Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 06-04-2020

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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NO. SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET | VALLEY BREEZE | JUNE 4-10, 2020 NO. SMITHFIELD / WOONSOCKET 9 NORTH SMITHFIELD – What was expected to be the final signoff for Green Development's 38.4-megawatt solar farm off Iron Mine Hill Road turned into another delay last week after offi- cials from the Woonsocket Water Division raised concerns over the project's impact on the water sup- ply in the nearby Woonsocket Reservoirs. The project, more than two years in the making, is now expected to return before the Planning Board for final approval tonight, Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m. Earlier this year, Mark Viggiani, superintendent for the Woonsocket Water Division, contacted the town to ask if he could hire an engineer to review the project before final approval. The division oversees the reservoirs that supply water to the Woonsocket water system and, by extension, the Slatersville Public Water Supply. Correspondence included in Green Development's final submis- sion to the town last week indi- cated that after several weeks of back-and-forth, the company and the Woonsocket Water Division were still unable to reach an agree- ment on several key aspects of the project. In particular, the engineer hired by the division alleged the project could reroute a spring on the property and cause a spike in nitrates in the city's water supply. In response, the company said the project had been reviewed by the appropriate authorities and posed no risk to the water supply. "We believe that the ultimate use of the property for solar with significant pollinator/wildflower habitat areas established and the phasing out of the auto storage/ parts/salvage business on this site will be a net benefit to the overall watershed," Kevin Morin, project engineer, wrote in his response. Planning Board members last Tuesday acknowledged the com- pany's attempts to mitigate the risk but said they wanted to hear direct- ly from the Woonsocket Water Division before signing off on the project. Chairman Gary Palardy described the town as a steward of the water supply and said the proj- ect still had "too many vagaries" to approve without additional input. "There isn't some conspiracy or anything like that. It's just the way the process works," he said. The decision drew the frustration of Green Development Founder Mark DePasquale, who said he has $2.5 million in salaries lined up to begin work on the project over the next six weeks. Citing the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, DePasquale said he wants to put people to work and is willing to hire individuals from North Smithfield and surrounding towns. "This is land rights," he said. "We are building a project that your town has slated to economic redevelopment. We have to do this. This is not going to affect the water. All this is affecting right now is people going to work." Board members pressed DePasquale on whether the compa- ny has hired any North Smithfield residents and what efforts have been made to target jobs locally. DePasquale said he could not pro- vide an exact number of North Smithfield hires but would take any qualified candidates from the town who wanted to work for him. In a follow-up email to The Breeze, Green Development spokesperson Bill Fischer said the company pre- viously hosted a job fair at North Smithfield High School in 2018. Board members and the compa- ny agreed to invite the Woonsocket Water Division to another meeting scheduled for June 4. If granted final approval, the company can begin the next phase of construc- tion immediately. Water supply concerns delay solar project By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer Lincoln-based company moving to Highland Corporate Park WOONSOCKET – Prime Restoration & Remediation, a Lincoln-based company currently headquartered at 26 Albion Road, has purchased the former Jeweled Cross building on Park East Drive in Woonsocket and plans to relocate to Highland Corporate Park. Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced the move in a press release May 27. "The decision of Prime Restoration & Remediation to relocate to Highland provides addi- tional evidence that Woonsocket is a viable business location, even in this trying time," she said. "Prime's pur- chase of 811 Park East Drive ensures that Highland continues to have no vacancies." Prime Partner Joseph Solomon said the company looks forward to con- tributing to the city's business com- munity. "After an extensive search of properties in the Rhode Island and surrounding Massachusetts area, it became evident that Highland Corporate Park was the perfect loca- tion for our corporate headquarters," he said. "The location offers conve- nient access to the major roadways leading to Worcester, Boston, the Cape and all of Rhode Island." "We appreciate Mayor Baldelli- Hunt's welcome and look forward to contributing to the Woonsocket busi- ness community and the region in general," he added. According to the announce- ment, the company plans to com- plete minor improvements to the 20,000 square foot building and relocate in June. Prime Restoration & Remediation and their affili- ated company, Rapid Response Restoration, offer 24-hour emer- gency response for disaster recovery for both residential and commer- cial properties. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the company has also provided cleaning and disinfect- ing services to businesses preparing to reopen. Woonsocket DMV now accepting appointments WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket branch of the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles reopened on Monday, June 1, and is now accepting appointments. The branch at 200 Diamond Hill Road is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations are required in advance. "The Division has continued serv- ing customers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with a reser- vation service at our Cranston head- quarters," said DMV Administrator Walter R. "Bud" Craddock. "The reservation service, coupled with adherence to the COVID-19 pro- cedures recommended by the R.I. Department of Health, allows us to return service to our branches in a safe and orderly manner." The department reminded resi- dents that expiration dates for driv- er's licenses, inspection stickers and registrations that were due to expire in March, April or May have been extended for 90 days. Credentials and documents with June expira- tion dates have also been extended and are now due for renewal in September. To make a reservation, visit www. . 110 Pulaski Blvd., Bellingham, MA • 508-883-6200 110 Pulaski Blvd., Bellingham, MA • 508-883-6200 110 Pulaski Blvd., Bellingham, MA • 508-883-6200 MAY SALE EVERY WEDNESDAY Wine Sale EVERY THURSDAY Liquor Sale EVERY DAY Beer Sale

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