Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 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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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 11-17, 2019 LINCOLN 7 LINCOLN – Legislation has been introduced to the General Assembly that would effectively consolidate the operations of two of Lincoln's fire districts. Introduced on April 4, House bill 5958 calls for the merging of the Albion and Saylesville Fire Districts into a newly created Lincoln Fire District. The bill is scheduled for consideration today, April 11, after it was submitted by Reps. Gregory Costantino, Mia Ackerman and Jack Lyle. If approved at the Statehouse, the question of whether or not to merge the two districts would then be presented to the voters. An elec- tion would be held in Albion and Saylesville, and taxpayers in both vil- lages would have to approve of the plan for it to move forward. Under the legislation, notice must be sent to the residents of each district at least 20 days before the election. "The consolidation committee wanted to be sure both sets of tax- payers were in agreement," said attorney Louis DeSimone, adding that the vote would hopefully occur sometime this fall or earlier. Consolidating budgets will result in a new tax rate for the combined dis- trict as well, with the charge no more than $4 on each $1,000 of valuation. Similar to when Saylesville absorbed the Lonsdale Fire District, meetings would be held in both Albion and Saylesville before the vote to update taxpayers on the details of the months-long negotia- tions process. DeSimone said he's not aware of any real stumbling blocks to the merger legislation passing, saying there's no strong opposition at this point. Both stations will remain open under the plan, and staffing will not be reduced. The legislation mandates that there would be one fire chief, under the direction of the board of com- missioners, in command of the department. At the inception of the department there would also be an assistant fire chief position, "in rec- ognition of the two ranking officers currently holding positions in the respective fire districts of Albion and Saylesville." If either the chief or assistant posi- tions are vacated, the legislation allows for the assistant chief position to be eliminated. The exiting districts of Albion and Saylesville have until Dec. 31, 2020, to "take all necessary steps to effec- tuate the consolidation of districts," otherwise the legislation would be tossed back to the General Assembly. Consolidating Albion and Saylesville would bring Lincoln from six independent fire districts in 2015 to four now. A fire consolida- tion feasibility study completed that year recommended that the town combine its districts into a single fire service agency, noting that growth has slowed in Lincoln over the last decade. The report also says there are "opportunities to improve fire service delivery through consolidated operations." The Albion Fire District covers approximately 3.6 miles and ser- vices roughly 3,200 residents from a single station, according to the study. Saylesville covers approximately two square miles and services about 3,800 residents from a single station. Formation of Lincoln Fire District up for consideration By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Pending passage of legislation this spring and a vote by the taxpayers of both districts, Lincoln's Albion and Saylesville Fire Districts will be consolidated into one district. Game Night at Lime Rock Baptist Church Saturday LINCOLN – There will be a Game Night at Lime Rock Baptist Church, 1075 Great Road, on Saturday, April 13, at 6 p.m. Join the church for a night of board games, card games, video games and food. Games for all ages will be available or participants can bring their own. Family and friends are invited. Star Wars STEM night at Lincoln Library Monday LINCOLN – Join the Lincoln Public Library, 145 Old River Road, on Monday, April 15, at 6 p.m., as friends from MobileQuest present a night of Star Wars STEM activities. Participants will code robots dur- ing this program, open to children ages 4-12 accompanied by an adult. Only one adult will be allowed per child and kids ages 8 and under must have an adult with them. Space is limited. Register online at lincolnlibrary.com, stop by the Reference Desk, or call 401-333- 2422, ext. 22. Art therapy at Atria Lincoln Place April 11 LINCOLN – It's Parkinson's Awareness Month and Atria Lincoln Place, 612 George Washington Highway, is holding a dinner and painting event on Thursday, April 11, from 3 to 5 p.m. Art therapy can improve mood, self-confidence, creativity, motor skills and general quality of life. Attendance is free but seating is limited so reservations are required. RSVP to Maria Kishfy at 401-334- 1686, ext. 18.

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