A Hummel Report Investigation
This week Jim Hummel is back with our quarterly update - new information on previous investigations, including another expense for taxpayers at the Wickford Junction Train Station and an unexpected turn-of-events surrounding a controversial illegal parking lot in Providence with a history of violations, but no enforcement from the city. Plus: why has it taken D.E.M. five years to take an environmental violator to court?
Click here to see our original 2012 report on Wickford Junction, here for our 2013 follow-up, and here for the 2014 update review.
Click here to see our original report on the Providence parking lot.
Click here to see our original report on RI Recycled Metal, and here for our first follow-up report.
For details on one of the art projects at Wickford Junction, click here.
I’m Jim Hummel and we have new information this week on some of our previous investigations. We begin with the Wickford Junction Train station, which already is costing taxpayers more than half a million dollars a year just to maintain. Now we’ve learned that another $300,000 is going for state-mandated art projects at the station.
It’s titled ``Semaphore’’ and was designed by team of Seattle-based artists, and installed at Wickford Junction last fall at a cost of $140,000. At night the mosaic changes colors, and during the day visitors can see it from Route 102 aligned with a sculpture that looks like a train signal.
State law mandates that 1 percent of the cost of all public building construction projects be set aside for publicly-funded art. And because Wickford Junction - which opened nearly three years ago - cost $44 million, it qualified for hundreds of thousands of dollars in art projects, commissioned by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts..
A second sculpture titled ``All Aboard’’ is scheduled to be installed once the ground has thawed out in front of the state. It comes with a price tag of $175,000 from an artist in Wyoming. That’s a total cost to taxpayers of $315,00 for the two pieces of artwork.