The High Cost of Not Building a Concrete Plant

Projo has an article talking about the problems with finding funds to cover the costs of buying out Cullion to keep the concrete plant from being built. From the Projo:

CRANSTON  The city’s plan to buy the land on which a company had wanted to open a concrete-batching plant is slowly moving forward, but city taxpayers might be paying a bigger share of the $1.9 million price than first thought.

It turns out that some $700,000 in federal housing money — the last financing piece that city officials announced last year as they moved to buy the site — is not going to help after all.

The reason: Much of the 17.7-acre property owned by Cullion Concrete Corp., of South Kingstown, lies in a floodplain, which presents a serious problem for anyone looking to build housing, let alone government-subsidized affordable housing, city officials said this week.

Like Emilio says, the good news is that there is “nothing going on over there.” That’s as it should be. The plan to build anything on that land, particularly an industrial site, were ill-conceived to say the least. But the cost to fix this problem could not have come at a worse time — and possibly could have been prevented all together if the Laffey administration hadn’t given permission to Cullion in the first place.


4 thoughts on “The High Cost of Not Building a Concrete Plant

  1. Imagine my surprise when I found a lazily-written article written by a ProJo reporter! Here’s the problem: “…city taxpayers might be paying a bigger share of the $1.9 million price than first thought.”

    Not until four paragraphs later do we learn that the city has $260,000 in one account and $6 million in bond funds — plus $620,000 from previously approved bonds — that it can apply to the settlement.

    If you didn’t read the entire article, you’d think Cranston is headed for a tax hike over the concrete plant.

    Now, technically — very technically — it can be argued that city money is tax money, and any spending of city funds represents “city taxpayers… paying a bigger share” of the settlement.

    But wouldn’t it have been more accurate (not to mention much less sensational) to explain the reserve funds available to the city earlier in the piece?

    All of that said, it’s good news that the city will still not have a dust-spewing concrete plant. It’s also nice not to read some kind of pithy comment from John Mancini.

  2. “…city taxpayers might be paying a bigger share of the $1.9 million price than first thought.�

    Right on Jesse. When I asked Kiersten to post this article that was the glaring issue I too had. The nice part is we know Laffey made the initial bad move and Napolitano further continued carried that bad move with the signing of the bogus lottery ticket to Cullion. Then stating he had the funds from the CDBG Grant which the CCRZD Board knew there was NO possibility of ever happening due to the Biologists report and our separate conversations with that department’s folks determined this was an empty pocket the politicians were posturing that the ‘monies’ were in place and there. We know, have known, and now the public is learning the funding was scantyly laid out. Nappy obviously knew Fung would deal with this – and to Fung’s merit, I do believe he has the ability to deal with it unlike Nappy.

    As the CCRZD, SCOS and PRA worked together to write, push and get the Open Space Ballot passed, it was our intent to use some of the funding towards Cullion’s Arc which stands in the center of his land. We wondered why a boat was in the middle of the erecta set’s land – maybe for the workers to have shelter during the often flooded grounds…or, perhaps when he get’s his lottery ticket he will high tail it out of town!

    Mandatory – Emilio and the other City officials MUST make Cullion pay for the cleanup. The City (taxpayers should not incur this cost). In a recent conversation with Emilio he stated that Cullion has already paid $30,000 in cleanup inferring this was a lot. Sorry, I don’t have any symphathy and as I said to him, that’s peanuts compared to the Lottery Ticket he’s going to be cashing in on. I would rather see him clean up all the “spilled oil on the driveway” type stuff and the other worse things than to overlook this.

    Jesse, we all need to continue pressuring the Administration and to be supportive of them to ensure some of these issues are met.

  3. Suzanne:

    I’ve stated this in previous threads, but I offer it again here: Let’s at least give Nap credit for stopping the concrete plant. Arguably, it wasn’t the “best” solution — but you have to agree that it’s better than having the plant at all.

    You may also remember that I originally proposed a payment of $500,000 in comment 7 here:

    (Later in the same thread, comment 11, you agreed with this idea, in fact.)

    So I’m not all that happy with a payment of $1.9 million. But, I would argue, we’d all be much more upset with a multi-million dollar clean-up if something went wrong with the plant.

    As for Nap vs. Fung, it seems that Fung will just be writing the checks. Nap got the ball rolling.

  4. i see what both jesse and suzanne are stating… but lest we forget… most of the area is a floodplain… which is exactly what some of the people who were against the plant said from day one. a floodplain. water water everywhere. you put a concrete plant in the area and screw up the area geologically for eons. Cullion might own it, but it is worthless to them. they cant build said concrete plant there. they cant put crap there. while they sat and waited for the big payoff they end up getting screwed, or should be… offer to purchase the place from them for 225 thousand… gives them more than double what they paid for it. seeing that property values have diminised, they should take it… or just hold a useless wetland that they cannot build an outhouse on.

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