Reporter John Ferguson wrote about the major reconstruction of 45th Street as being a part of the city of Galveston’s plan (“Reviving a roadway,” The Daily News, Sept. 10, 2018). Proceeds from the $62 million bond that voters approved in 2017 were meant to rebuild the 45th Street corridor at a cost of $11.5 million, to be completed within the fiscal year.

Then, reporter Keri Heath wrote, “Work on 45th Street to take longer than planned” (The Daily News, Aug. 6, 2019). The project was extended to May, three months later than originally projected. Causes of delay: The city changed work orders by switching from asphalt to concrete and adding a water line, increasing the cost to the taxpayer by an additional $1 million.

Heath followed up with, “45th Street drainage project to continue into next summer,” (The Daily News, Sept. 25). Why the delay? Again, the city made more changes to the underground drainage system and again increased the cost to the taxpayer. Marissa Barnett, the city’s spokeswoman, said, “When exactly it will be completed is unclear.”

And then in Heath’s story, “Crews try to keep 45th Street dry as project drags to 2021” (The Daily News, Nov. 29, 2019), it said city staff originally “thought” there was a drainage system under the east side of the road that just needed improvement, but there was no system at all.

Can you believe this? You cannot make this up. Amazing. This project should’ve never begun until all feasibility studies were completed (feasibility study factors: economic, technical, legal, scheduling and completion of project successfully). This is a total fiasco, once again costing taxpayers millions.

I couldn’t have stated it better than the letter by Charles Wiley (“What’s really going on with 45th Street project?” The Daily News, Dec. 11). In it, he says, “It seems to me that somewhere, somehow, someone has been grossly incompetent,” paraphrasing from the letter. Wiley states businesses are preparing to close and that the project was extended by months, and once again we the taxpayers are paying for this fiasco.

The responsibility to control taxpayers’ moneys is the council’s. Why wasn’t our District 4 representative outraged and adhere to grievances of businesses and property owners in our district? The failure of the city not doing its due diligence cost the taxpayers millions of dollars being wasted in cost overruns and delays.

In the past two years this administration, as well as city council, failed and has shown a disregard to control spending of taxpayers’ moneys. We can do better; we cannot afford theses type of fiascos increasing taxes and wasting taxpayers’ moneys.

The 45th Street project has been ongoing for the past three years and may not be completed until 2021. Remember, the council voted unanimously to increase our property taxes and failed to adhere to grievances of businesses and property owners, resulting in hardship — the possible closing of businesses causing lost taxable revenues and employee layoffs.

This is why we need a change in District 4. We need a person who will stop overspending of our tax dollars and work for the residents and businesses within District 4.

William “Bill” Quiroga is a candidate for District 4 city councilman in Galveston.

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