Letter to the Editor: NK Residents Won’t Get a Better Deal on Bond
The following letter was written by North Kingstown resident Phillip H. Beati and may be read online and in the September 28 newspaper.
To the citizens of North Kingstown,
My name is Phil Beati and I have been a resident of North Kingstown for the past 30 years. I have been fortunate to have had a long career in the construction industry as a Purchasing Agent, and Project Manager; working for companies such as Gilbane Building Co., Shawmut Design and Construction, and now Vantage Builders, Inc. I have been involved in constructing many large complex construction projects for these companies, including numerous K-12 and Higher Ed projects.
I offer the following comments on the proposed construction projects being debated in the bond referenda scheduled for November 7.
North Kingstown is one of 10 municipalities in the state of Rhode Island conducting an off year special election this year to ask voters to approve approximately $1.3 billion in new public works construction projects. All of these municipalities are conducting this off year special election for one reason and one reason only — to take advantage of tens of millions of dollars of temporary one-time incentives from the state. In other words — to save their communities money.
I can unequivocally tell you that if this bond is not approved, the cost of building a much-needed new middle school and public safety complex is only going to increase, and by a lot. According to the Associated General Contractors of America (the most preeminent construction trade association), for the past three years “the U.S. construction industry has been buffeted by unprecedented volatility in material costs, supply chain bottlenecks, and a tight labor market..[and] the situation remains far from ‘normal’”. As a consequence, annual industry inflation since August of 2020 is a staggering 11.2% and there is no indication that this industry inflation is letting up any time soon.
I understand that the proposed bond referenda is a significant investment. I chose to write to you so that the citizens of this community would know that if this bond is not passed, the cost of these projects to our community is going to increase substantially for these much-needed facilities.
Phillip H. Beati