October 15, 2007

Crowley property's environmental status

It remains unclear how much pollution there may be on the former Crowley dealership in Forestville where officials plan to build a new school.
Mayor William Stortz said that car dealer Ken Crowley gave him phase 1 and phase 2 environmental studies that were done on the property beside Greene-Hills School.
But, the mayor said, he hasn't read them.
The existence of a phase 2 study indicates that there was at least some concern that the parcel might be polluted, but if there is a serious problem, a phase 3 study would normally follow.
City Councilor Craig Minor said that "we know the site is relatively clean" because of the two studies. He did explain what the reports said.
City Councilor Frank Nicastro voted against giving even tentative approval to the site because he hadn't seen the pollution reports.
"It would have been nice if it was shared with the council," Nicastro said.
Tom O'Brien, the school board member spearheading the effort to build two new schools, said that the council's approval merely meant the Crowley property was the right place for a new school.
Stortz said that the decision by councilors was "not the final call," merely the go-ahead needed to begin in-depth work on the plan to find out if it would work out on that site.
"It's not like it was the last hurrah," the mayor said. "They're going to have another shot at it."
City Councilor Kevin McCauley said that the matter would come back to the council when all the issues have been uncovered and the dollar figures known.
"Your hammer is the dollars," Stortz told councilors recently.
Nicastro said the lack of public input into the plan is a serious problem. He said he hopes that educators will allow for much more discussion in the weeks ahead.
O'Brien merely promised that meetings would be open to the public, which is something the law requires. He did not promise any hearings.
The school board plans to construct two new schools in town, one on the Crowley site and one somewhere in the western part of the city. Each would have 900 students and serve kindergarten to eighth grade.
As part of the plan, educators plan to close three old elementary schools – Greene-Hills, O’Connell and Bingham – as well as Memorial Boulevard Middle School.
The concept has gained a green light from the City Council and Board of Finance.

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

More evidence of the arrogance by Mr. O'Brien by not actually promising real meetings for public input.

Anonymous said...

The mayor had the report for a month and doesn't share it with the city council. Why have a city council?

Why would anyone approve to move forward on a vote without reading the report first?

Isn't this how we ended up with the mall? Purchased something the people didn't know about without full knowledge of all the terms of the sale?

Anonymous said...

Where does it say he had them for a month?

Steve Collins said...

To clarify the timing, I have no idea how long the mayor has had the reports. All I know is that he had them before the council meeting and that on Friday he said that he hadn't read them.

Anonymous said...

To propose moving forward without reading the report, is irresponsible and manipulative.

To actually vote in favor of moving forward without reading or having access to the report, is irresponsible.

To "know" what's in the report without reading it, is plain stupid!

"Stupid is as stupid does."
- Forest Gump

Anonymous said...


There are many stages of review before the city considers buying the property.
Environmental is just one of them.
I am sure that all the reports will be available to ALL before the deecision to go ahead is made.

And Frank doesn't hasn't held back information?
No, he just waits until he can grandstand with it!

Anonymous said...

Again - Stortz holding on to information. I think Stortz lost his mind.

Anonymous said...

Did Frank ask for the assessors report?
Did Frank ask for and read the Consultants report?
No, Frank is just Frank, grandstanding

Anonymous said...

Frank worked for decades in the schools. He served as mayor for 10 years, and was on the council before that. He's now a state rep. He's not perfect, but he tries hard and he truly cares about Bristol and about kids. I'd rather have Frank looking at this stuff than most of the rest of anyone in public office or on some committee in Bristol.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Frank fan, but how could Frank or anyone else on the council ask for a report that they didn't know exists?

The council should have been notified by email that the report was in. Copies of the report should have been made immediately upon receiving it and placing it in the Councilmembers mail boxes.

It was not the mayor's place to decide not to pass it along until he found time to read it.

Anonymous said...

A better question is, did the Forestville School Building Committee have and read those reports? They are the people who are responsible for doing the "due diligence" before recommending the City buy this property.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the City Council.

Stortz had the reports and his comment to Frank Nicastro that he didn't nor did anyone else ask for them is crazy.

As Mayor or so called Mayor he should have given the reports to both the site selection committee, the council and maybe even the board of education.

He just stated that he didn't even read them??? Guess he made an informed decision about purchasing the Crowley property not knowing what lies benenth.

The City Council upon learning of Stortz's deception should have put off a vote until they had a chance to read it.

If you watched the Council meeting on TV, you would have seen Stortz at his best. Trying toi ram down the throats of Bristol a school plan in his waning days as Mayor.

Again, this city will be defending the failed policies of his failed administration.

Anonymous said...

Has Frank or anyone asked to see the studies?
Keep in mind that nothing has been done yet.
If Frank is so concerned, why doesn;'t he stop in and read or request the reports?

Anonymous said...

Frank should not have to stop by and read the reports. The Mayor has a duty to give them to the council so they can make an informed decision.

They are in the process of working out the details of a purchase for Crowley's property. What happens if its not environmentally sound? Than they just spun thier wheels and angain nothing gets done.

I;m not a Nicastro fan, but he is right on this issue and Ward should have gone after the Mayor as he has for the entire two year term for not disclosing the report.

But wait a minute he cannot go after the Mayor becasue he and Stortz are now working hand and hand against Ken Johnson.

Anonymous said...

I gather that "they" who are working out the details have already reviewed the environmental report, and apparently they are satisfied.