RI (September 19, 2019)…Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5), Deputy Majority
Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11), and Councilman David A. Salvatore (Ward 14) introduced
two resolutions requesting that the City of Providence provide status reports
and updates on street and sidewalk projects and their expenditures associated
with the $45M Bond that was approved by the City Council in 2017.
the Council has had not been updated regarding what Bond proceeds have been
expended,” stated Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan. “I have been advocating for
accountability for the work that was authorized under this bond for months.
When constituents question why certain streets are being paved or not, and why
the City is installing ill-conceived street redesign plans they deserve to know
how the City is spending their tax dollars. I also want to know how much of
these funds were used to develop the Mayor’s ‘Great Streets’ initiative. I am
not an opponent of bicycle lanes, in fact, I support creating an urban
environment conducive to multimodal transportation. However, that was not what
the City Council had in mind when we authorized the City to secure this bond
funding. Our goal was to make sure that we spend precious taxpayer dollars to
pave and fix as many streets and sidewalks as possible, and to ensure
accountability in the process.”
resolution introduced by Majority Leader Ryan and Deputy Majority Leader Harris
focusses on the portion of the funding that was allocated for street repairs,
paving, and improvements. “In my Ward there has been little improvement to our
streets and that concerns me. My constituents continually ask when their
streets are being paved or repaired and I just don’t have the answers. They
deserve better,” stated Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris.
the City Council approved the Elorza Administration to take out a $45M Bond to
implement a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to fund critical improvements to
streets, sidewalks, and other infrastructure projects. To date the City Council
has not received a public report regarding the status of these funds.
David A. Salvatore stated, “Holding the Administration accountable for how they
spend our resident’s hard-earned tax dollars is not only our duty, but it is
unfortunate that we have to do so by passing legislation to get a breakdown of
what work has been done. I hear from constituents every day about the state of
our sidewalks. I realize that this was a large scale project, but their needs
to be transperancy for our residents.”
Council is requesting the Administration and the Director of Public Works to
submit a project progress report and fiduciary updates to the City’s Internal
Auditor for review within 30 days of passage.