Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-03-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 3-9, 2019 NORTH PROVIDENCE 3 NORTH PROVIDENCE – Starting next week, residents and property owners will be able to get all their planning, zoning, building and tax needs addressed under one roof at Town Hall. All employees currently working in the municipal structure next to the existing North Providence Police and Fire Department, at 1967 Mineral Spring Ave., will have their first day at Town Hall next Monday, April 8, said Mayor Charles Lombardi. Every public safety employee at the property will be moving to a new public safety complex further up Mineral Spring Avenue in the coming months. Moving the other employees out now will allow the town to market the town properties in this complex as one parcel to a potential new buyer, said the mayor. "We expect it will bring a pretty good payday, which will most defi- nitely benefit the taxpayers," he said. Lombardi has said he thinks the town can easily make more than $2 million on the sale of the existing public safety complex once police and fire personnel move out, a wind- fall he says will help the town avoid tax increases for multiple years. The building next door to the police and fire station, long used for municipal offices, will make the property more valuable for sale, he said. According to the mayor, it was always his plan to have municipal employees eventually move to Town Hall. He got the ball rolling on that initiative last year when he merged tax collections and tax assessor offic- es on the main floor of Town Hall, opening up space on the basement level, which opens up with doors on the back parking lot. The mayor also previously expanded that lot with the purchase of a small office building property behind Town Hall, located at 2000 Smith St. The mayor said it just makes sense for all of these offices, including building, zoning, planning, electrical and plumbing, to function together under the same roof as other offices, particularly the tax offices and town clerk's office upstairs. These are all employees who interact almost on a daily basis with employees in those existing Town Hall offices. The tax assessor's office was previ- ously located on the basement level where building inspections is going now. Lombardi last year merged tax collections and the assessor's office, bringing an estimated annual savings of about $100,000. By mov- ing that office upstairs, with Tom Kane handling leadership duties for both tax departments, it opened up the opportunity "to move building inspections at the appropriate time to Town Hall." It was important, the mayor said, to clear the municipal offices out early so not everyone is moving out of the current public safety complex at once. Departments moving to Town Hall; open for business Monday By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY CHARLES LAWRENCE Renovations to the North Providence Town Hall are nearing completion with the TAX ASSESSOR AND TAX COLLECTOR'S OFFICES now both in one large room on the main floor. Previously, the assessor's office was on a lower floor, which will now be used to accommodate town employees moving over from the building next to the North Providence Police and Fire Department. See TOWN HALL, Page 6

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