Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 05-23-2019

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 SMITHFIELD MAY 23-29, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION NORTH SMITHFIELD – A years-long dispute between the town and the Residences at Slatersville Mill over sewer fees drew to a close last week when representatives for the apartment complex agreed to pay the full fee amount for 224 units beginning in 2021. Under the terms of a settlement agreement approved by the Town Council May 13, the sewer fee charged to the apartment com- plex in the old mill will gradually increase from nine units in 2016 to 40 units in 2017, 80 units in 2018, 112 units in 2019, 180 units in 2020 and 224 units in 2021. The sewer use fee per equivalent dwelling unit in North Smithfield is approximately $500. The dispute traces back to 2017, when the town issued the Residences at Slatersville Mill a sewer bill for 224 units. Prior to 2017, the Residences had paid a fee equiva- lent to nine units despite having 224 units on the property. The change resulted in a sewer bill increase of approximately 2,600 percent from 2016 to 2017. In July of that year, the com- plex filed an appeal with the North Smithfield Board of Sewer Commissioners. When the appeal was denied, the complex filed a sec- ond appeal with the Town Council sitting as the Board of Sewer Appeals, which was also denied. In April of last year, the Residences at Slatersville Mill filed a civil com- plaint over the matter in Rhode Island Superior Court. At the heart of the dispute was a supposed 2010 agreement with the town that allowed the Residences to pay the fee for only nine dwell- ing units following a similar appeal in 2008. The lawsuit contends then-Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton and then-Town Solicitor Richard Nadeau signed an agree- ment allowing the arrangement with the approval of the Town Council. The town, in its response to the suit, contends that such an agreement was never approved by the coun- cil and therefore never took effect. Publicly available meeting minutes from a July 2010 meeting refer to a vote on a settlement agreement but do not elaborate on the terms of that agreement. Last week's settlement denies liability by either party and sets up a new schedule for sewer payments going forward. Town Administrator Gary Ezovski told The Valley Breeze last August that the Residences had only paid a portion of the bill equivalent to nine units in 2017 and 2018. However, according to the settlement, the complex has since paid the full $228,052 balance for 2017 and 2018, an amount that will be applied as a credit to prior bills as well as new bills going forward. "It's a reasonable settlement, I think, and I'm pleased with it," said Ezovski. "They've been reasonable, as I think we have as well, just deal- ing with something that needed to be dealt with." Though the suit has been ongoing for more than a year, Ezovski said it was only within the past few weeks that the two parties agreed upon the terms. He added he thought the original problem might have been addressed earlier if the town had met with the Residences directly. Thomas Pagliarini, the attor- ney representing the Residences, declined to comment on the case. In addition to the charges for the dwelling units, the town will charge the Slatersville Clubhouse as one unit effective this year. A majority of the sewer use fee charged by the town is used to pay the city of Woonsocket for waste processing services. North Smithfield receives a bill based on the volume of waste sent to the Woonsocket plant for treatment. Town reaches settlement on Residences sewer bill By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@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 News Editor Pat Erickson at news@valleybreeze.com or call 401-334-9555, ext. 139. 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. All other news is Monday 3 p.m. • Submit: We prefer receiving news via e-mail. Send yours to news@valleybreeze.com. You may also fax or mail your item. Receipt does not guarantee publication. Event marketing by for- profit businesses requires paid advertising. DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE? Share the good news of your births, engagements, weddings and anniversaries. This is a free service. Pictures will be returned upon request. • Get forms: Visit www.valleybreeze.com, click on "Celebrations" at left, and select a form; or call 401-334-9555; or stop by the office during business hours. OBITUARIES – Obituaries cost $90–$125. They are posted online immediately, and placed in the first available paper. Check with your funeral director for details. