Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-21-2019

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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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 SCITUATE 5 SCITUATE – With more than 40 years of combined experience work- ing in the Scituate School District, Joshua Homerston and his father are fighting against a possible School Committee decision that could cost them their jobs. Homerston, president of the Scituate Custodians Union, speaking about the School Committee's decision to explore privatizing cleaning and main- tenance services at the school, said he was informed that the district will be putting out a request for proposals for custodial services, despite the general longevity and professionalism of the 20 members of the custodial staff. "Most of us have been there for more than 10 years. Six of us are Spartans and live in town," Homerston said. He said his father is nearing 55 years old and has worked in the district for 27 years. Students know, recognize, and respect the cus- todial staff, as well, Homerston said. "No one wants to start over," he said. Custodians work with students over the summer in work-study programs, and keep the schools in clean, working order, he said. Scituate custodians are among the lowest paid in the state, according to Homerston. He said the starting rate is $14 an hour and is capped at $20 per hour. To not be able to pay that kind of salary is "poor money manage- ment," as he sees it. "We don't cost that much. We're a drop of water in the bucket," he said. Homerston spoke against the deci- sion at the Nov. 5 meeting. Committee Chairwoman Erika McCormick said his words did not fall on deaf ears, but the district is in a difficult position. "I understand, appreciate, and respect all the concerns. We're respon- sible for doing this as part of our job," she said. McCormick said the district is facing an operating deficit in the budget due to a drop in state funding, declining enrollment, and an increase of out-of- district tuition. She said it is the com- mittee's job to explore every option to address the deficit. Facing "significant financial prob- lems," the Scituate School Committee is postponing custodial contract nego- tiations until next April while explor- ing other options such as privatizing the work, McCormick said. She said the district will stay within negotiation timelines but will wait until April to begin talks with the union to make time to explore other options. School Committee Solicitor David D'Agostino Jr. notified union mem- bers of the decision to put off negotia- tions in a Nov. 1 letter responding to the union's effort to begin negotiations early. D'Agostino cited an operational deficit of several hundred thousand dollars as causing the district to issue a request for proposals for cleaning and maintenance of school facilities. "Depending on the results of these efforts to solicit bids for this work, the committee reserves the right to explore these alternative options for the delivery of like service," D'Agostino wrote. D'Agostino wrote that a line in the request will include contingencies such as retaining existing workforce and seeking unionized responders. To Homerston, the decision to explore other options feels like the custodians are just a number to the School Committee. He said he and other custodians will be at the Dec. 3 School Committee meeting with an added presence to speak against the possible switch. "It could ruin decent people's lives," he said. Scituate custodians fight possible decision to privatize cleaning services By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer HOMERSTON Valley Breeze offices to close for Thanksgiving and different publication days HOLIDAY DEADLINES The Valley Breeze office in Lincoln will be closed on Thursday, November 28, 2019 in observance of Thanksgiving Day. The news and display advertising deadline will move forward to Friday, November 22nd at 3 p.m. The classified line advertising deadline will move to Friday, November 22th at 5 p.m. PUBLICATION DAYS The Valley Breeze Cumberland & Lincoln edition, The Valley Breeze North Smithfield Blackstone Woonsocket edition and The Valley Breeze & Observer edition will be delivered on Wednesday, November 27th (instead of Thursday, November 28th). 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Bldg. 3, Ste. 307, Lincoln, RI At Home For You Hearing and Balance Center we strive for excellence in customer care. Call today to schedule your appointment & ask about our Interest Free Financing! 401-475-6116 Our services include: • Diagnostic Hearing tests ages 6 months & up • Hearing Aid Evaluations • Hearing Aid Sales & Repairs Rachel A. Baboian, Au. D. Doctor of Audiology Licensed Audiologist Remember the Sound? Remember the Sound? Town of Smithfield Planning Board NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING THE SAND TRACE Comprehensive Permit Application Major Land Development Project Notice is hereby given pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws §45-53-4 and §45-23-42 and the Smithfield Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations (1996, as amended) that a Public Hearing will be held at the time, date and place indicated below for the purpose of presenting and discussing the acceptance of a Master Plan for a proposed Comprehensive Permit Application/Major Land Development, identified below, and provide the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed project. Time and Date of Hearing: Thursday, December 5, 2019 Meeting begins at 7:00 PM Place of Hearing: Smithfield High School - Auditorium 90 Pleasant View Avenue Property Proposed for Development: THE SAND TRACE / PHASE II - PUBLIC HEARING Comprehensive Permit Application / Major Land Development Project – Master Plan Review AP 46 / Lot 10 – 8 Mann School Road and Log Road 54.95 Acres / 1 Lot / R-80 Zone Owner/Applicant: Sand Trace, LLC Engineer: DiPrete Engineering Availability of Information The Plans and accompanying documents for this Land Development Project are available for the public to review during normal business hours at the Smithfield Planner's Office, 64 Farnum Pike, Town Hall – Lower Level, Smithfield, RI. All persons interested in the above are requested to be present at the time and place to be heard thereon. Facilities are accessible to handicapped persons. If communication assistance (readers/interpreters/ captions) or any other accommodation to ensure equal participation is needed, please contact the Smithfield Town Manager's office at 401-233-1010 at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting. Per Order of the Smithfield Planning Board Albert S. Gizzarelli, Jr., Chairman Town of Smithfield PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Smithfield Town Council will hold a Public Hearing at the Smithfield Town Hall, 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI on Monday, November 25, 2019 at 6:30 PM. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to receive public input on a Recreation Development Grant application for renovations to the East Smithfield Neighborhood Center (ESNC) & Linkage to the Esmond Park Conservation Area to be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. At said Hearing opportunity will be given to all interested persons to be heard upon the proposed application. The application for funding includes the following improvements: • Repair the trail leading to Esmond Park Conservation Area. Install ballard (low lighting) and new landscaping. • Historic Signage – East Smithfield Neighborhood Center • Renovation of Town Recreation and Community Rooms • New electrical • Enhance access to entranceway; ADA compliance The total project cost is estimated to be $400,000 with a Town match of $80,000. All persons interested in the above are requested to be present at the time and place to be heard thereon. Facilities are accessible to handicapped persons. If com- munication assistance (readers/interpreters/captions) or any other accommodation to ensure equal participation is needed, please contact the Smithfield Town Manager's office at 401-233-1010 at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting. BY ORDER OF THE TOWN COUNCIL Suzanna L. Alba, President

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