Mar 7, 2016 8:43 PM
Hundreds of Portsmouth residents protest upgrades to water facility on Peirce Island
More than 100 Portsmouth residents arrived to a city hall meeting to protest Portsmouth’s plan to spend $75 million for upgrades to the Peirce Island Wastewater facility.
“This will define Portsmouth for future generations. For my children and my grandchildren someday,” said Rick Becksted, a Portsmouth resident at the meeting Monday night.
“It's critical to make sure it's something that's needed,” echoed Steve Durgan, another Portsmouth resident.
The people of Portsmouth made it clear they're angry after a proposal to expand the water treatment facility on Peirce Island.
“Some of these homes and the route that they are going to be taking by these trucks are going to cause unforeseen damage that the homeowners will be responsible for,” said Becksted of the current plan to upgrade the plant.
The residents NH1 News spoke to all had the same concerns.
They said they're mad at the plan, the lack of public input and the money. The price tag on possible expansion a hefty one. But the biggest issue to them is the alleged inconsistencies in the documents given to the public to help them understand the council's thinking.
“There is about $40 million worth of inconsistencies,” said Becksted, who admitted it was hard to get a hold of all the right documents to fully understand the proposal.
“It seems there has been one PowerPoint was given for a work secession on it and has very different numbers than what was actually given at the work secession. So many of us are asking what happened within those 6 days,” said Esther Kennedy, a former Portsmouth City Council Member,
Despite her former position, Kennedy is leading the march against expansion at Peirce and for the facility to be moved to Pease. She's not accusing anyone, she said, just looking for honest answers.
“Hopefully tonight is to get answers. Unfortunately tonight the answers are coming on the same night as a vote,” said Kennedy.
The council began to take public comment at 8 p.m. on Monday night and was scheduled to vote to authorize the bond for $75 million shortly following.