I hope that the Carolina Beach Town Board and Town Manager realize that timing could not be worse than it is right now for pushing ahead with the Wilmington Beach Paving Project this summer.
This is one reason why: The largest factor in determining the cost of paving is based on the present price of crude oil. Right now it is at around $105.00 per barrel and rising. This escalating cost of crude oil has already driven up the 'per ton' cost of asphalt. The NCDOT presently (as of April - 2011) has the FOB cost of asphalt at $588.26 per metric ton, and steadily rising. This is a major jump over what it was when the project assessment estimates came out in 2005. At that time the NCDOT (April - 2005) had the FOB cost of asphalt at $236.34 per metric ton. That's an increase of over 100%. Pushing projects through at the wrong time can drive up total costs and assessment costs beyond what is acceptable, and, or feasible. Why the big hurry? Now is not the time. The same oil prices driving up asphalt is also driving up gas prices ($3.60 + per gallon and rising) which will also highly affect the Paving Project cost. Which in turn, affects everyone's household financial budgets.
The Wilmington Beach Paving Project is not being assisted by funding from Stimulus Plans, or any other U.S. Government assistance. It is being funded by all Carolina Beach Taxpayers along with the Property Owners assessments, such as myself, who have property in the Wilmington Beach area. This is why in a horrible economy, with unemployment at extreme levels, rising cost for almost all basic necessities, we have to make choices, sometimes tough choices. Our leadership and Management need to differentiate between addressing urgent and pressing issues (projects) and non essential "luxury" issues during these tough times. Building and paving new streets are things the town should think about doing when they have a huge budget surplus, which is definitely not the case at the present time. I know, we have heard in the past that it is cheaper to pave it all at one time, but in this case, we again are not just talking about fixing existing streets in need. As a part of this project, we are also talking about building brand new streets though woods and wetlands.
On a side note, I believe that anyone on the Town Board who may profit through the development of these new streets being built in the undeveloped areas, (be it through possible future real estate listings of these new lots, or the possibility of their construction firm being chosen and assigned to future projects within this area), take the proper and expected roll entrusted of them, and excuse themselves from any future decision made on this project. This way no 'clouds' of possible conflict of interest will be shadowing the outcome of this project.
There is a meeting for April 13 about the Wilmington Beach Paving Project, and unfortunately, I will be unable to attend. I only hope the decision makers use wise and proper judgement, and postpone paving, and reevaluate the non-urgent and costly building of new streets through woods and wetlands funded by all Carolina Beach Taxpayers.
Carolina Beach, NC
|< Prev||Next >|