In an attempt to convince voters the proposed North Smithfield Police station bond for $18 million is unreasonably expensive, one resident
compared it to the proposed Glocester Police station, which that individual says costs only $8.8 million. There is only one problem with that: it’s not true.
Here is a quote from Glocester Police Chief Joseph Delprete that was in NRI NOW recently: “Glocester Police Chief Joseph DelPrete explained that the completion of Phase II and III designs will provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the project. He added that the previous numbers given for the project will probably be a little higher – or maybe considerably higher”.
I also know this individual spoke to Chief Delprete several times regarding their police station and the chief asked the person not to go around using that number of $8.8 million, because it is not an accurate number. Yet, this person posted it on their Facebook page, it’s on pamphlets the individual is handing out all over town, and again in a recent Letter to the Editor. I call that being despicably deceitful. This individual is being purposely deceptive in an attempt to sway public opinion against the police station. If one of those pamphlets floats your way, just toss it in the garbage, as it’s a complete lie.
Also, the current architect did discuss a renovation and even provided a conceptual design of what a renovation would look like. The cost of “renovation” was still in the neighborhood of $17 million because two additions to the existing building would be necessary. Council President Kim Alves asked the architect what type of building would we get if we told him he only had $10 million to spend, “what would be
the end product?” He replied he could stabilize the existing building, but it would not address the other issues to make it a proper police
facility and it would not renovate it. He then said for $10 million they could build a small building on the site and connect it to the existing building but then that would not address any of the issues on the existing building. In short, it cannot be done for $10 million.
The price goes up approximately $1 million every year. How long do we want to wait and how much money will we be willing to spend in five years? Seven years? Ten years? And for the record Claire O’Hara, Doug Osier, and myself cannot pass a bond to build a new police station. We voted to let the people decide.
John Beauregard is a member of the North Smithfield Town Council