The June 12 North Kingstown Town Council meeting agenda was very full, with outstanding citizen participation. Primary issues of concern were the proposed merging of the Ground Water Advisory Committee with the Conservation Commission, and the School Committee’s request for $1.7 million to pay for architectural/engineering services related to the design of the proposed new middle school.
Other issues included the Town Manager’s announcement of a proposed new town well, the addition of Wickford Train Station to RIPTA bus route 14 starting this Saturday, the creation of a committee to study how to use Innovative Education Grants to supplement education outside of the official school program, the status of the old town library on Brown Street, and the adoption of a new fee schedule for the Transfer Station. We also were briefed that here have been no inquiries from businesses on the opportunity to open a retail cannabis store in town.
On the Ground Water Advisory Committee merger with the Conservation Commission, several residents spoke of the significant work done by the committee over the years, while there was also acknowledgement that the Commission, as constituted by statute, has more official influence than an Advisory Committee. After hearing a variety of perspectives, the Council deferred action until our July 17 meeting to give us time to obtain views from the two organizations and to reflect on what we heard.
Council also listened to citizens who were concerned that the School Department is seeking funding from Town Council without a clear explanation of why the Department cannot use its own funds for the purpose. The School Department made clear that if a school bond is approved by voters in the fall, the money sought now would be subsumed into the bond and reimbursed to the town. Council voted to defer a vote on the matter to a subsequent meeting to enable us to more fully understand the proposal by the School Department, as the supporting documentation only came to us earlier in the day and was extensive.
The Town Manager announced that the Water Department has begun the approval process for a new well site off Gilbert Stuart Road. The site is PFAS free. The new well would be completely funded from a grant and would have no financial impact on the Water Department’s customers. It would replace wells 3, 6, 7 and 8 and is expected to exceed the volume from all four of those wells.
As always, more details are available online by watching the video of meetings right here. Council appreciates the thoughtful and constructive comments from residents.