Tempers flared at a Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission meeting Monday night over how much control the land panel may ultimately have or whether it’s being asked to cede to the state some control granted to the commission by legislation that created the panel in 2011.
The commission is moving closer to taking control of about 20 developable acres of former highway land, but it did not cast a final vote Monday about whether to proceed with a bond sale that will allow that to happen.
The bond proceeds will pay for the final phase of the $623-million highway-relocation project — knitting together city streets to connect the old highway land with the rest of the city. In financing the highway project, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation pledged a local match to the Federal Highway Administration. The bond sale will raise that money and allow the DOT to transfer control of the land to the commission.
It is hard to sell the land when we haven’t even built the streets and the utilities to it.