A Hummel Report Investigation
As we put the wrap on another year of investigations Jim Hummel has new information on a handful of our reports: from a surprise twist involving a controversial asphalt plant in Coventry and progress on the North Providence School Department’s efforts to upgrade its aging buildings - to the D.O.T.’s latest response to our investigation of the Apponaug Circulator project and one more hit for the taxpayers at the Wickford Junction Train Station. The Hummel Report has all of the details.
As we put the wrap on another year of investigations we have new developments on a handful of our reports - beginning with the case of a Coventry neighborhood that’s been living with the fallout of having two asphalt plants next to their property.
The neighbors complained that these two plants - in an industrial park adjacent to their homes - never received formal town approval to expand or to have extended operating hours that many said were ruining their quality of life.
In late 2013 we spoke with Tammy Duxbury, who led one of the citizens groups that had pushed local and state officials to crack down. Fast forward two years and Duxbury now sits on the Town Council, which last week learned from its solicitor that a consent agreement allowing this plant to have extended hours for 30 days a year was never ratified by the town council. Nor was an expansion of the plant after the operator bought it in 2004.
We spoke with the plant owner, Tom Miozzi, for our story and he said at the time he understood the neighbors’ concerns and wanted to move his operation. But finding a place and paying for the move were major obstacles.
At the end of an extended discussion at the last council meeting , Miozzi announced he has found a tentative site and hopes to move out of Coventry over the next six to 12 month. In a later conversation with The Hummel Report, Miozzi said he could not disclose the site publicly yet but was confident the deal would be finalized in the next several weeks.
The residents tell us they’ll believe it when they see the equipment being moved.
Last month our investigation into the Apponaug Circulator project included an interview with DOT Director Peter Alviti - who pledged to follow up on problems we brought up in our report. Now, those results are in.
During a 45-minute interview with the director, we relayed concerns of some Warwick residents about the condition of the circulator, which is undergoing a $30 million upgrade and redesign.
Specifically, we asked Alviti about a portion a trench cut that seemed to have collapsed.
Alviti: ``From that video, there were two areas, one in particular over a gas trench, that I saw about a 10-foot section of that I would be concerned with and that our guys will be charged with going and taking a compaction test, another one, in that specific area.’’