Ladouceur aims to cut sewer assessments

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Sixty percent of work on Phase III of Governor Francis sewers is completed, with most of the pipe in the ground and crews now concentrating on stubs for home connections.

But the cost to the homeowners, projected at $21,000, remains a concern and Janine Burke-Wells, director of the Warwick Sewer Authority, said Tuesday the authority continues to look at ways to reduce assessments that are calculated by dividing the cost of the entire project by the total properties that could link to the system.

Meanwhile, Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur renewed his plea that the cost of repaving roads after the installation of sewers should be shared by all city taxpayers. Ladouceur said Wednesday he plans to introduce a resolution or ordinance – “whatever it takes” – to make that the practice. Should the cost of repaving be borne by the city, he estimates assessment costs would drop 20 to 25 percent.

Burke-Wells said an option being explored is lowering the interest rate on assessment payments. Depending on the terms of the bonds the authority is able to procure, the homeowner can choose a payment schedule of up to 30 years. The authority has the ability to tack on additional interest above the rate it is borrowing the money to cover administrative costs. Burke-Wells said the authority is looking at eliminating that add-on that could reduce assessment interest costs by close to 2 percent.

After winning election in 2012, Ladouceur made bringing sewers to the Bayside section of the ward and completing other sewer projects like Governor Francis a priority. As the commission he formed examined the cost of sewers and the impact on assessments, Ladouceur argued roads are open to everyone and that when repaving is completed in other parts of the city residents on either side of the road are not expected to foot the cost.

“I have changed my feelings,” he said Wednesday. “I’m even more aggressive that the cost of roads should come off [the cost] of sewers.”

He said taxpayers in his ward are already paying for road repaving but “they have been deprived of sewers because of the failure of government over the last 20 years.” He said because prior administrations didn’t follow through with sewers for Bayside, not only did they lose government subsidy programs but costs went up.

“They’re already paying their fair share of roads,” he said of Ward 5 taxpayers.

If enacted, Ladouceur sees the removal of repaving costs from assessments applying to all sewer projects taken on with the $33 million in bonding approved by the council. He said he envisions it applying to O’Donnell Hill sewers in Ward 8 as well as Greenwood sewers in Ward 7.

Senator Michael McCaffrey, whose district includes Governor Francis, is well familiar with the assessment issue. He heard about it while campaigning for the primary election. He said Tuesday he believes enabling legislation gives the City Council the power to deduct repaving expenses from the assessment.

Burke-Wells said the authority would review a $265,194.56 change order claim received from Governor Francis contractor C.B. Utility for ledge encountered during construction. Other than that unexpected additional cost, she said the project bid for $5.7 million is on budget and on time.

She also reported that plantings to School Department property, which is part of John Brown Francis School, on Lansdowne Road that had been cleared of more than 80 trees as a staging area for the sewer project, would take place soon. An alternate site was found for the storage of project materials and to park equipment. Burke-Wells thought the plantings should be completed by Oct. 15.

In response to sightings of rats in the neighborhood in the wake of the sewer project, she said that Falcon Pest Control is setting traps to address the problem. She didn’t have a report on a number of rodents trapped.

Burke-Wells said that work on the pump station situated at the southerly end of Lansdowne Road would be done over the winter. Assessments to property owners would not be levied until the system is operational which “at the earliest” would be October 2019, she said.

Comments

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richardcorrente

Councilman and Finance Chair Ed Ladouceur is right. All taxpayers use the roads, and therefore all taxpayers should pay that portion of the sewer cost. He's also right that the homeowner should pay to hook-up and also, if the homeowner decides not to hook-up there should be a smaller no-hook-up fee. He has dedicated hundreds of hours to this project and deserves credit for handling it so well. No one wants to pay money, but this is the best, lowest cost solution to a century old and growing problem. Well done Councilman Ladouceur.

Happy September everyone.

Thursday, September 20
CrickeeRaven

This is what happened when the two-time election loser addressed the finance committee recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QExsTpKBshQ&feature=youtu.be#t=62m04s

Based on this behavior, it is a certainty that Councilman Ladouceur would give no regard to the two-time loser's opinion of him or his work on this issue.

It is also telling that the two-time loser supports taxing all residents for the installation of sewer lines in one area of the city.

For someone who claimed to want to cut taxes, the two-time loser is again proving that his failed campaign slogans were nothing but empty words.

