Letter: New water pump station was built by PWFD

Posted 5/10/21

To the editor:

Most Portsmouth residents probably haven’t noticed the new water pump station that the Portsmouth Water and Fire District (PWFD) had constructed at the west end of Union …

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Letter: New water pump station was built by PWFD

Posted

To the editor:

Most Portsmouth residents probably haven’t noticed the new water pump station that the Portsmouth Water and Fire District (PWFD) had constructed at the west end of Union Street next to the old pump station (vintage 1965), that it replaced. 

Portsmouth residents and especially PWFD rate and taxpayers should know that the project came in under the authorized bond amount, under budget, and under the contracted amount. Unfortunately it did not come in on schedule. It seems that the pump distributor or the pump manufacturer didn’t read the specifications. That situation was corrected, but cost us a delayed completion. Kudos to the engineering firm.

One has to take note of the mandatory signage that announced the job to the public, posted onsite and paid for as part of the job. That means that PWFD rate and taxpayers footed the bill. The sign did not even identify the owner of the project (PWFD). The sign purports to proclaim that the EPA paid for the project — funded by the EPA. Baloney; that is a lie. The rate and taxpayers will pay — fund — the project. 

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (RIIB) has its nose in the tent. They borrowed the money for the PWFD to pay for the project. The PWFD rate and taxpayers will foot the bill and pay the money back. To give credit where credit is due, one must commend RIIB employees for their help. They cleared the way through bureaucratic maze to get the job done. 

The same can be said for Department of Health employees who navigated the labyrinth of state agencies and regulations to help bring they project to completion. Perhaps they do belong on the sign. Governor “on time on budget” (aka Raimondo) played no role in the project. Her name and role figure prominently. Could she even find Union Street? 

In closing, I am reminded of a demonstration at the dedication of a bridge in Massachusetts. The sign read, “Built by Democrats, dedicated by Republicans.” No one carried a sign paid for by the tax- and toll-payers. Please note the members of the PWFD Administrative Board or PWFD employees are not mentioned in the signage. This is as it should be.

Philip Driscoll

169 Immokolee Drive

Portsmouth

Mr. Driscoll is chairman of the Portsmouth Water and Fire District’s Administrative Board.

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