Town Council Meeting: July 17, 2023
The North Kingstown Town Council meeting on July 17 began with six hearings. The Council approved an application for a block grant to fund a new playground for Yorktown Park, Camp Scholarships, and further funding for Crossroads. There were three proposed ordinances changes and the most controversial one was merging the Conservation Commission with the Ground Water Committee. The town proposed to do this as the Ground Water Committee was having problems gaining a quorum and there were suggestions of redundancy between the committees. The Town Council tabled the change and requested the administration to discuss if the Ground Water Committee could be a subcommittee of the Conservation Commission. This will be discussed again in either August or September.
The State is finally moving forward with the sidewalk project for West Main and Post Road and the Council approved the next steps. We are hoping this work begins in 2025 and is completed in 2025 or 2026. The other RIDOT project is the Wickford roundabout. Citizens are voicing their concerns and the Town Manager will speak to the State about this proposal and update the Council. We also approved the replacement of the water main in Saunderstown. Three people came to voice their support for the repair, which passed unanimously.
The Town Manager reported the following:
Tax bills are coming out later due to a printing error.
Our Fire Department received two apparatus awards for the restoration and maintenance of our “Washington Hand Tub” as part of a National Antique Fire Truck Society. The antique fire trucks, purchased by North Kingstown in 1885, were restored by retired fire fighters in 2017 as part of the 100th anniversary of the NK Firefighters.
Our fire fighters installed AED’s (automated external defibrillator) around North Kingstown as part of our 4-minute program to save lives. We are working on having Narcan kits installed in the AED units.
We discussed the School Committee’s decision to move forward with the Building Sub-Committee plan for one middle school at Davisville Middle School. The Building Sub-Committee is no longer looking at Quidnessett Elementary as a viable site for a new middle school. The Town Manager stated the Town would need to eventually grant the school district the use of the athletic fields at Davisville and then look for building other municipal fields. There was a brief question of whether the Wickford Middle School would be turned over to the town, but It was point out that in the past, the school committee did not hand over every building when it was discontinued for classes, only Wickford Elementary.
There was a discussion about installing a Tide Gage at Brown Street in cooperation with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in the amount of $82,900.00. This was requested by Kerry McKay last year to give citizens a measure that the tide was rising as Mr. McKay wanted proof of climate change. The estimated cost for the Tide Gage was more than expected and the Town already has a tide gage at Quonset. However, the Directors of Planning and Water both supported the installation as a means of education for the public. The Council did not approve the expenditure but requested more information about the Quonset tide gage and will discuss the expenditure at a later date.
Submitted by North Kingstown Town Councilwoman Dr. Kim Page.