The prime real estate in the heart of the capital city now available for development after the Route 195 relocation project got an environmental green light on Monday night from an engineering team.
Environmental studies by the firm Fuss & O’Neill show the former highway land is in far better shape than its past use might have suggested, engineer John A. Chambers told the Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission at its monthly meeting.
“This is fantastic news,” said Chambers, a vice president with the firm hired by the commission to conduct civil, environmental and transportation engineering. “I felt like Chicken Little telling you at previous meetings what we might find. I’m ecstatic we didn’t find it.”
Then, from the Providence Business News; “I-195 Commission worries over budget”
The commission managing the former Interstate-195 lands considered the $900,000 in this year’s state budget the minimum needed each year to redevelop and maintain the downtown properties. But I-195 Commission Chairman Colin Kane said Monday that state budget officials have told him they expect that money to last three years.
“It was a surprise,” Kane said about learning from budget officials representing the governor, House and Senate leadership last Wednesday that they did not expect to repeat the fiscal 2013 appropriation in the budget for next year. “There is surely a minimum standard that clearly I didn’t [previously] articulate strongly enough.”
I have to assume it never occurred to anyone at the State House to set a budget for this Commission before creating it.