Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 10-15-2020

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 | OCTOBER 15-21, 2020 CAMPAIGN / WOONSOCKET 25 voice for people," she said. At the same time, sitting councilors have pushed back against the idea that the town needs to change its pro- cesses to be more transparent. O'Hara and Vadenais, who are running for re- election, both pointed out town meetings are open to the public and said residents could make more of an effort to attend. "I don't know how much more transparent we can be," said Vadenais. "We have meetings, they're open to the public. Right now they're on Zoom, so you can watch them from home." Vadenais, who was elected to the council in 2018, said he hopes to continue his current work on the council and pointed to a new police contract and the acquisition of open space on Old Smithfield Road as recent successes. He's also served on the Municipal Buildings Review Task Force, the group overseeing a controversial renovation of the former Kendall Dean and Bushee school buildings into a new town hall and renovated police sta- tion. Vadenais told The Breeze he supports building a new police station, but didn't rule out using some of the bond funds approved by voters for short- term improvements to the existing one. O'Hara also said she supports build- ing a new police station and named adequate funding for the schools and bringing in new business as the top priorities in her campaign. "We have to think of what's needed for the town as far as the tax base, she said. Also running for re-election is Bartomioli, a local business owner who's served on the council since 2017. Bartomioli said she likes to think of her- self as representing the town's small busi- ness owners and tries to listen to the "silent majority" who don't always speak up about their concerns. Maintaining a reasonable tax rate, she said, is going to be a priority, particularly as the pandemic strains the town's traditional spending on schools and infrastructure. "We can all want things, but how do we get there? We can all sit there and have town hall-type meet- ings, but the reality is that that all requires money," she said. Alves, a former councilor who served from 2010 to 2016, is seek- ing re-election after stepping down four years ago. She later served as chair- woman of the Budget Committee but was part of a group that resigned in pro- test after the Town Council neglected to follow the Budget Committee's recom- mendations in 2017. Alves told The Breeze the town bud- get remains a top priority. She criti- cized the council's decision this year to put more than $800,000 in contin- gency for potential COVID-19-related costs, saying it doesn't create enough checks on future spending. "It's an open invitation for them to spend money," she said. The Valley Breeze is committed to keeping quality news stories like this one free to our readers. You can be a huge part of this local journalism success story by making a one-time or monthly contribution to what we do every week at port. Thank you as always for reading. VADENAIS PARSONS BARTOMIOLI NO. SMITHFIELD From Page 22 ALVES O'HARA Recycle your dehumidifier on Oct. 24 WOONSOCKET – In partner- ship with the city of Woonsocket, National Grid is hosting a dehumid- ifier recycling event on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Recycling Facility, 943 River St. Safe, contactless drop-off will be available. Participants will receive instructions to complete an online rebate form for $30. Visit for more information . City receives $90,000 in 'Take It Outside' funds WOONSOCKET – The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has awarded a $90,000 grant to the city of Woonsocket as part of its "Take It Outside" initiative. Local busi- ness owners are eligible to apply for funds to support outdoor activi- ties to help reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19. Woonsocket received one of the highest "Take It Outside" awards among the 41 grant recipients after presenting a compelling plan to RICC for improving the quality of life for city residents during the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding outdoor recreation opportunities, according to an announcement by Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. "Many Woonsocket residents, especially our seniors and children, have been cooped up for months because of the COVID-19 pandem- ic, and this grant will fund programs that offer them more recreational activities to venture outside for dur- ing our colder weather," she said. In addition to expanding outdoor dining capacity at local restaurants, the funds will be used to develop an outside activity area for the city's library, initiate outdoor activities and food service for city seniors and make greater use of the bike path. The grant supplements the city's "Jump Start" program, which pro- vides grants of up to $5,000 and loans of up to $10,000 for COVID- related costs to local businesses. Businesses can apply through the online portal on the city website under "Planning and Development." FOR ALL OF YOUR FLOORING NEEDS 25 Esten Ave., Pawtucket, RI • 401-726-3000 HOURS: MONDAY - SATURDAY 9-5

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