Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-24-2019

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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4 NORTH PROVIDENCE APRIL 24-30, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION he said. Supt. Joe Goho said the revised state aid formula "was sup- posed to bring pre- dictability," and that it has done the oppo- site. He continued, "When you forecast health care, transpor- tation and contractual increases, state aid just doesn't cover it." Noting that cuts usually come from personnel first, he said North Providence schools have been "lean- ly staffed," lacking the intervention- ists and specialists that other districts have. He said enrollment is steadily growing, another obstacle in cutting staff. School board member Gina Picard said the district should also be thoughtful about offering competitive salaries given statewide recruitment issues. "We're not able to attract people and we're also losing people," Goho said. Member Roderick Da Silva said state aid to education is really "the state providing money to pay their bills." As an example, Goho said the state has a monopoly on statewide transportation with only one vendor, and that they raised the rates in the middle of the fiscal year. Chairman Frank Pallotta said in light of the needs of the district and lack of state aid, "it's reasonable that we need to retrieve that money from the town." "The increases in the lines are not exorbitant," he said. "These are reasonable projections. We are not asking for an exorbitant amount, we are asking for the town to replace the $1.2 million that the state is not providing." Asked whether there was a cap on the increase the schools could ask for, attorney Ben Scungio said it's 4 percent, but advised that "the mayor in some years hasn't even consid- ered your budget if it's more than 4 percent." School Committee member Steven Andreozzi echoed Goho that the schools have been "running lean," adding that the town's appropriation to education has been "minimal at best" in recent years. Lombardi increased the school appropriation by $444,811 in 2015, level-funded the district in 2016, offered a $200,000 increase in 2017, and again level-funded the district in 2018 and 2019. Last year, the town rejected the schools' request for an increase of $868,913. While Lombardi conceded that he tends to level-fund the schools, he disagreed that educators are being fiscally responsible. "I'm not happy with some of the spending over there. Mostly in administration," he told The Breeze. He said he called a meeting with school officials Monday morning out of concern for the spending practices in the schools. The mayor penned a letter to Pallotta and the School Committee in late March requesting that all non-essential hiring and spending "be placed on hold until all parties (administration and council) have the opportunity to review your bud- get request for 2019-2020" due to the uncertainty of state funding for the schools. "I can guarantee there's going to be more oversight into the spend- ing of the School Department," he added. "The lack of accountability will disappear." He said the schools operate independently from the town, but "because this is one town with several merged departments, all spending needs to be accounted for." Members of the school board noted that the schools paid more than $380,000 for mold cleanup last summer even though school facilities are owned by the town and that the schools share a maintenance depart- ment and budget with the town. "We handed over maintenance to them and it was a fault of theirs that there was a mold issue. I expected to be reimbursed for that mold issue," Andreozzi said. "It's a shame ... this blows our budget right up." Lombardi acknowledged that the schools were "put in a very, very difficult position" when the former superintendent and finance director resigned last year. "I want to be very fair in my statements, they've been faced with a difficult situation, but if I was responsible for managing or funding the administration it would be different," he said. Goho said he felt it was "appar- ent that HR and finance have been working night and day to move us in the right direction," and "given the situation everyone came into, they've done an outstanding job in a short period of time." Asked how he would characterize Monday's meeting with Lombardi, Goho said it was "a productive dis- cussion among parties that share a mutual goal of providing the highest quality of education for our taxpay- ers in the most fiscally responsible manner for taxpayers." During the meeting, Lombardi said he questioned when the schools will be submitting a budget. School board members said they planned to vote on the proposed budget tonight, April 24, and submit it to the may- or's office by Thursday. BUDGET From Page One GOHO PALLOTTA LOMBARDI YMCA will hold