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PAWTUCKET STATION THREATENED

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Brick you definitely have a point but isn't this issue not only a neighborhood but a citywide concern as well?

Won't rail service impact the entire city?

i wrote an email to the councilors. in that email, i stated that the addition of a T stop would greatly help pawtucket and centrail falls. it would attract new development as people who are looking to move would consider those 2 cities due to their close proximity to a commuter rail stop. people who currently live in those cities have to drive to providence or south attleboro right now (as you know). preserving the building would also help preserve the historic fabric of the city.

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PS! There's 16 'guests' currently reading this thread. Don't be shy, register (it's free) and share your thoughts!

There's no reason there can't be a train station and a CVS and other retail that the neighborhood needs. Someone with a creative bone in their body (i.e. someone who doesn't do architecture for CVS) just needs to show that it can happen. Tear down the station and all you get is a CVS.

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Good point Jen.. I know you've done alot of this type of thing and are an expert at dealing with this stuff.. I'm nervous about speaking out but as a Pawtucket homeowner I am a ten minute walk from the station and I commute to Boston for my job. This station impacts me directly. Do you think I should say something?

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PS! There's 16 'guests' currently reading this thread. Don't be shy, register (it's free) and share your thoughts!

There's no reason there can't be a train station and a CVS and other retail that the neighborhood needs. Someone with a creative bone in their body (i.e. someone who doesn't do architecture for CVS) just needs to show that it can happen. Tear down the station and all you get is a CVS.

considernig there's a lot of parking on both sides of the tracks, they can do a creative, historic looking parking garage and put a CVS on ground level.

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i lost my network for a sec, and lost what i was typing, but yes, Jason, you are exactly the person the city council needs to hear from. You made the investment in Pawtucket, and will stay if you can easily commute to boston. You're the reasonable voice to the folks who want to tear it down for a crappy CVS.

i was mostly speaking earlier to folks who might come from other places and use their time to simply talk about the importance of historic preservation, which while INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT and is an economic development engine, is not what the neighbors are gonna want to hear if they have their heart set on "jobs, increased property values, convienience" and all that other crap folks trot out when they want something that basically is a bad idea.

good luck all. I wish i could be there. I'm all tingly just thinking about the confrontations tonite! I hope that scumbag developer shows up.

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i lost my network for a sec, and lost what i was typing, but yes, Jason, you are exactly the person the city council needs to hear from. You made the investment in Pawtucket, and will stay if you can easily commute to boston. You're the reasonable voice to the folks who want to tear it down for a crappy CVS.

i was mostly speaking earlier to folks who might come from other places and use their time to simply talk about the importance of historic preservation, which while INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT and is an economic development engine, is not what the neighbors are gonna want to hear if they have their heart set on "jobs, increased property values, convienience" and all that other crap folks trot out when they want something that basically is a bad idea.

good luck all. I wish i could be there. I'm all tingly just thinking about the confrontations tonite! I hope that scumbag developer shows up.

Thanks Jen. I wish you were coming too! Jen & I were just wondering if you would be there.. she says hello by the way!

your awesome.

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For those going to the meeting; if you choose to speak on behalf of saving the station and decide to use the T stop study in your argument you should be aware of the following. The position that the building must be saved because a study named this location as the number one place for a new T stop is is weak!

The builder can counter that argument by saying he will build a nice new safe station which is handicapped accessible etc. You will need to be able to counter his claim by saying why the existing station will make a better T stop than what the builder claims they will build. That will be hard given that he will probably have no design for said station and he can make up almost any promise and then back out of later.

I wish you all luck and I would be there if I could.

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Thanks Jen. I wish you were coming too! Jen & I were just wondering if you would be there.. she says hello by the way!

your awesome.

i am sorry but i have a class tonite. However, i will absolutely try to be a subsequent meetings if they're announced here.

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After Joe Paolino demolished the gas station, did the city fine him or bring him to court? What action can a city or town take against a developer who does a demo w/o a permit?

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After Joe Paolino demolished the gas station, did the city fine him or bring him to court? What action can a city or town take against a developer who does a demo w/o a permit?

yes, the city did bring him to court, and Thom Deller can speak about this more than i can, but the problem with it was that there's not a huge fine to demo without the appropriate permit, and there was a lot of confusion about whether the gas station was on an A street or was historic and that muddied the waters considerably. I know the Prov Preservation Society was pretty pissed but i don't remember that we got a lot of satisfaction...