Thursday, September 20
Scal1024

2 of the biggest issues facing our city:

-Keeping our beaches clean

-Affordable sewer Installation

Rick Correntes solution to solving both? Raising taxes on everyone. This is precisely the reason I decided to call out the behavior of the tax delinquent, TWO TIME LOSER, make believe mayor Corrente. "Cut taxes, cut spending" is a nice little slogan, but when you look at the cities finances logically, and put pen to paper there is no way ANY CANDIDATE is cutting taxes anytime soon. The city just can't afford the loss in revenue. There is

As far as Correntes pathetic display on the microphone in front of the City Council this week...all I can say is wow! Not only are his words incoherent, he is quickly cut off by Ed Ladoucer who explains that Corrente must stick to the topic. In typical Rick Corrente fashion he tells Councilman Ladoucer "I am sticking to the topic" (even though he wasn't). In fact, Corrente was so off topic that Councilman Ladoucer had to raise his voice again and say "MR CORRENTE, YOU ARE NOT STICKING TO THE TOPIC!" All because Rick wanted to make some weak, uninformed, blabbering statement on departments overspending. It served no purpose and it actually left everyone in the room dumber for having heard it. Whether it was his debate against Scott Avedisian, where Mayor Avedisian cleaned his clock, or whether he's stumbling and stammering at the mic during Council meetings Rick Corrente has proven he is indeed NOT ready for primetime. Although he may not see it, Warwick voters see Rick Corrente for the disingenuous fraud that he is.

Thursday, September 20
PhillipDrummond

Wow. Not your finest moment there Corrente

Thursday, September 20
Thecaptain

Aren't you all glad that I was diligent enough to bring to your attention the stammering fool's address at the council finance meeting? Now, to the issue at hand. When sewers went in my neighborhood, I paid for the assessment, there were no programs in place to defray the costs of my construction to be shared with the entire city. Why should I have to contribute through my user fees, to pay for the construction costs of other neighborhoods?

Thursday, September 20
Cat2222

Sewers were brought in to different parts of the city at different times. Did they charge all taxpayers for the cost of the roads at that time or just the residents living on those particular streets? I am all for sharing the burden in support of the general overall quality of our city but how fair would it be to the rest of the city residents who had to pay the bill without the same assistance?

Thursday, September 20
Reality

Mr. Ladouceur caused the problem and now he wants to be the Knight in shining armor who solves it.....incredible.....the cost for these sewers was known 5 yrs ago but he is only focusing on the fiscal hardship for the homeowners....unbelievable

Thursday, September 20
Scal1024

Rob, first...great job sticking up for Jim Dorney the other night. He always took great care of that place and it gets a lot of use. Its a shame that people would choose to take cheap shots at him, unfairly. Second, on sewer assesments you are right. Nobody was there to help get my costs down, why is it my obligation to help fund someone else's project? There has to be a better solution.

Thursday, September 20
Thecaptain

Scal,

For any Municipal worker to take a cheap shot at a dedicated employee like Jim Dorney, in my opinion is beyond contemptuous in simply leads to questioning the motivation of doing so.

Without getting into all of the details which I would be glad to do so at a later date, when the WSA did the Sandy Lane sewer project with d'ambra, are you aware that they had no Commodities escalation clause in the contract. That oversight cost the taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars.

Notwithstanding the documented code violations and overbilling that took place for certain activities that were bound by contract which were never performed.

These projects historically have been shown to indicate unprofessional poor management. More later.

Thursday, September 20
richardcorrente

Dear Scal and PhillipDrummond,

The matter is not raising or not raising taxes. It's how to decide how the taxes are spent. Here's how I feel.

1. The cost of the road work for the sewers should be spread to all taxpayers since all taxpayers use the roads. That won't raise taxes, just take them from one place and spread them over others.

2. The cost of keeping our beaches clean: Right now that total cost is on all the taxpayers. If the beachgoers take over that cost, the taxpayers would actually PAY LESS. That would NOT raise taxes like Scal is trying to con you into believing. It will CUT them. Please don't read Scal1024. He's an anonymous coward who has NO DESIRE to "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending". Makes you think "He must be on the receiving end". Doesn't it.

As far as me stumbling at the mic. You're right. I did. Who cares? I wanted to get across the need to use a carrot and the stick approach. Reward departments who do well and penalize departments who, as Ed Ladouceur said, "boggle the mind" referring to an improper invoice. I got half way through it and Ed cut me off because he didn't believe I was sticking to the topic. He was wrong. I was. It's part of The Corrente Plan. You can read it at "correnteformayor.com. What is still puzzling is how Scal can hide behind a fake name and call ANYONE a "disingenuous fraud".

Happy September everyone.

Friday, September 21
Thecaptain

Rick,

You add nothing of intelligence to the conversation.

Friday, September 21
WwkVoter

the "corrente plan" - repeat the same behavior, expecting different results...

Friday, September 21
CrickeeRaven

The two-time loser continues to humiliate himself with every new comment, just as he publicly humiliated himself with his second futile campaign that ended with a blowout loss on Sept. 12.

Just look at his last comment -- he's trying to say that raising taxes isn't actually raising taxes, then saying that imposing parking fees, i.e. new taxes on drivers, isn't actually raising taxes.

