Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-14-2019

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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14 NORTH COUNTY NOVEMBER 14-20, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER meeting, the council voted to approve a matching $390,000 grant from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's Site Readiness Grant Program to research infrastructure improvements in the EGO district. "We're looking at inexpen- sive ways of improving the capacity of the sewer system there," Phillips said. He said he hopes to look at other capacity issues, as well as reducing water infiltration into the sewer and raising manholes in flat sections of pipe. Smithfield Peat owner Jackson Despres spoke at the meeting on the lack of infra- structure to support commer- cial growth in town. Despres said he's spoken before the council numerous times about the town's need for business growth to sup- port the tax base, and the town "has done absolutely nothing in the last umpteen years to try and remedy the problem." "(Routes)116 and 7 is the only area in this town where you're going to get any com- mercial growth and yet there is inadequate water up there, inadequate sewer up there," Despres said. "Shame on this town." Despres owns a 32-acre pad-ready plot off Route 116 on 295 George Washington Highway. Though he received master plan approv- al for a mixed-use commer- cial and residential project called "Village at Stillwater" in 2016, the property still doesn't have a developer. According to the grant application, owners of the Village at Stillwater discussed a possible cost-sharing or in-kind contribution for a necessary sewer study and improvements. Town Manager Randy Rossi said while Despres owns a substantial portion of the EGO area, the infrastruc- ture study is for the town as a whole. "It's about equal oppor- tunity for the whole town," Rossi said. He said previous studies were completed looking at capacity issues along the Routes 7 and 116 corridor, and the R.I. Commerce Corp. grant will take a closer look at flows and capacity issues. Rossi said the study will allow the town to know pre- cisely what it needs to accom- modateproposals. The study will also show how much the town can handle now, he said. "This will bring it all together as one package," Rossi said. Though the grant will not fund any of the actual upgrades needed in the EGO district's water and sewer infrastructure, Rossi said it may fund water tank improvements in the area. Rossi said the grant could potentially cover $200,000 for water tank improve- ments for the tank near Rubius Therapeutics at 100 Technology Way off Route 7. Funds used from the grant will reduce money borrowed by the Smithfield Water Supply Board for the project. He said Rubius is open to partnering on projects in town, and the tank proj- ect is a possibility. Rossi described the water tank that sits behind Rubius as an "eyesore" during the Rubius groundbreaking ceremony in September 2018. While Rubius, which broke ground last September, plans to spend $155 million over the next several years to develop a cellular therapy facility, there will need to be water and sewer upgrades for that development to occur. "This alternative (grant) funding could help us get it done sooner," Rossi said. He said the town aims to protect water at all costs, and the project is a necessary to keep water flowing. "It's a pretty interesting pro- cess, but it's a costly thing to do," Rossi said of the study. STUDY From Page One Pizza and Books group meets Tuesday SMITHFIELD – East Smithfield Public Library, 50 Esmond St., will host its Pizza and Books group on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 4:30 p.m. This is a new middle school book group that will meet throughout the school year to discuss books and enjoy pizza. This group is for children in grades 6-8. Call the library at 401-231- 5150 to register or for more information. Battle of the Sauces will benefit Ponaganset Class of 2022 FOSTER – A Battle of the Sauces fundraiser to support the Ponaganset Class of 2022 will be held at South Foster Fire Station, 5 Mount Hygeia Road, on Friday, Nov. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. Visitors will judge a variety of pasta sauces. Beverages, salad, bread and dessert will also be served. Tickets may be purchased at the door, through a par- ticipating member of 2022 Class Council or through the Ponaganset High School website with a link on the homepage "Battle of the Sauces." Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for children. Children ages 5 and younger eat for free. Hundreds of leaders and employees of NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH PLAN OF RHODE ISLAND formed a giant number 25 in their Smithfield office parking lot on Oct. 29, in celebration of Neighborhood's 25th anniversary year. The outdoor spectacle – part of Neighborhood's 25th Anniversary Rally – included a flash mob-style dance to "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang, and check presentations to two Rhode Island nonprofit organizations, Help the Homeless RI of Cranston and House of Hope CDC of Warwick. The rally took place during Employee Appreciation Week at Neighborhood. Paper Luminaries class at East Smithfield Library SMITHFIELD – East Smithfield Public Library, 50 Esmond St., will host Paper Luminaries on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. This is a free class. Participants will stamp, stencil, and paint an array of paper lanterns. These luminaries can be used as a Thanksgiving centerpiece or to add a unique accent to your home. Call the library at 401-231-5150.

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