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Ch 12 WPRI news just reported on it, I taped it and then wrote the quotes down...

Janet Zwolinski of Preserve Rhode Island spoke in favor of the station which "would provide the community with real opportunities for economic development."

"But the developer and neighborhood group advocating for the low income residents who live around here want a new pharmacy not a commuter rail station." -WPRI reporter

"Residents in the neighborhood, the vast majority of them can not afford to take the commuter rail to Boston. They're not going to be taking the commuter rail to jobs where they're going be making a few cents more on the dollar than they would in Rhode Island and they don't have to pay $150, a $160 a month in Boston." -Colleen Daley Ndoye, Pawtucket Citizens Development Corp. (who definately doesnt look like a low income resident from the neighborhood I might add)

Best of luck to the station supporters at the meeting tonight.

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i lost my network for a sec, and lost what i was typing, but yes, Jason, you are exactly the person the city council needs to hear from. You made the investment in Pawtucket, and will stay if you can easily commute to boston. You're the reasonable voice to the folks who want to tear it down for a crappy CVS.

i was mostly speaking earlier to folks who might come from other places and use their time to simply talk about the importance of historic preservation, which while INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT and is an economic development engine, is not what the neighbors are gonna want to hear if they have their heart set on "jobs, increased property values, convienience" and all that other crap folks trot out when they want something that basically is a bad idea.

good luck all. I wish i could be there. I'm all tingly just thinking about the confrontations tonite! I hope that scumbag developer shows up.

How accurate was the Pawtucket Times article (yesterday), which stated:

"David Wilcock of VHB said a T stop would call for two 800-foot-long platforms, which with attendant costs such as night work required to move existing catenaries would range from $25 million to $50 million; $30 million in railroad improvements subject to negotiation with Amtrak; $40-$55 million for capital costs; and $800,000 to $1 million in annual operating and maintenance costs. Incidental potential costs for real estate and relocations could add another $35 million, all to be paid half federal and the remainder from state, local or other resources."

Geezus -- that's saying it would cost a minimum of $95 million (of taxpayer funds, probably a combination of federal pork-barrel, state, and local) to reactivate the train station. For what? A couple of trains a day that would stop, in each direction?

Preservation is a nice objective, but if these cost figures are anywhere near accurate, it's ridiculous. I've been following the preservation fight (eventually lost to the developer) over the huge Danvers State Hospital building -- some local preservationists wanted to keep this 120-year-old building, which was one of the biggest buildings in the country and was falling down (as in, floors caved in and stuff).

You can't preserve every old building that looks nice. When the market is saying there's a better use for it, that's what should happen. Within reason (zoning, attempts made to prevent the new thing from being too much of a monstrosity, etc.)....

Urb

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I'm at the meeting now. All but 2 of the speakers have supported preserving the stn. 2 speakers from the neighborhood around the stn. talked about development being the overriding

concern. The lawyer for the owner is talking now .

Edited by mbz

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"But the developer and neighborhood group advocating for the low income residents who live around here want a new pharmacy not a commuter rail station." -WPRI reporter

The neighborhood will have a pharmacy. There's a 24 hour Walgreens less than a quarter-mile south on Broad Street.

Edited by JimmyGreaves

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How accurate was the Pawtucket Times article (yesterday), which stated:

"David Wilcock of VHB said a T stop would call for two 800-foot-long platforms, which with attendant costs such as night work required to move existing catenaries would range from $25 million to $50 million; $30 million in railroad improvements subject to negotiation with Amtrak; $40-$55 million for capital costs; and $800,000 to $1 million in annual operating and maintenance costs. Incidental potential costs for real estate and relocations could add another $35 million, all to be paid half federal and the remainder from state, local or other resources."

Geezus -- that's saying it would cost a minimum of $95 million (of taxpayer funds, probably a combination of federal pork-barrel, state, and local) to reactivate the train station. For what? A couple of trains a day that would stop, in each direction?

