Prior to the 6/28 meeting, Katie Anderson and I visited NK’s 60+ year-old Public Safety Complex that houses our police and fire departments. Here’s a partial list of the problems we witnessed:
cramped sleeping facilities
engine bays too small for new fire equipment
lack of proper space as women join the forces
no room to expand
water flooding issues and rust
At the 6/28 meeting, our Town Manager gave estimates for the costs of addressing these problems and asked the Council to prioritize the projects needed. He stated that the school district will discuss a future project of a new middle school to replace the 60-year-old Davisville and 90-year-old Wickford Middle Schools.
The Standard Times subsequently misreported the bottom line from the last two Town Council discussions of these building projects.
Our Town Manager emailed the paper to clarify the amount of money that the Council is preparing to request via bond issue.
Current short-term proposals come to only $45 million: $30mil for a new Public Safety Complex and $15mil to renovate the old Town Hall; these two projects combined could address a number of Town needs.
The school district is also looking at 2026-27 for a middle school and estimated that the project may be $90 million.
This would come to a total of $135 million over the next five years, not $190 million as inaccurately reported in the Standard Times.
The 6/28 Council meeting also held three liquor license hearings for restaurants in Wickford that have asked to stay open to outdoor patrons until 9pm. While a few people wrote to the council to express concerns, none of them complained about the specific businesses, and one person wrote in support of the longer hours.