Healthy Kids Day Saturday PAWTUCKET – Several YMCA of Pawtucket branches, including Pawtucket Family YMCA, MacColl YMCA in Lincoln and Woonsocket YMCA, will be hosting a free com- munity event on Saturday, April 27, as part of the Y's Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative to help kids and families remain active throughout the summer. The event will feature fun activi- ties at each of the participating Y locations, and each branch will rein- force the importance of maintaining healthy routines and improving edu- cational achievement. Healthy Kids Day is free and open to the public, and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Pawtucket Family YMCA, 20 Summer St., will feature activi- ties such as rock climbing and face painting, and will offer kids healthy snack options and chances to win prizes. For more information about the day's activities, families are encour- aged to contact participating branch- es directly. Visit the Y website at ymcapaw- tucket.org . got a news tip? Call Ethan at 401-334-9555, ext. 130 or e-mail it to ethan@valleybreeze.com ABOUT US The Valley Breeze is a locally owned newspaper Office location: 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, RI 02865 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Closed weekends and holidays. Call us: 401-334-9555 Fax: 401-334-9994 Online: www.valleybreeze.com READER SERVICES DO YOU HAVE A STORY IDEA? Contact Managing Editor Ethan Shorey at ethan@valleybreeze.com or call 401-334-9555, ext. 130. 24-hour, 7-day voice mail. ADVERTISING – Call your sales representative, or Publisher Tom Ward at 401-334-9555, ext. 123 or email: tward@valleybreeze.com CLASSIFIEDS – Place ads at valleybreeze.com, or call 401-334-9555 during office hours. NEWS BRIEFS AND CALENDAR EVENTS Let others know about events sponsored by your non-profit organization, church or school. • Deadline: Entertainment news is Friday at noon. 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We're sorry, but we have few back issues of papers in our offices and cannot provide free library services. • Online: Visit www.valleybreeze.com, and click on "Search The Breeze Archive." Use keywords to find old stories. Single stories cost $2.95 through our Newsbank partners. Multi-story packages, which provide lower costs per story, are also available. SUBSCRIPTIONS – The Valley Breeze may be delivered anywhere in the United States, in an envelope, by First Class mail only. The cost is $189 per year, or $4 per week. Phone 401-334-9555 for details. COPYRIGHTS – valleybreeze.com or its content may not be linked to any other Web site without the written permission of the publisher. News aggregators that solicit advertising may not link valleybreeze.com. North Providence CDBG Hearing Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Town Hall - City Council Chambers 200 Smith Street, North Providence The Town is considering applying for Rhode Island Community Development Block grant funds, approximately $5 million is available statewide, to undertake a range of activities including: A) improved housing opportunities for low and moderate income families and individuals; B) provision of employment opportunities for low and moderate income persons; and C) provision of community facilities and services principally benefiting low and moderate income families and individuals. The purpose of the meeting is to obtain views of citizens on the community development and housing needs of the Town of North Providence prior to submittal of an application to the State. The room is accessible. Individuals who wish to participate and need sign language or language interpretation, please call 401-233-1419 or TDD 401-232-3580 by Monday, April 29 TOWN OF NORTH PROVIDENCE PLANNING BOARD 2000 Smith Street, North Providence, RI 02911 (401) 232-0900 PUBLIC NOTICE AND AGENDA Notice is hereby given that the North Providence Planning Board will hold a public meeting at 6:00 P.M. on May 8, 2019 in the Council Chambers of the North Providence Town Hall, 2000 Smith St., North Providence, RI 02911 when all persons interested will be heard regarding the actions described below: Public hearing on a proposed Master Plan for a 30 unit condominium development at 41 Marconi Street, Plat 22A Lots 502, 508, 478-480, and 545-550. Applicant: Country View Holding, LLC. 106 Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI 02882. Armand Cortellesso, Manager. By Order of the Planning Board David R. Westcott, AICP - Town Planner APPLICATIONS ARE ON FILE FOR REVIEW IN THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT OFFICES AT 1951 MINERAL SPRING AVENUE, NORTH PROVIDENCE, RI. INDIVIDUALS REQUESTING INTERPRETER SERVICE FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED MUST NOTIFY THE TOWN CLERK AT (401) 232-0900 SEVENTY TWO (72) HOURS IN ADVANCE OF THE HEARING.

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