After a barrage of damage due to weather related phenomena, natural disasters due to earth quakes, a stalled economy, an elevated cost of living, which even at the most basic level has spun out of control when a litre carton of milk in recent years has gone from €1,19 to €1,69, all recognise that these are trying times for individual residents and the administration alike.
This, however, is no excuse for poor judgment.
After politely imploring an Assessore of the comune for weeks to rectify the situation on the upper Tiglio road, severely damaged by the storm of October 21st, and left with a 30cm deep channel of sludge beside a narrow swath of asphalt through
which one had to very carefully manoeuvre to minimise scraping bottom, the maintenance department of the comune effectively dumped a truckload of large gravel, which simply made a bad situation worse.
Might an argument be made that the road is under populated and only by absentee foreign owners and thereby not worth maintaining? In addition to its native residents, one of whom, in point of fact, built an important section of the road at his own cost, there are several, what would have been otherwise abandoned farms which have indeed been acquired by foreign citizens and/or nonresident Italians who have contributed and continue to contribute substantially to the local economy, without which Barga would be even less solvent.
As a result of the lack of attention to the road, a recent property sale was seriously jeopardised and if one considers an absolutely hypothetical price of €100,000.00, the economy would lose, €7000.00 in Notary fees, €6000.00 in Estate Agent fees, a goodly portion of each would go into the local coffers as income tax; and at least another €2,000.00 in administration fees, not to mention, employment for local geometers, architects, electricians, plumbers, masons and commercial enterprises.
Might an argument be made that the road is under used and thereby not worth maintaining?
There are several arguments against this approach.
The first being that it is a vital link, literally and figuratively, used by among others, three Registered Nurses residing in Piastroso, who are employed in Barga and do shift work, traveling at all hours of day and night and use the road to reduce what would be a 40 minute commute each way to 20 minutes each way to go to their vital jobs in Barga.
Another example is a Ferriera mother, one of several Coreglia residents who use the road who are also property owners and therefore taxpayers in Barga, who travels the road at least 4 times a day to take her high school age daughter to school in Barga, since there is no acceptable public transportation anywhere nearby. Others travel the road from La Ferriera/Piastroso,
some of whom, to repeat, are also property owners and taxpayers in Barga, for family, church, several Piastroso residents regularly attend the Church of San Giusto at Tiglio Alto, and bring substantial business and commerce to Barga.
The recent solution, both ill considered and egregiously poorly executed adds insult to injury in an already difficult situation.
Among other considerations, it’s the Economy, Egregi Signori.
Article by Kerry Bell