Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 01-09-2020

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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8 WOONSOCKET JANUARY 9-15, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION WOONSOCKET – As the city moves forward with a plan to gener- ate energy savings by installing solar panels on city-owned properties, the School Committee has given a thumbs-up to the effort, at least on one of the parcels under its control. During their final meeting before the holidays, committee members voted 4-1 to support a plan to install a solar carport over the parking lot of the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center. The location was one of four targeted in a proposal by North Kingstown-based Green Development that's currently being negotiated by city officials. In comments to The Valley Breeze, committee Chairman Paul Bourget said that a majority of members saw it as an opportunity to generate corporate-sponsored improvements to the parking lot while possibly drawing off some energy savings for the school. "We wanted to retar the parking lot over the next year. And maybe we can draw the energy savings from the solar panels that are installed at the school," he said. "It benefits the school, benefits the city, it benefits everyone." Early discussions have focused on a covered carport that would include solar panels on the upper level while still allowing cars to park underneath. With a total land area of about 1.7 acres, the lot off Aylsworth Avenue is expected to generate about 660 kilo- watts of electricity. Though the committee supported the carport idea, members gave a hard "no" to the possibility of placing solar on any other school-controlled properties. During a brief discussion, members said they had concerns about solar on rooftops due to the possibility of maintenance issues and did not want panels located on field space or at elementary schools where they might pose a hazard to younger students. "We don't want any of it," said Bourget. "Our resolution is to sup- port the parking structure only. We're not going to fool around with any of the fields that we control, any of the buildings that we control, period." According to Renewable Energy Subcommittee Chairman Jon Brien, those concerns are unnecessary. In comments to The Breeze, Brien said the subcommittee has no intentions of installing solar panels on other school properties. The WACTC park- ing lot, he said, is the only school property under discussion and the only one that would be included in the Green Development contract. "There's always concerns about the roof on other school properties, and I think that I'd not want us to get engaged in putting solar panels on the roof of existing structures," he said. The decision was not unanimous. Vice Chairman Donald Burke said he did not support solar arrays on any school properties due to his con- cerns about the panels. "There's still some studies out discussing some aspects of the solar panels, and we haven't completely studied the effects of all these solar panels," he said. In addition to the WACTC park- ing lot, the negotiations with Green Development include three other properties on Mason Street, Manville Road and near the new water treat- ment plant under construction off Jillson Avenue. Altogether, the properties are expected to contrib- ute about six megawatts of electric- ity, with credit applied to the city's energy bills. The city is also considering install- ing solar panels over the soccer fields at River's Edge Recreation Complex under a separate contract. According to Brien, the city received responses to a request for bids for that project in the late fall, and the subcommit- tee plans to review the proposals to determine if the project makes fiscal sense during its next meeting. School Committee OKs solar on WACTC parking lot, says no to other school properties By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer Lego Builder's Club will meet Saturday WOONSOCKET – The Lego Builder's Club of the Woonsocket Harris Library, 303 Clinton St., will meet Saturdays, Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 7, April 4 and May 2, from 1 to 2 p.m. An adult must be with the child at all times in the program room for safety. The program is appropriate for ages 5 and up. This is a drop-in program. Walk-ins are welcome so long as there is space in the room. Registration is suggested but not required. Call 401-769-9044, ext. 2. Lahousse indicted for arson WOONSOCKET – Jacob Lahousse, a 20-year-old man with no known address, was indicted by a federal jury last week after he was accused of setting fire to a city manufacturing plant in April. According to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman, Lahousse was accused of setting several fires inside the Sports Systems Custom Bag Corporation facility at 44 Hazel St. and ransack- ing the facility. Surveillance footage from the incident also shows an individual tampering with security cameras and removing an American flag and folding it, military-style, before placing it in a backpack. Police used the surveillance footage to identify the suspect, posting it on the Rhode Island's Most Wanted website. Lahousse was arrested on Dec. 26 and indicted on Dec. 31. Northern Rhode Island Animal Hospital Since 1983 We're close, just 15 minutes from Providence off Rt. 146. 152 School St., North Smithfield Open 6 days: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Our philosophy: (401) 762-2400 • We're attentive, grateful, well-behaved (mostly), and always happy to see you. Visit our full-service animal hospital with a team approach to quality veterinary care. DRL Carpet 27 Veterans Way • Woonsocket, RI 401-765-2830 SHOP OUR SHOWROOM! 3 Room Special $ 775.00 Berber or Plush Carpet Based on 360 sq. ft. Additional charges may apply. Carpet Cleaning CARPET BINDING • LUXURY VINYL FLOORING • LAMINATE FLOORING OR SHOP AT HOME!

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