Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 06-24-2020

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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2 NORTH PROVIDENCE JUNE 24-30, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION NORTH PROVIDENCE – Continuing with their uniquely aggressive approach to getting lead pipes replaced across town, officials are seeking permission from the state to allow more people to partici- pate in the program. "We're talking to the state about relieving some of the restrictions limiting the program to those indi- viduals who meet the income crite- ria," said Mayor Charles Lombardi. The town has some Community Development Block Grant money left in its Remove the Whole Lead Pipe program accounts from past years, said the mayor, and officials continue to encourage residents to take part in the program. "We're going to do whatever we can to keep it going," he said. Some people who would qualify currently simply don't want to give up information on their finances, said Lombardi. New Planning Director Brett Wiegand said he was introduced to the lead pipe program last week, so he's still in the phase of gathering information. The idea behind seek- ing relief on income restrictions is to "make the lead pipe program more accessible to a broader range of incomes," he said. "We know not everyone has the means to pay for a large construc- tion project like underground pipe replacement and if we can widen the qualifying income range, we can positively affect a larger population," he said. Lombardi said the decision will be up to the state on whether local offi- cials have to sit on the money they have or can "open it up to the whole town." The Breeze reported last March that the town would spend another $355,376 in federal grant funds to replace another 100 or so connec- tions. Lombardi said at the time that he was proud that North Providence remained the only community in the state taking such an aggressive approach to lead pipe replacements, paying the fee while residents in other communities have to pay their own way. North Providence completed about 70 connections the previous year, using $270,376 in Community Development Block Grant funds, leading to the town winning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Children's Health Award in the fall of 2018. Most connections have been done in the areas of Marieville and Centredale. Each connection costs about $3,500 to complete. The town originally had about 563 homes with lead pipe connections in 2016, many in areas with residents of low and moderate incomes. There were about 350 connections still needing to be done as of last year, but it wasn't clear this week how many of those ended up being com- pleted. A 10-year plan to get all lead pipes replaced is meant to improve public health and reduce risks. Providence Water previously found elevated levels of lead in drinking water for some areas. The water company is also completing millions of dollars in public water infrastructure upgrades. Town looking to open pipe replacement program to more people By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com Police are trying to determine the identity of this man seen robbing Citizens Bank. NP police look for similarities in bank robbery NORTH PROVIDENCE – Chief Arthur Martins says local police are comparing notes with other agen- cies in the area to determine if any similarities exist between a robbery at Citizens Bank on Smith Street last week and similar crimes in their communities. Asked about potential patterns, he said he can't comment on crimes that have happened in other juris- dictions, but confirmed the joint work with other departments. On June 19, at around noon, the Citizens Bank at 1798 Smith St. was robbed. The suspect entered the bank and presented a teller with a handwritten note demanding cash, said police. He then provided the teller with a plastic shopping bag. Martins said widespread wearing of masks right now certainly makes it easier for suspects to conceal their faces from the view of the camera. The teller put an undetermined amount of cash into the plastic shopping bag. The suspect then fled on foot in an unknown direction. The suspect is described as a male wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, light shorts, white sneakers and a Boston Red Sox cap. The Red Sox logo, a letter "B," appeared to depict the U.S. flag in its design scheme. The man was also wearing a mask and gloves. It was still unknown as of press time if this robbery is related to other robberies that have occurred recently in the area. On June 11, Smithfield police reported a very similar incident at Navigant Credit Union, also on Route 44, with the suspect also wearing a mask, gloves, baseball cap and hooded sweatshirt. Anyone with information con- cerning the identity of the suspect depicted in these surveillance pho- tos is asked to contact Det. Daniel Biafore at 401-231-4533, ext. 1174. S STANLEY TREE • Professional High Quality Service At Reasonable Rates • Licensed Arborists • Serving RI & Nearby M ass. • Our Team Of Professionals Is Fully Equipped To Handle Your Job In A Safe Efficient Manner Fully Insured Free Estimates N. 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