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home : opinions : opinions May 25, 2016

5/27/2014 11:37:00 AM
Letter: Piece-meal approach to street repairs will cost more in the long run

To the editor:

It is encouraging to see that the town, mayor and council have been aggressive in responding to the water shortage. Assembling a set of projects together for Water Infrastructure Finance Authority funding is clearly the best answer. It avoids the two largest problems of a piecemeal approach: a hodge-podge result and paying more for each piece. The economies of scale only help large coordinated efforts.

Unfortunately, the same mindset seems to be missing in the discussion of the street problems, right down to cherry picking little projects to make some sort of show of progress. There is a name in the construction business for a "bit by bit" fix-it effort: the tyranny of small decisions. Doing a little here and a little there pretty much guarantees that you will get a hodge-podge result and you will pay more for each piece.

The town needs to have a down and dirty evaluation of how much money it can borrow in bonds given the current per capita costs to residents and businesses. The facet that not one of us wants to pay for these things just does not matter. Then the council needs to shortlist the biggest street needs, borrow the money and go forward. Any other approach will result in an expensive mess with patch work jobs that do not fix the whole problem and the money will not be well-spent.

Steve Biasini


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