RANT: OK, am I the only one who is confused re the dead deal between our fire department and Warwick?
Here is what I am not getting:
Apparently, around $162,000 was spent on equipment for both towns but the only town opening up its wallet was East Greenwich. Despite this, only $15,000 of the $162,000 was used to update our fire department’s infrastructure.
Why did Warwick get a $147,000 free ride? This wasn’t like taking a car out for a test drive before borrowing it. This was like taking the car home, using it and not even sending a thank-you note (since apparently, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian didn’t even bother to return Fire Chief Henrickson’s follow-up calls).
And another thing – when can we have the equipment back? To hopscotch to a new analogy, this isn’t a no-fault divorce wherein each of the fire departments split up their toys. There was never even a common-law marriage, let alone a sentimental-exchange-of-vows-chuck-the-rice-throw-a-shindig kind, and the equipment is not the equivalent of a family dog that now requires custody rights worked out. We paid for it and therefore it seems reasonable that it is ours. (And that old adage possession is nine-tenths of the law only works on school playgrounds.)
While we are on the subject of fire districts, here is another thing I am not clear on (it’s that sort of a day). I saw recently that Warwick fire fighters were practicing their skills on that house next to 1149 on Division. Um, while they are in the neighborhood and apparently now have updated equipment, can they move another 800 meters or so west on Division and practice on that house that is falling down and is therefore truly a fire hazard? What is the story with that place? I get a hard time for wanting to put storm windows on my historic-only-in-that-it-is-completely-not-insulated house and that jumble of shingles, which seems deserving of an original townie plaque, is allowed to fall to pieces.
Now, you might be thinking, what happens in Warwick stays in Warwick (like our fire equipment), but a nearby property's overgrown yard, peeling paint and clutter can easily knock 5 percent to 10 percent off the sale price of a home, according to the Appraisal Institute. A true disaster - like the Division place - can devalue property by as much as 20 percent. I imagine that even if the neighbors in that neck of the woods think our town can absorb the $147,000 because of an almost-deal gone sour, they might not be so pleased to have their home devalued by someone else’s (someone else who lives in Warwick) negligence. In case you are one of those neighbors and feel the need to take action, the state Building Code Standards Committee’s website is www.ribcc.ci.gov. May the force be with you!
RAVE: to the point where I have actually got my tweet toes wet. That’s right, I was a Twitter virgin up until now. Though I doubt I will ever have my own hashtag since my motto is why say in 140 characters what I can say in 3,000?
So last week, @EG_Problems mentioned pot holes. Which I frankly love. The way I see it, they are a cheap version of a speed bump. And they cost the town nothing. A win-win – except for EG’s Mercedes. (If you don’t count the spaces, that counts as an official tweet!)