Wait a minute. Let’s put the responsibility where it belongs.
True, the Poverty Hollow Bridge didn’t open before school began, but it did open before the contractual deadline. And the builder had absolutely no obligation for completing the project earlier than the contracted date. Ms. Ketchum even stated (Pilot 8/23) the builder was blameless.
The responsibility for the additional $600 per day of transportation cost needed for additional buses, drivers and rerouting the system for the Region 9 school district seems to lie directly with Selectman Ketchum and Mr. Alvarez.
The authorization for the project was not made at the spring budget referendum. It could have been, but that would have given the town the truthful figure of how much we are really spending.
Therefore, it was delayed until a town meeting could be urgently called for June 27 where less than two dozen residents could authorize to borrow/bond the additional expenditure.
With honest foresight the project could/should have begun when school closed on June 25. The town even had bids in hand before the special town meeting was called, but still didn’t authorize construction until July 23. Even a fifth grader would know that doesn’t leave the contracted 60 days for construction before beginning school.
So who’s to pay for this folly? Mr. Alvarez wants Region 9 to absorb the additional $600 per day transportation cost. This means, of course, Easton would/must share the expense. Squeezing Easton to pay for our town hall’s inept decisions does not good neighbors make. No, the entire cost should/must be paid by Redding.
Mr. Alvarez and the Redding finance board need to cough up the entire $600 per day additional transportation expense, NOT the Region 9 school board NOR the town of Easton.
Then the folly needs remembering at the town’s next election.
Ronald Wendschuh, Redding