Preservation is a nice objective, but if these cost figures are anywhere near accurate, it's ridiculous. I've been following the preservation fight (eventually lost to the developer) over the huge Danvers State Hospital building -- some local preservationists wanted to keep this 120-year-old building, which was one of the biggest buildings in the country and was falling down (as in, floors caved in and stuff).

You can't preserve every old building that looks nice. When the market is saying there's a better use for it, that's what should happen. Within reason (zoning, attempts made to prevent the new thing from being too much of a monstrosity, etc.)....

Urb

the transportation bond passed, which will cover part of the state's portion. i don't know how much money the MBTA has, but some of the funding will certainly come from them.

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Geezus -- that's saying it would cost a minimum of $95 million (of taxpayer funds, probably a combination of federal pork-barrel, state, and local) to reactivate the train station. For what? A couple of trains a day that would stop, in each direction?

The problem here is that the funding is already allocated for rail development, so it is a question of whether Pawtucket gets a portion of it, or if that money goes somehwere else in the state of the country. It's not like not building this is going to get GWB to send you a check for 35 cents.

Honestly if our only viable economic future is to have more strip malls then not only am I not going to ever procreate, but I will probably shoot myself.

Regarding the referendum for tonight, the real issue is the very pertinent one that Seelbinder's lawyer brought to the table. There is dubious legal precedent to establish's Pawtuckets rights over the CF portion of this building. Since CF has already greanted demo permits, I don't see any way of preserving the building without legislative action which is unlikely to get passed before the injunction runs out.

Edited by brick

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4 in favor 3 oppossed. Still failed cos they need 5 votes to pass

so what does this mean? bye bye station? or in the remaining time of the restraining order can they try again?

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so what does this mean? bye bye station? or in the remaining time of the restraining order can they try again?

It means that the city isn't going to acquire it by eminent domain. As noted in my edited post above, I'm not quite sure what that would have done anyway. My thought is that Seelbinder would have, out of pure spite, destoryed every inch of property on the CF side, and done it in a way that rendered an attempted preservation of the station moot.

Shame on the Pawtucket and Central Falls leadershp for letting the situation get to this point.

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was anyone there from CVS? Maybe now is the time to break that deal up...

I left early I have to admit. AFter Seelbinder's lawyer I thought the cause was done, at least for

eminent domain. We can hope that CVS will ask him to consider other alternatives than taking down the facade.

The point is that only Seelbinder's lawyer appeared, noone else from the development team or from CVS. However maybe that changed in the half hour after I left.

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Well, unfortunately, the measure to take the depot by eminent domain was defeated. 4 of the council members actually voted to use ED and only 3 voted against it but there has to be 5 votes for a measure to pass. The counselor who had a conflict of interest -- Vitali -- recused himself.

There was a huge turnout. Many spoke eloquently about the need to save the station. Only one speaker spoke against it and she was clearly a total nut job, saying that a train station would somehow endanger children.

The counselors who voted not to use ED all claim, of course, that they were all in favor of saving the station but that ED was not the way to do it. One even claimed that it was "unAmerican." Seriously.

The supporters of the station did a fantastic job outlining arguments that any rational person could accept. But at the end of the day not enough of the city counselors could see the light. :(

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Well, unfortunately, the measure to take the depot by eminent domain was defeated. 4 of the council members actually voted to use ED and only 3 voted against it but there has to be 5 votes for a measure to pass. The counselor who had a conflict of interest -- Vitali -- recused himself.

There was a huge turnout. Many spoke eloquently about the need to save the station. Only one speaker spoke against it and she was clearly a total nut job, saying that a train station would somehow endanger children.

The counselors who voted not to use ED all claim, of course, that they were all in favor of saving the station but that ED was not the way to do it. One even claimed that it was "unAmerican." Seriously.

The supporters of the station did a fantastic job outlining arguments that any rational person could accept. But at the end of the day not enough of the city counselors could see the light. :(

i can understand how ED is unamerican. it's basically the government putting its head where it doesn't always belong. in this case, i can understand the need for it, but in many other cases (such as what recently went down in new london, CT), i think it's a bad idea.

i don't see how a train station endangers kids... the tracks aren't going anywhere so kids can still be pushed in... unless kids can go on the platform and fall?

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