Time to put the brakes on?

Fri, 12/31/2021 - 7:15am

To the Editor,

Our town is fortunate to have John Breunig, a capable manager, at the helm of our water department. For some time now, he has been warning that we are approaching the limit of our ability to pump, treat, and store water. Most of us have paid scant attention, but now we have reached those limits and consequences follow.

John is not an alarmist. His warnings have been straightforward. He has supplied just-the-facts information. Now that we have hit peak capacity for July and August, he has demonstrated the backbone to persuade the Water Commission to apply the brakes until
we as a town can make decisions about our future. This takes courage. Thank you to John and the Water Commission.
While Breunig is not an alarmist, we can expect to hear urgent outcries from individuals and companies affected by the necessary moratorium. We must not fall into a knee-jerk response to dig, pump, and build greater capacity. In addition to completing the feasibility study, we must take time to consider whether it is in the best interest of our town to supply more hotel expansions, more 120-person restaurants, and more intensive development of our commercial space. We can and should think through the ramifications of all this development.

It’s appropriate now for the Planning Board to take the lead, and those who love Block Island should accept their responsibility to become informed and speak up. If it is determined that more is better, then the next question becomes: Who should pay for any
increased capacity? For my part, I see many needs for our town that I am willing to help finance as a taxpayer. This is not among them.
Again, thank you John Breunig for helping to bring this issue to our awareness.
Kay Lewis
Off Cooneymus Road