And then there's his after-the-fact arguing about his atrocious and pathetic behavior at the city council meeting as shown at the video shared above [for which, Thecaptain, I apologize for not crediting you as the original source earlier].

"Ed cut me off because he didn't believe I was sticking to the topic. He was wrong."

No, Councilman Ladouceur was correct when he found the two-time loser to be out of order -- because he was. Council,an Ladouceur is the only person, by virtue of his position as chairman, with the right to determine when a speaker is adhering to the order of the meeting.

No amount of arguing on this website by the two-time loser will change that fact.

The thousands of honest, taxpaying voters who rejected the two-time loser's candidacy are having a happy September knowing that his false statements and disregard for actual elected officials justified their overwhelming rejection of his candidacy.

Friday, September 21
Scal1024

Rick Corrente would love for all readers to stop reading my comments. After all, I've had more of an impact this election cycle than Corrente has in 2 campaigns. Anything to distract from the fact the "cut taxes, cut spending" candidate has had 2 major issues in front of him, and his solution to solve both was to RAISE TAXES on everyone. For someone who claims not to be a "political insider" Rick Corrente has a Master's degree in political double speak. I'm sure he will continue to contradict himself, as he has for almost 4 years. Its not just me, Captain, Crickee and others Rick...THOUSANDS OF VOTERS said no thank you!

Friday, September 21
WwkVoter

corrente does not seem to recognize the reality here that he got "blown out" which was an actual newspaper headline. that pretty much means no one believes his crap, and didnt like that he failed to pay his taxes, mortgage, and fought his child support asking to pay $10 per week, and spewed bogus numbers such as how many people have moved out of warwick, how many businesses closed, and much much more. avedisian, despite having some things he could actually be challenged on, wiped the floor with him in the so-called "debate". he is just a fool. he might get a tiny bit of sympathy except he continues to spew his own special version of reality here in the midst of what is otherwise mostly a helpful discussion on these topics. it would be great if he would just go away.

as to that debate, corrente whines that since we went down in students then "how could we not be losing taxpayers". a moronic assumption at the 4th grade level. (answer: people are having less children). and, children, due to the cost of education, are tax consumers not "taxpayers". if we still had 17,000 students as during the baby boom, we'd be paying 50% higher taxes, and the little approx 3.5% "max tax increase" would look pretty appealing. but crazy corrente seizes on the student population to argue that it's bad, and a sign of some kind of population crash like we had the black plague. just one example of how out of touch this candidate WAS. he is no longer a candidate, was never a legitimate one, and is now what he always really was, a comment section annoyance who is out of touch with reality. the rest of us can rest easy that the voters get it, the system works, and can safely put corrente into the back shelf he belongs on until he hopefully gets another hobby.

Saturday, September 22
suzzyq235

Unfortunately, if the current sewer bills and taxpayers share in the cost of the replacement of the roads, then I will want a reimbursement percentage for the cost of my sewer bill that was recenlty paid off. We've struggled to pay our bill like everyone else. I feel this would not be fair if the sewer bill and replacing of the road was lowered at this stage. Someone should have had the foresight in this situation sooner.

Saturday, September 22
Scal1024

WwkVoter nailed it ^^^^^

Saturday, September 22
CrickeeRaven

Seconded, Scal. Well done, WwkVoter.

Saturday, September 22
WwkVoter

thx guys. suzzyq you have a very valid complaint. the only counterpoint I can think of is that funding for public projects changes depending on the circumstances. if your sewer assessment was lower, then the excuse to break out repaving to the general fund could be justified on the basis that new sewer projects are more expensive than past ones. just a thought.

Saturday, September 22
bendover

Since when did it become common practice in this State for companies to do construction projects, tear up a perfectly good street or roadway, finish, and leave it in a state of disrepair? DUH!

TY Raven for providing that link...DICK, that tape is proof positive that you should only be seen or heard in public wearing a clown suit...You are a buffoon, check into Butler, you are not a well man.

Sunday, September 23
davebarry109

The sewer project is a disaster. Brito crews drive over everyone's law, damaging property. They say they'll fix everything with landscaping when they are done but why the arrogance and slip shod work driving over peoples property that has nothing to do with the sewers? How many people have cobblestone lining their property that has been broken. And then, after 2 years of this nonsense, to get a bill for 21,000 or higher? Absolutely the worst thing any government has done to taxpayers. $21,000????????????? Scum.

Monday, September 24
patientman

The city should have spread the cost of sewers among all Warwick properties from the beginning. The assessments on the earliest phases were far lower than mine and mine was far lower than GF. The ship has sailed and it sucks for the people that are getting sewers now and in the future. I agree with other posters, nobody helped me.

Thursday, September 27