This past Monday night the North Kingstown Town Council voted to have a special election in November to put before the voters the question to allow the town council and the town manager to spend an additional $7.5 million on the renovation of the former town hall. This is on top of the $5 million that the voters approved last November for a total of $12.5 million.

The vote was 4-1. I voted against this measure as the voters will not know prior to the vote what the town council will be doing with the money since they will not present any plans for the building or what renovations will be made to the building for the voters to review. Without plans they will not have a budget. Without the plans they can not go out for contractors to bid on the project. I have made this appeal to the town council on two occasions.

So why are we proceeding with this vote?

If you went to a bank for a construction loan you might get an approval based on your credit rating but the bank would still want to know what they would be financing. They would want to see your plans and specifications to make sure that there is sufficient value in your project to warrant approving your loan request. They would also want to see a contract from a registered contractor as well. You will not have this to review before the vote in November, why?

I am not against renovating the town hall but I believe that we should know what we are buying before the vote in November. You would not do this to your family or expect your bank to approve a loan without this information. Why would you vote for this in November? We should also know what the intended use of the renovated building will be. Will the town offices return to the building, if so how many?

Please join me in November to vote against this bond request until we have the information that we need to make an intelligent decision for the Town of North Kingstown. We need an open and transparent discussion about this bond issue before this vote, we deserve it.

Richard Welch

Town Councilor

Town of North Kingstown

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