- Katie Anderson
Town Council update, October 17, 2022
Updated: Oct 26, 2022
This is a review of meeting highlights. To view the full agenda and all corresponding documents, click here. Note that all items were approved unanimously.
Highlights of our 10/17/22 Town Council meeting included:
Robust public comment and discussion around how we can strengthen noise ordinances in response to rising incidents of ATVs, modified vehicles, and other potential nuisances that threaten not only peace and quiet, but can also pose a serious risk to safety.
Approval for purchase of an excavator for the golf course, which continues to enjoy record numbers in terms of games played. The Town Manager noted that town departments share equipment to cut down on costs.
Approval of consent agenda items that included emergency grants to our Fire Department
Receipt of generous donations toward our senior center holiday giving program; from Ocean State Job Lot to our animal shelter ($2,500); and from Ocean State North Kingstown soccer to go toward field seeding costs ($5,000)
After 17 months of planning and negotiation, the council proudly approved a PILOT agreement that establishes what Revolution Wind will pay the town, in taxes and in host community agreements, for their offshore wind project. Rhode Island continues to be a leader in renewable energy. North Kingstown is proud to do its part. The offshore wind cable connection will come ashore through Quonset to a soon-to-be-built renewable energy substation, also at Quonset. The council voted unanimously (with President Mancini recusing himself) to ensure our community remains a leader in our state’s transition to 100% renewable energy. The agreement can be viewed in full here. It also brings considerable revenue to our town:
Real estate PILOT payments:
Years 1-5: $24,863 annually
Years 6-10: $27,970 annually
Years 11-15: $31,467 annually
Years 16-20: $35,400
Personal property PILOT payments at a rate of $17.50 per thousand
A $2,000,000 host community payment to the town
Thank you to Town Manager Ralph Mollis, Town Solicitor Matthew Callaghan, Revolution Wind LLC, and Quonset Development Corporation Managing Director Stephen King for your efforts on this PILOT.
In addition, the council discussed ways to increase transparency, communication, and sound fiscal management between the town and school department. The town and schools created a memorandum of understanding that allowed each respective body to manage its own finances, resulting in on-time, clean audits. We tasked the town manager with returning to the school department to negotiate a new provision that would grant each party read-only access to the other’s ledgers. This move toward increased collaboration - while still respecting the distinct role and scope of each group - ensures there are “no surprises” to either group as Manager Mollis stated.
We also appointed several individuals to various boards and commissions:
Tim Wasco, Ahren Cohen, and Tim Warren to the Conservation Commission
Rini Georgekutty and Danny Humbyrd to the Library Board of Trustees
Michael Donohue to the Wickford Advisory Committee
My thanks to the aforementioned residents for their willingness to serve. We moved to advertise ongoing vacancies in the Economic Development Advisory Board, Groundwater Committee, Information Technology Advisory Committee, and Wickford Village Design Guidelines Committee. If you would like to give back to your committee through service, please apply through the town website.