To The Editor:
A letter from the Marine Resources Commission attempted “to correct some of the misinformation” concerning taxpayer monies and the proposed new Harbormaster’s office.
The writer claims that “First and foremost, the design and construction…is completely funded through grants and harbor fees.” All government grants, whether federal, state, or local are funded through taxes. The Seaport Economic Council grant is a state grant funded by Massachusetts taxpayers.
Also, it appears taxpayers are insufficiently informed regarding project costs, project financing, and project funding, for example, the funding source for a fire-service line.
Project Architect Tim Sawyer said that he will price out the fire-service line and potentially have the cost absorbed into the project, or another possibility, the fire-service line will be added on as “an improvement” to the Facilities Director’s budget, a budget funded through Marion taxpayers.
Mr. Sawyer professes to have “done multiple harbormaster facilities, this is by far the smallest,” but Mr. Sawyer remains silent as to whether his other facilities are positioned on stilts 23.5 feet off the ground.
More worrisome are those who argue, “The new Harbormaster Office has been specifically designed and engineered to withstand a storm more severe than Hurricane Bob and remain functional.” Below is a list of engineering projects that failed without encountering a hurricane.
Banqiao Dam failed in 1975 after engineers said it could handle a “once-in-2,000-years flood.”
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington collapsed four months after opening for public use.
Wind turbine failures are on the uptick, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The Big Dig tunnel project in Boston was plagued with severe leaks that nearly dislodged the tunnel from its foundations.
The roof of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City collapsed during a rainstorm.
Finally, stilt buildings are constructed primarily as protection against flooding, and they can collapse under a range of circumstances related to weather and flooding.
Eileen J. Marum, Marion
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