Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 04-11-2019

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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2 NORTH COUNTY APRIL 11-17, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION SCITUATE – To the relief of many Scituate residents, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's plans to privatize the Providence Water Supply Board went down the drain as he pulled support- ing legislation on Thursday, April 4. Town Councilor Tim McCormick, council liaison to the PWSB, said the move is clearly positive for the town and he was not surprised that the bill was pulled. "I don't think it had a lot of sup- port," McCormick said. While he believes it is positive news, McCormick said it is time for Scituate to come up with a long-term solution to prevent Elorza or any future mayor from attempting to privatize the water supply again. Elorza said the city has no future plans to peruse selling the water sup- ply as a way to fund a $1.1 billion unfunded pension liability. "It's another risk we'll have to address. This thing is not done by any stretch" McCormick said. McCormick said as the liaison, his goal is to create a positive working relationship with the PWSB, which pays for approximately 20 percent of the town's tax base. With upcoming negotiations between the town and the PWSB for payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, around the corner, McCormick said it is crucial to have a seat at the table. He said he is trying to create a strong working relationship with PWSB. "That's why I'm going to monthly board meetings," McCormick said. Taxpayers increased the town bud- get to $75,000 to pay for professional legal services to assist in PILOT nego- tiations at the Financial Town Meeting on Tuesday, April 2. Micheal Marcello, the author of an extensive PWSB report written for the town, said in an online post that the change in direction is good news for the town. He said the town's presence at the various forums and questions asked of Providence officials reminded them Plans to privatize water down the drain By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com See WATER, Page 8 SMITHFIELD – A Coffee Connection with a drive-thru and several retail stores may be com- ing to Douglas Pike next door to Terrazza if developers can offer the Planning Board ways to address traf- fic safety and concerns from abut- ters on sound and light. The Planning Board voted unani- mously at a late March meeting to continue the hearing for master plan approval for the development of two buildings at 655 and 665 Douglas Pike, one an 8,000-square-foot building with four retail units, and another a 5,000-square-foot building with 2,000 square feet of retail and 3,000 square feet filled by Coffee Connection. Plans included a center lane to direct up to 10 cars around the back of the building and through the Coffee Connection drive-thru. Smithfield will be the fourth location for Coffee Connection, which is also in Cumberland, North Providence, and Woonsocket. Known for its coffee beverages, the local franchise also serves break- fast sandwiches and pastries, lunch grinders, wraps and salads, and a large selection of frozen drinks and smoothies. Coffee Connection would operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Abutters are skeptical of traffic engineer John Shevlin's estimates for peak hours between 7:45 and 8:45 a.m. at the coffee shop, which he said would bring in 74 vehicles entering and exiting in that hour. David Martinelli of Fairway Drive said if those numbers are correct, the shop will be out of business in a year. "Those are just not correct," Martinelli said. Martinelli said he was concerned about the traffic situation on Douglas Pike and backups on Limerock Road across the street. He said vehicles traveling along Douglas Pike tend to speed and make it difficult to enter or exit the road safely. "We already have to fight a dan- gerous traffic situation right now. That dangerous traffic situation is going to become a deadly traffic situation," he said. Shevlin said the developer, DFJ Group, is prepared to do a full traffic study for the preliminary plan stage, and look at all the issues to deter- mine potential mitigation to improve access. Martinelli and his neighbor, Marge Marandola of Fairway Drive, said the development would be disruptive to their daily life. Plans show that the residential community is approximately 220 feet downhill from the proposed development. Martinelli said the smell caused by the garbage created in a restau- rant will go right into their homes. Marandola said she moved to Smithfield from North Providence six months ago to "get away from this baloney." "You're ruining our dreams," Marandola said. The Planning Board requested that developers return to the April 18 Planning Board meeting for a decision on preliminary plans with an updated plan confronting traffic issues, noise and light screening for residents near the development, as well as a rendering more in compli- ance with the look of the neighbor- hood. Coffee Connection on Douglas Pike possible By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com Plans for a coffee shop, COFFEE CONNECTION, will fill the right unit of the proposed development on Douglas Pike next door to Terrazza. Developers will return to the Planning Board on Thursday, April 18, with additional information requested by the board before a decision is issued. Watercolor class at Greenville Library Saturday SMITHFIELD – Greenville Public Library, 573 Putnam Pike, will host a Watercolor Art Class on Saturday, April 13, at 1 p.m. This is an introductory course in watercolor painting with artist Jerry Aissis. All materials will be provid- ed. Space is limited and registration is required. Register by calling the library at 401-949-3630 or visiting the event calendar at www.yourlibrary.ws .

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