9/15/2005

New Town Hall

There was a Town Council meeting last evening and one of the topics was about the new building that is now under construction! Before the first bucket of cement has been poured, it came to light during the meeting that this building is already destined to join the other town building fiasco's. It seems as though the structure, before any bid request have gone out, is going to exceed the 1.7 million budgeted by a nice round 10%! What the hell is going on in the town hall? Is there ANYBODY there that has a clue about doing this sort of project and getting it right? Remember the Library, the School, and now the new Town Hall? There has to be someone in charge of these projects who knows his ass from a hole in the ground! It would behoove the Council to hire a Town Public Works director and do it now, if one can be found. Another thing that amazes me is that in this era of skyrocketing energy costs, that there has been NO attempt to do anything to mitigate those costs! There are lots of things that could be done. There are items that can be incorporated into the foundation that would warm the foundation from within, and radiate that heat into the interior space as well as upwards to the floor above. Electrical dump loads fed by a number of solar cells on the roof would do that job. Water circulated through pipes in the foundation and fed by solar water heating panels is another option. According to the August National Geographic magazine, there are still plenty of grants out there for new construction municipal buildings if the cities and towns are willing to go after them. Another option, and I know this will bring the anti-WECS lobby out in full force and throat, is the use of some sort of windpower. In that same issue of the NG magazine there was a study someone did that put forth the proposition that if every house in Americe had a 1 kilowatt wind generator attached, the oil imports to this country would diminish to virtually nothing. Denmark gets 75% of it's power from offshore WECS and more are planned, as it is for most of the other Scandinavian countries.
So getting back to the new town hall, I can't help wonder why there has been absolutely no attempt to do anything in this vein. Somewhere in the not to distant future as I've said before, our children and grandchildren are to reap the results of what we should have sown! A big NOTHING! Everyone seems to think that reducing energy consumption is passe and no big deal. Well after getting your last bill from BIPCO, that should have put a huge hole in your complacency blanket! But I will tell you one thing for sure, my electric bill was a couple hundred dollars less than most of yours because of that "ugly", "noisy", "monstrosity" in my front yard! Somewhere in your future you are going to have to reconcile the need to have electricty to make all your appliances run with your "need" to see the water, or the shore or the dips and swales in the country side. Maybe after all the people who got the WECS ordinance gutted, leave the Island because there is not enough juice to go around, we can return to some sort of rational thought when it comes to renewable energy of all kinds. Get and read that copy of the National Geographic and it just might give you a different mindset. TIFN BTW, turn off those uneeded lights in the evening and then go watch your meter turn a lot slower!

10 comments:

The Warbler said...

You know, Everett, I never thought your windmill was all that big, ugly or noisy. But I guess maybe I just wasn't trying hard enough?

The Warbler said...

*wink*

neckroad said...

Everett, I agree with you that the town is short-sighted in not utilizing alternate energy or advanced energy saving designs and materials for the new construction.
I just need to put in my two cents about the WECS on the Neck:
Ah the windmill on the neck! What one poorly planned, poorly situated and poorly maintained windmill can do to turn folks against the benefits of windpower. I lived in close proximity to that WECS. I could care less about how it looked- that was not the problem. The problem was really the noise levels generated by that windmill during some really windy nights. It was incredibly aggravating and made worse by the fact that the folks who owned it were gone from the island from October through May. So, they weren't on board when the wec was making a quite a racket.
So, it's unfortunate that this project created such a negative backlash. I'm actually a proponent of alternate energy systems and am looking into a couple of options for my own home.

Everett said...

Hi Neckroad, Sometime when you have a little free time, stop by and I can tell you AND show you just exactly why that particular mill was such a disaster. It could have been rectified very easily but you know who couldn't be bothered to deal with it. His philosophy is put 'em up and run!

Sam said...

Good idea to go offline for you-know-who (wink). As to the building funds and such, I stand by one of my messages on the BIB blog, saying that you needed a municipal construction guru of some kind. One person, of course anonymous, said something like "Yeah, swell, get a geek from Princeton." I'd like to qualify that - and it does relate to "green" building such as the WECS.

The person I have in mind is an older fella or gal that has been in the municipal construction industry for at least 20 years, and knows how to contain costs. That's where these towns, counties, and school districts get in trouble - they rely on the architect, engineer, and prime contractor to run all the numbers.

That's analagous to having the wolves guard the hen house!

So no, it doesn't take a lot of money or some geeky computer nerd from Providence. For a modest smount, you could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. Call the position what you want - special town projects manager, public works director, whatever (it sounds like temporary is better in some cases).

I mean, Everett, you'd be good at this if you had some coaching in muni contracts ... you have to have an eye for detail and know when to let the fur fly. If you look at the windmill, or rather listened to it, it was obviously a case of design and/or maintenance failure, which resulted in "squallering bearings" and improper blade angle. Sounds about right?
-Sam

Everett said...

As to the WECS Sam, you got it! The fact that it hit the ground while running one night didn't do much for the smooth running of it. But it just got put right back up with some new blades and nary a trip back to the factory for a few run-out tests on the shaft and alignment of the bearings. It was a FARCE from beginning to end and all it has really done is to generate tons of animosity toward what WILL in the future become one of the things that will free us from the grip of the Islamic hordes, Energy wise i.e.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, I figure that only about two people on the whole island have a dial indicator to measure TIR and none of them live on Beacon Hill.

Ev, when are you going to open this up more so people can start their own topics and threads? I mean your Navy stories are OK, but I've got some from Vietnam that I'd like to get out to.

Everett said...

this for Anony of sept.21,1032. I would be happy to have someone start a thread, but other than coming over too my house and typing away on my blog, I have no idea how to do it. I'm NOT that computer literate. Unless you can send me an e-mail and I can transfer it to the blog. I seem to remember trying that once and was told by Blogger that it couldn't be done.

blockislandblog said...

My advice to anonymous is, start your own blog. It's not hard to do. Then post your address on everett's site, or request him to add you to his links.

Anonymous said...

Back to the Town HAll. Did I read the paper correctly last week were Balser told Dodge to "get a budget together?"

Have we started this town hall without a budget even being done?? Absolutley insulting to tax payers! The town council needs t grow some balls and manage the Town manager.

It is dispicable.