NARRAGANSETT—The Narragansett Town Council continued a motion to approve $29,980 of kitchen improvements to the break room at the town hall. Some town employees, however, have taken umbrage with spending budget dollars on a project which they deem as an unnecessary expenditure.
“Bottom line is that this renovation request is a waste of tax payer's money and is in bad taste during a time of economic hardship,” said one employee. “This break room can be updated for significantly less and still fulfill the needs of Town employees.”
The cost of the kitchen will include $2,275 for a new lounge wall, $13,490 for cabinetry, $5,350 for new countertops, $3,040 for flooring, and $4,825 in other carpentry costs. The $29,980 estimate does not include labor, electrical and plumbing expenditures. The renovation project has been contracted to Abcore Restoration Company, Inc. The town has also purchased appliances for the kitchen renovation, along with knocking out a previous wall in order to expand the breakroom space.
In light of public criticism, Town Manager Grady Miller has defended the kitchen renovations as a necessary improvement for the town hall.
“These updates should have been done years ago,” said Miller. “The breakroom is inadequate for a building of this size and the number of employees, 80 in all. We don’t even have a base kitchen here. People need to understand that we are going from nothing to something.”
“We had three clerk employees talk to us about the break room,” he added. “It wasn’t the town manager, clerk, or director of Public Works who decided [to do renovations to the kitchen].”
Members of the public have also taken issue with the purchase of kitchen appliances before the renovation project has been approved, but Miller noted that the budget funds, which were available, for those items were used last year.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.