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  • Larry Mandel

NKTC Meeting Minutes: May 20, 2024

The May 20 North Kingstown Town Council (NKTC) meeting was productive. Below is TC Larry Mandel's summary of the highlights; as always different people will see things differently. A video of the meeting can be watched on the town’s website.


Highlights included receiving an update on plans for a proposed Public Safety complex project, approving an exhibitors license application by the Wickford Village Association to host an event designed to bring visitors into the village during the Art Festival, and approving a contract to mitigate flood danger and damage at the parking lot behind Brown Street. We also endorsed the recommendation of the Harbor Management and Conservation Commissions that objected to two proposals for docks to be constructed adjacent to a neighborhood beach in town in a matter that will now go to the Coastal Management Resources Commission for final decision.


The Police and Fire Chiefs briefed on their plans to replace the outdated and inadequate public safety complex. In an effort to reduce costs, both departments have scaled back their plans. Their new proposal, which they outlined and expect to present in detail at our June 24 meeting, is to build a new Fire Station on the existing property, and a new Police Station (to include the Emergency Dispatch Center and the Fire Department’s administrative staff) at a property in Quonset Industrial Park. Previously they had thought to consolidate the operations, but the presence of wetlands adjacent to the current public safety complex and the need to keep fire apparatus centrally have resulted in the current plan.


As you may know, many in town had sought to return the Art Festival the village, but the Art Association chose to keep the event at Wilson Park, pledging their support for helping funnel visitors into the village. The merchants have gotten together to sponsor an event in Wickford that they hope will draw Festival visitors. This should benefit not only the merchants but the churches and others who have traditionally relied upon the Festival for their fund-raisers.

Flooding in the municipal parking lot behind the drugstore in Wickford has been a perpetual problem. Last night we approved the award of a contract that will improve the seawall and drainage within the parking lot, as well as repave and re-landscape. The work will start in the next weeks, but construction will be delayed until after the tourist season and be completed before next summer.


Residents on properties along Earle Street and surrounding had raised objections to proposals to construct two docks near the local beach, where swimming and kayaking are popular and variances would have been required. Two town committees unanimously had substantive objections to the proposals, and Council voted to uphold the committees’ recommendations. The matter will now go to the CMRC for final decision.


Finally, the Town Manager reported that Revolution Wind continues to make progress in completing the on-shore aspects of the wind turbine project. Those affected by the construction or with questions can reach the company at info@revolution-wind.com. He provided timelines for completing construction projects at Wilson and McGinn Parks’ recreation facilities (early June for basketball, tennis and pickleball courts; late June for skatepark); announced a town initiative whereby the first 50 residents can get a $75 discount on a rain barrel at Wickford Lumber; and said beach passes can be picked up at the Old Town Hall or the Municipal Office Building. He also confirmed that the town has received the long-discussed read-only access to the School Department’s financial information.


The next NKTC meeting will be held on Monday, June 10th.


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