Building A Boardwalk: An Eight Year Event!

Posted on June 6, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Residents of the shoreline town of Milford, Connecticut have something to celebrate this month. After eight years of development and construction, and $2.4 million in government funding, they now have a shoreline boardwalk.

Former House Speaker Jim Amman and other dignitaries recently attended the grand opening of the boardwalk, which runs for two thirds of a mile and connects Silver Sands State Park with the neighborhood of Walnut Beach. A year before the ceremony, Walnut Beach Association President Joe Garbus and others publicly referred to it as “the project that wouldn’t die,” while Garbus himself commented that many scoffed “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The scenic addition to the landscape is undoubtedly a welcome attraction for the community; nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder whether the $2.4 million in funding would have been diverted to other purposes had it not been appropriated eight years ago, well before the fiscal meltdown struck our economy. Why did the project require eight long years? The only explanation offered was an unexpected discovery of piping plover nests, which necessitated the rerouting of the boardwalk to avoid disturbing their homes.

Fellow accountants, here is the bottom line: our government leaders dedicated eight years and $2.4 million in funding to construct a scenic boardwalk that runs for less than a mile. Having now spent the money, how should our state measure its return on this investment? And what expectations should it place on proposed future investments?

Contributed by Michael Kraten, PhD, CPA, Accounting Professor at Providence College and President of Enterprise Mgt. Corp.

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