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED STORY? All current stories remain free online for one week after print publication. Older stories are now archived online back to July 2001. 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. Town of North Smithfield NOTICE PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX RATE CHANGES The Town of North Smithfield, Rhode Island proposes to increase its property tax levy to $31,884,895 in the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year. The property tax levy in the current year (fiscal year 2018-2019) is $30,679,057. The FY 2019 and FY 2020 tax levies have excluded motor vehicle excise tax for the purpose of determining tax levy growth pursuant to current law. THIS IS A PROPOSED OVERALL LEVY INCREASE OF 3.93%. The Town of North Smithfield is currently conducting a revaluation of property, which is mandated by the State of Rhode Island. It is anticipated that there will be an overall increase in property values and when coupled with the increase in the proposed tax levy will result in a property tax rate of $16.34 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for residential real estate, $18.13 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for commercial and industrial real estate and $40.78 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for tangible personal property, as compared to the current property tax rates of $17.24 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for residential real estate, $19.13 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for commercial and industrial real estate and $43.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for tangible personal property. The preliminary FY 2019-2020 motor vehicle levy includes taxes on motor vehicles at a rate of $35.00 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which includes the exemption amount provided by the state's motor vehicle excise tax phase-out legislation up to $3,000. The net assessment and tax rate breakdown are as follows: Actual Estimated Estimated Actual Estimated Net Assessment Net Assessment Increases Tax Rate Tax Rate Classification FY 2019 FY 2020 Decrease FY 2019 FY 2020 Change Residential $ 1,066,312,175 $ 1,229,259,241 $162,947,066 $ 17.24 $ 16.34 ($0.90) Commercial $ 289,956,543 $ 315,207,294 $ 25,250,751 $ 19.13 $ 18.13 ($1.00) Tangible PP $ 154,104,099 $ 134,458,897 $ (19,645,202) $ 43.00 $ 40.78 ($2.22) Motor Vehicles $ 91,256,046 $ 79,543,352 $ (11,712,694) $ 37.62 $ 35.00 ($2.62) A property tax rate of $16.35 for residential real estate, $18.15 for commercial/industrial real estate and $40.82 for tangible property represents the maximum levy authorized by section 44-5-2 of the general laws. The budget for the Town of North Smithfield will be considered at a Town Council meeting to be held on June 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm, located at the North Smithfield Middle School, 1850 Providence Pike, North Smithfield, RI 02896. The above property tax estimates have been computed in a manner approved by the Rhode Island Department of Revenue. Gary Ezovski, Town Administrator, Town of North Smithfield Town of North Smithfield REPORT TO TAXPAYERS ON THE CURRENT & PROPOSED BUDGET FISCAL YEAR 2019/2020 Current Operating FY 18/19 Current Capital* FY 18/19 Admin Proposed Operating FY 19/20 Admin Proposed Capital* FY 19/20 REVENUES 1. Local Property Tax Levy (Current Year) $34,111,700 $- $34,668,148 $- 1 a. Abatements $(100,000) $- $(75,000) $- 1 b. Allowance for Current Year uncollectible $(682,297) $- $(520,022) $- Net Tax Revenue for Budget $33,329,403 $- $34,073,126 $- 2. Local Property Taxes (Interest & Other) $318,264 $683,611 3. Local Property Tax Levy (Prior Years) $456,000 $- $477,500 $- 4. Local Non-Property $1,296,674 $- $1,370,087 $- 5. State Aid $8,577,460 $- $8,399,386 $- TOTAL REVENUES $43,977,801 $- $45,003,710 $- EXPENDITURES 1. General Government $1,577,999 $- $1,463,284 $- 2. Financial Administration $877,064 $- $894,881 $- 3. Public Safety $5,846,622 $- $6,114,561 $- 4. Public Works $2,541,765 $- $2,707,320 $- 5. Debt Service $3,973,436 $- $4,169,017 $- 6. Fixed Charges $2,385,602 $- $2,612,268 $- 7. Capital $634,832 $- $792,880 $- 8. School Department $26,119,209 $- $26,230,181 $- 9. Grants & Contributions $21,271 $- $19,318 $- TOTAL EXPENDITURES $43,977,801 $- $45,003,710 $- *Please note that for FY2014/2015 and subsequent years, capital is being budgeted as an operating line item. CERTIFICATION: This is to certify that the information in this report is accurate to the best of my knowledge. Gary Ezovski, Town Administrator, Town of North Smithfield

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