no danger. #3 In one of your rear moments of getting the facts right..."WERE FACTS" PAST...professional engineers say there isn't an issue. #4 That was NOT A PARK stop it...it was a hang out for adults who played soccer at night. PERIOD. Stop letting your hatred for McKee spill over into every darn issue.