But some residents insist that their opposition to the plan is based not on emotion, but on more realistic concerns. Richard Zampella, a Point Lookout business owner, said he believes there was a lack of transparency and community involvement in the department’s decisions. “I think that everyone in the community would like to see them upgrade their facilities,” Zampella said. “The question is, that $7.5 million is the equivalent of a Cadillac, when it could probably be done with a Chevrolet.”
Zampella said that there are still many unanswered questions about the plan. There has been no explanation of the costs, he said, nor have department officials announced what construction company they will use. He also expressed concern about impartial oversight during the bond vote, noting that the department has not said who will count the votes.
“My interest is to encourage a dialogue,” he said. “Let’s come up with a plan that works for everybody.
Zampella said that a town hall meeting should have been held while the department was formulating its plan so that it could have incorporated residents’ suggestions. He has helped circulate a petition against the plan, which has already garnered 400 signatures, he said.
“It doesn’t seem to be in the best interests of the community,” he said of the department’s plan. “They’re making it a very costly place to live.”