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Council May Vote on Beach Pavilion Bond Referendum This Month

Town council may vote to put beach pavilion bond request on November ballot at upcoming budget meeting.

Middletown Councilor Chris Semonelli has said that at the upcoming budget meeting scheduled on March 26, he will request a bond referendum for the construction of a new beach pavilion at . If approved by the town council, residents would vote on the issue this November.

The existing town-owned beach pavilion, built in 1975, is considered functionally obsolete.

Last November, the to build a new beach pavilion with an outdoor events deck. The other option that was considered by the commission was to build a beach pavilion with a full events pavilion.

According to RKG Associates, the firm hired to prepare the project's business case, the estimated construction costs range between $3 to $3.9 million. The alternative solution with the full events pavilion was estimated to cost an additional $2.6 to $3.4 million.

“With very little additional cost, the shaded deck would be ideal for family activities, group gatherings and town sponsored functions,” said Rian Wilkinson, chair of the commission.   

RKG Associates said outdoor events deck could be partially roofed-over for protection from the sun and its location adjacent to the concessions would permit the concessions operator to service the events. The potential financial benefit of an events deck as part of the beach pavilion was not studied, but RKG estimates the incremental cost would be minor.   

Although the option to construct the full events pavilion would incur higher up-front costs, rental revenues would offset a portion of the construction and operating expenses. Over a 10-year period, it would cover approximately $1.4 million of bond payments and all operating expenses, which would leave $1.1 million of bond payments outstanding.  

We want to know: Do you support the commission's recommendation to build the beach pavilion with an outdoor deck instead of a full events pavilion? Would you vote in favor of the bond request this November?  

Carol A. Cummings March 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Ah, the "Beach - Boy's"are back again surfing in a financial storm, and purposing to sink millions of dollars in a sand pit that has no sound financial return. "KISS"( Keep It Simple Stupid), is by far the best approach to keep for the "safe- guard"of this already $$ (money making) beach. Rhode Island (as forcasted), is soon to to experience it's own unique financial tornado, and any more financial burden imposed on the tax payer, at best, is akin to irresponsible- money burning.

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