Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-27-2019

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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VALLEY BREEZE | NOV. 27-DECEMBER 4, 2019 LETTERS / NORTH SMITHFIELD 11 Rubbish removal from residential condominium units First: let's be clear – residential con- dominium units are single-family resi- dences. Like a single-family detached house, they can be eligible for a 25% Homestead exemption as an owner- occupied single family residence. Unlike single-family detached resi- dences, single-family condominiums are "excluded" from receiving munici- pal rubbish collection. Prior to 2015, single-family resi- dences received a separate bill for rubbish removal. The administration at the time felt it was beneficial to not send a trash collection bill to residen- tial properties, and rather to include in the cost into the general budget, thereby raising the tax bill for "every residential property." This resulted in residential condo- miniums – that were already paying for rubbish removal in their HOA fees, now paying an additional cost to have rubbish removed from all other 1, 2, and 3 family houses. This is not just a fairness issue, it is discriminatory. In a presentation to the City Council, I shared what the public works director had stated at a work- shop that the city was nearing their limit for the annual amount of rubbish that can be disposed of at the landfill. If the city goes over that limit (cap), the cost per ton would about double. So if the city were to collect rubbish from the condominium complexes, it could put the city over the limit. This reason should also not be a reason to penalize single-family resi- dential condominiums unit. Since we are only directing our petition for rubbish removal to be the same as for all single-family residences that are owner-occupied, we are not including what could and would be a benefit for income producing proper- ties, although the city does pick up rubbish from three-family houses that are owner-occupied and likely have rental income. It isn't practical to have the city place and collect 250 trash bins at the city's largest condominium complex. And because the city cannot afford to have the additional rubbish disposed of at the landfill, the two options that the city has are: 1. Remove the cost of trash collec- tion from the tax rate and issue sepa- rate bills to those using this benefit (as it used to be prior to 2015) 2. Offer a $200 per year tax credit or rebate to each single family resi- dential owner-occupied condominium unit that doesn't receive municipal trash collection. I believe that that option #2 is best, since the mechanism for a tax rebates is already in place, and could easily be facilitated. According to the city, there are 646 single-family residential units not receiving municipal rubbish removal. Using the $200 per year figure (for a tax rebate) which represents the cost to the city for each trash collection stop, the financial impact would be $129,000. This would compensate the 646 residential condominium owners and make them equal to all other sin- gle-family residential property owners. The amount is easily justified as it represents the cost of just buying and demolishing one blighted property. RICHARD A MONTEIRO President, Tower Heights Condominium Association Woonsocket ACLU settles lawsuit against North Smithfield Police NORTH SMITHFIELD – The American Civil Liberties Union has settled a lawsuit with the North Smithfield Police Department on behalf of resident Jason Richer chal- lenging a note in the department's files that labeled Richer as "danger- ous" and "psychologically unstable." According to an announce- ment released by the ACLU last Thursday, the department has agreed to remove the note and pay $3,000 in attorneys' fees. The ACLU challenged the note last year on the basis it increased the possibility that officers may overract when interact- ing with Richer. According to the release, the note also claimed Richer had numerous weapons at his house. This is the second suit the ACLU has filed against the department on behalf of Richer. Earlier this year, he was awarded $20,000 in damages after a federal jury determined the department had unlawfully refused to return weapons they had seized from him several years earlier. The note, according to the announce- ment, was uncovered while litigating that case. Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to: news@valleybreeze.com, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. Consumers Propane 762-5461 BOUSQUET OIL 769-0146 139 HAMLET AVE. WOONSOCKET, RI 02895-0628 SERVICE – SALES – INSTALLATION OF GAS & OIL HEATING EQUIPMENT • Boilers • Furnaces • Hot Water Heaters WWW.CONSUMERSPROPANE.COM WE FILL GAS GRILL TANKS Independently Owned & Operated by George & Malanie Loya Wood Blinds • Shutters • Roman Shades Woven Wood • Custom Drapery Top Treatments • Verticals and more! Local: 401-356-4770 Free Cordless Upgrade on all Cellular and Pleated Shades Until October 31, 2019 Your guide to nursing home/Medicaid Protection Wills & Trusts Medicaid Planning Probate Northern RI's Premier Full Service Law Firm Jarret Law, LLc 176 Eddie Dowling Highway, Suite 202, North Smithfield, RI 401-769-2929 Aram P. Jarret III, Esq. "Jay" Aram P. Jarret, Jr., Esq. Philip J. Opalenski, MD, Announces his retirement from The practice of gastroenterology On Tuesday, December 31, 2019 My deepest thanks to my patients for their faith and perseverance. All records will be transferred to University Gastroenterology where patient follow-up will continue. The transfer of records to an alternate provider will also be available. You may contact us at: (401) 943-7222 Or (401)421-8800

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