Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 09-05-2019

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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Page 14 of 51

SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SEPTEMBER 5-11, 2019 SMITHFIELD 15 Coates said the Carpionato Group is not ready to disclose pending occupants at this time, but expects an announcement within the next 30 days. He said the company will have some "good announcements" for the town soon. "I can assure you, Gina (Raimondo) is not moving the Statehouse there," Coates said. The Carpionato Group redevel- oped many of the other Benny's properties into similar uses, such as Dollar General, Ace Hardware, pet stores and grocers. Peter Flynn of the Carpionato Group said in an interview in February that he expects the Route 44 location to bring in a different type of business than the other locations. Coates confirmed that the park- ing lot connector through Dave's Marketplace to Route 5 will remain open. In other Benny's news, the sale of the former Benny's headquarters at the Esmond Mills is near a closing, according to Town Manager Randy Rossi. He said negotiations on the building are going "really good," and he expects an announcement of its sale in the coming weeks. "Benny's is still moving in the right direction. We're getting back to where we thought we were (in January)," Rossi said. The sale of the multi-building complex, with some of it occupied under monthly leases, was brought up during a July 18 Planning Board meeting. Rossi did not confirm the pos- sibility of a microbrewery at the property, but said he is excited about the opportunity here. Town Planner Michael Phillips has discussed a change in the zon- ing ordinance that would define a microbrewery, connecting it to what's happening at the old head- quarters. Phillips says the Planning Board plans on relaxing the rules for micro-brewing in Smithfield while still conforming with state law. Under the proposed ordinance, a microbrewery is allowed as long as it produces fewer than 15,000 barrels of beer per year, with 75 percent or more of the beer sold off-site. The zoning change will allow for microbreweries in light industrial, industrial, planned corporate and planned development zones by special use permit. Phillips said if a sale goes through with an unnamed devel- oper, he believes a planned devel- opment district will fit best for the plans of a mixed-use development including possible apartments and businesses. The Bromberg family, which owned Benny's, purchased the Esmond Mill property in 1965. The Esmond Mill has a long his- tory in Smithfield of producing tex- tiles such as the popular Esmond Mills blankets beginning in 1906. BENNY'S From Page One BREEZE PHOTO BY JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Construction at the FORMER GREENVILLE BENNY'S location, at 473 Putnam Pike, by the Carpionato Group is in full swing, and tenants of the retail space, bank and drive-thru restaurant are expected to be announced by the end of the month. the storm drain entry. "It's awful. They just slapped it on. It stinks," he said. In front of his home, there is a slight indent for parking before the road turns right and becomes Bertha Street. The tar reach- es just past the road's edge onto the park- ing space. Rapacioli kicked at the multi-lay- ered edge and pulled bits of tar and asphalt away. "I'm skeptical this will last one win- ter with those plows," he said. Department of Public Works Director Gene Allen said this is the first year Smithfield is using a process called micro-surfacing on its roads. He said the process is an internation- ally used and tested treatment for the preservation and maintenance of roads. On average, micro-surfacing will extend the life of a road another 10 to 12 years, he said. Allen said the rough appearance is temporary, and the brown color and tire marks will wear away over time. Micro-surfacing places two layers of a mixture of emulsifiers, cement, and a slurry of tar to fill, flatten, and seal roads in a layer three-eighths of an inch deep. Allen said the mixture can dry and be open to traffic in as little as an hour. Depending on conditions, traffic on newly micro-surfaced roads may cause tire marks. Its brownish color is due to water rising to the surface from the slurry, Allen said, and it will fade over time. "This is the ugly stage for micro," he said. Depending on the condition after that, the road may be micro-surfaced again. Allen explained the road surface rating system for the town that indi- cates each road's condition on a scale of 100, or brand new, to 0, which needs replacement. On average, he said, Smithfield roads are rated 65.64, or in a preventative stage while on the cusp of being in a state of rapid deterioration. "That's where you get the phone calls of when are you going to fix my road," Allen said. He said there are 48 miles of road- way moving to a lower rating right now. Elizabeth and Diana Avenues were rated in the mid-60s, putting them in the range for preventative mainte- nance. To meet the typical $500,000 annual budget to maintain and repair Smithfield roads, Allen said the town will need to continue to use less expensive preventative measures. For example, for Smithfield to rebuild each of the roads that have been micro-surfaced with full-depth reclamation, the town would spend $1.2 million more than the $252,000 spent on the alternative. "Micro is preventing roads from getting into that more expensive cat- egory," Allen said. "It is making it much more inex- pensive, reducing the need to bond to do road reconstruction," he said. Despite the explanation, Gary Koss of Diana Avenue said he is still not pleased by the paving. In his opinion, the road will not last the upcoming winter. With the holes and cracks in the surface, he said he believes the roads will have frost heaves and get destroyed by plows immediately. Upon first sight, the paving on Diana Avenue is flat, even, and appears like fresh black tar. But walk- ing up toward Bertha Street, then down to Elizabeth Avenue, a closer inspection finds there are divots in the surface reaching the original road, tire tracks melted into the tar, and crumbling and uneven edges. Koss contacted The Valley Breeze & Observer last Friday after days of not having much luck receiving answers from the town. "I think we're getting brushed off," he said. To Koss, this is another example of how Esmond continues to get neglected while other neighborhoods in Smithfield are well taken care of. "We're getting the short end of the stick here. I'm not at all happy with this," Koss said. Koss said the micro-surfacing job completed in his neighborhood last week was unprofessional at best and sees it as a brown, patchy eyesore. "The general appearance isn't pleas- ant. This doesn't conform to what we usually see," he said. ROAD From Page One ALLEN BREEZE PHOTOS BY JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Neighbors complained about the brown color, tire marks and uneven curbs created by the micro-surfacing road paving done on ELIZABETH AND DIANA AVENUES last week. CHRIS RAPACIOLI of Elizabeth Avenue is able to kick aside and remove loose pieces of asphalt where the road meets the front of his house. He said he was "devastated" when he saw the micro- surfacing performed on his street last week.

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