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Letter: Being held hostage by one cable company among areas to address with ARPA funds



Recent headlines in the local news as well as social media, informing the public that his Honor, Mayor Coogan, has exercised his exclusive right to “share” some of the free federal ARPA dollars with a few of his pet projects that are, apparently, near and dear to his heart, as well as those of his closest political contributors.

I must say that I was ever so pleased to see him back in his “full time leadership” mode after his disappearing act on Christmas Eve. That’s OK Mr. Mayor, the good folks in the city can well afford the insurance deductibles and additional charges resulting from an absolute dereliction to your sworn obligation to keep the streets safe for us all.

Though there are a few actual worthwhile expenditures suggested, like spending a few bucks on the FRPD/FRFD communications & a few new cruisers, it really doesn’t address the base problems so many city departments are experiencing on a daily basis. I doubt that $4M for the rail trail should be considered critical, but investment in the future? More like accommodating the few trusted investors buying large properties for pennies on the dollar and turning them into “market rate housing”, in which a nice publicly funded rail trail enhancement certainly couldn’t hurt.

Suffice to say that $3.26M going to the Fiola run BCEDC, with limits of $2500.00 & $5000.00, depending on employee numbers is somewhat confusing. That would average somewhere in the vicinity of 650 companies eligible for the maximum $5K, or 1300 companies eligible for the $2500.00. Now, I realize that this is a rather simplistic accounting for these funds to be shared and can assume that those figures would be adjusted proportionally to larger companies. Are there really this many small businesses in Fall River that were seriously impacted by the pandemic?

This after all, is the primary purpose of the Feds printing trillions of fake dollars to be paid back by our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

INFRASTRUCTURE! I seriously question whether or not P.E.C. even comprehends this word. We as a city, have been held hostage by the one local cable company for a LIFETIME, does he address this issue? Why not invest in our own broadband infrastructure?

Another glaring issue is a looming problem with trash and a non-existent recycling program, as well as the DCM home base on Lewiston St., an area whose general condition could rival some third world countries. When can we, you know, the taxpayers, expect to see tax and fee relief and possibly some improvements in basic services?

There are about a half mile of sidewalk with damage on 50% of the ADA required wheelchair ramps on one section of County Street, that one person alone in a wheelchair could never negotiate. Ironically, the utility company responsible to repair those sidewalks that were affected with their recent upgrades, in many cases, renewed areas right up to many of these damaged areas. Why were these damaged areas not addressed at the same time? Though I’m cognizant that there are various ordinances and regulations addressing these issues, not to mention the grip that the many organized unions coming into play, it might just be time to overhaul the good Ol’ boy planning department and install someone with a 21st century vision. We are, after all, spitting out hundreds of newly minted “urban renewal” graduates from many of our best colleges from that socialist sewer we call our state capital.

The aforementioned issues are but a small sample of the many issues facing our fair city Mr Mayor, and this kind of behavior by you and your minions is insulting, not only to our collective intelligence, but also to the integrity of those of us who continue to pay increasingly higher taxes and fees, on time, year in and year out.

M.R. Napert
Fall River

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