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Providence City Hall slams council faction’s plan for allocating road repair money

July 23, 2012

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is “completely opposed” to a plan by some city councilors to use a ward-based approach in allocating money for road repairs, says spokesman David Ortiz:

Ortiz says the council proposal would claim half of the money from a planned $40 million money road-repair bond “to break into pots of money they can spend at their discretion.”

He adds:

“The mayor has proposed an approach that is based on engineering, that would do a survey of every street in the city of Providence and rank streets to come up with a list that will give Providence the most return on this investment, and do it in a way that’s objective and not political.”

Ortiz says the administration wants to work with the council on road repairs. “What the mayor is opposed to,” he adds, “is letting councilors decided without an approved plan what streets get paved or not. That is the way that the city ran for a long time and we think the time is now to do it in a way that’s more objective and open.”

Tonight’s meeting is on for 6 pm in council chambers. [Upate: According to a notice sent at 3:44 pm by City Clerk Anna Stetson, the meeting was scrapped due to the lack of a quorum.]

It comes amid a realignment in the two factions that compose the council, with a general softening of support for Taveras among a shifting alliance of councilors.

Some of the downside of the old approach can be seen in this 2000 story in the Phoenix by Steven Stycos:

A $50 million bond issue that was approved by Providence voters in 1996 was pitched as a cure for crumbling sidewalks and potholed streets. But since 1997, the city council and Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci have used more than $1 million from the bond issue for a variety of other projects, including building a restaurant, beautifying an American Legion post, renovating a church hall, and hiring an assistant principal at a private school.

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