3/28 Town Council Mtg. Recap
After our salute to the flag, the council had a brief moment of silence in honor of former NK school committee member William Mudge and Exeter Town Councilor and former state senator Frank Marr, both of whom recently passed away. Both gentlemen were remembered for their public service to their respective communities.
Special Presentation by NKHS student Nicholas Asciolla
For his senior project NKHS student Nicholas Asciolla made a presentation to the town council about the benefits of the town funding a recreational center. In his presentation, Nicholas informed the community that the nearest major rec center is approximately 10 miles away in South Kingstown and that it costs NK residents to go there. He informed us that our country has significant obesity challenges and said exercise is credited with eliminating or lowering obesity, and that a rec center would provide the opportunity for citizens and their children to exercise more. He researched potential locations, possible amenities at the rec center, and offered to assist to do what it takes to make sure that a rec center is built.
The Town Council unanimously approved the following expenditures:
The town also received the following donation: $25
Town Manager Report
The Town Manager reported:
NK will host Rhode Island’s Arbor Day on Friday, April 29th at 10:30AM at Wilson Park.
Phase I of the library interior improvements begins this week. Funding is from the Champlin Foundations.
Street sweeping begins today and will go through June.
Our Water Department has applied for more than $5 million in federal funds for infrastructure improvements.
NK FFD distributed over 20,000 free COVID tests.
Renovation of our town hall at 80 Boston Neck Road is moving along. We should have a ribbon cutting ceremony this summer.
Unfortunately, however ,a small group of local citizens in Wickford hired legal counsel and sent a letter to the developers of the Wickford Elementary School project. This building “will not be able to stand on its own for much longer” if this project does not move forward.
RI Transit Authority is expanding its service. They are proposing a new bus route, 16, which will offer hourly service between CCRI in Warwick and Quonset Business Park via Bald Hill Road, Division Street and Post Road. It will also serve Kent County Courthouse and New England Tech. They are hosting 8 public hearings in regards to this and other changes.
Congratulations to Chelsey Dumas-Gibbs. She was awarded $1,000 to help purchase two new soft top lightweight rescue boards to be used by the lifeguard personnel at our Town Beach along with a $905 scholarship for Chelsey and one other employee to attend a Certified Playground Safety Inspector Training.
Finance Report: Finance Director Jim Lathop reported that as of this date we still expect a $1.9 million surplus, which represents 1.69% of our budget, due to greater than expected tax revenue and higher than expected department revenue. However, that might change downward going forward.
While all of the members lauded the mission of the organization, the council unanimously voted to table the RI Farm Incubator’s request to submit legislation for tax exempt status for properties located at Indian Corner Road and 132 Exeter Road. It was noted that they are already receiving an open space tax break from the town.
The council unanimously voted to ratify the proposed collective bargaining agreement between the town and the International Association of Firefighters Local 1651.
The council unanimously voted to have a public hearing for expansion of town liquor licenses for a potential new restaurant on Boston Neck Road.
The Town appointed Scott Lessard to the Information Technology Advisory Committee.
The council’s next meeting is Monday, April 4, 2022.