DPW Director makes
the right choice
By GUY CARON
Faced with a proposed
reduction of over $761,000 to the $2.26 million road
program, Public Works Director Carl Quiram met with the
Goffstown Board of Selectmen last month to discuss his
During that meeting on December 21, 2009, Quiram and
selectmen reviewed the Budget Committee's December 15th
reduction to the road plan of $761,627 which resulted in
a working total of $1.5 million.
Earlier in the budget season, Quiram had outlined to
selectmen how he proposed to spend the original $2.26
million amount. His plan had been to spend
approximately $750,000 on reclamation of Addison Road,
and use the remaining road plan funds (approximately
$1.5 million) for maintaining and repairing existing roads,
doing shims, overlays and more.
Suddenly faced with the budget committee's reduction, Quiram
had two choices: 1) he could recommend postponing
Addison Road in favor of preserving the town's current
road infrastructure, or 2) he could recommend the
Addison Road project go forward anyway and that plans
for road maintenance and repairs be cut in half.
If Quiram had recommended the latter, it would certainly
have fostered familiar cries that our prior investments
on the road plan would be proven wasted, as needed
maintenance could not be performed in light of the
budget committee's recommended reductions.
But Quiram knew better, because he knew that Addison
Road could easily wait, and told selectmen exactly that.
THE RIGHT CHOICE
Fortunately, Quiram chose the high road - and the
"In true pavement
management...you put your money into protecting your
good infrastructure first," he told selectmen that
night. "Over the last eight years, we've invested
millions and millions and millions of dollars as a
community in upgrading our roads. We are much
better off preserving that investment first."
"What does that mean for 2010? The only
really big project was Addison Road."
He then explained details
on his intention to engage in maintenance, repairs,
shims and overlays to existing roads, including roads
his department had previously reclaimed. As such,
this part of road plan will remain unchanged, as it was
all part of the original 2010 road plan.
Quiram then addressed the road he had planned to
reclaim. In 2010, it was to be Addison Road.
"Addison Road was in
there to the tune of about $700,000. Our
recommendation is going to be, and should be, that
Addison Road be the first thing to be cut off that list,
because Addison Road is not going to get any worse.
For the next two or three years, it's going to look just
like it does today, no matter what we do or don't do to
Mr. Quiram's explanation that Addison Road will not get
any worse and can wait a few years without ramifications,
selectmen Scott Gross, Steve Fournier and Phil D'Avanza
continue, as recently as at Wednesday night's budget committee
public hearing, to spin claims of ultimate disaster for
Goffstown and its roads should the reduction in the 2010
road plan not be restored.
It was refreshing to see a department head steer clear
of the typical sky-is-falling rhetoric often heard in
Goffstown when a request for funding is even questioned,
let alone reduced.
We hope residents will
realize that it is Quiram who "manned-up" to
the realities of the times and the financial hardships all
Goffstown residents are currently facing. It is
disappointing, however, to see that Gross, D'Avanza and
Fournier are still singing the same old song.
In addition to rising unemployment, increased
bankruptcies, evaporated college funds and depleted
retirement accounts, Goffstown residents cannot at this
time afford to spend $700,000 on a two-mile strip of
road that Quiram himself pointed out will not get any
worse if postponed for a few years.
Thank you, Carl, for
putting Goffstown's residents - and their depleted wallets,