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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6 THE VALLEY OCTOBER 15-21, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION BURRILLVILLE – Members of the Burrillville Land Trust are hop- ing to find an "angel" to help them save a 150-acre parcel that's been described as an icon of the town's rural life. Sweet's Hill, also known as Indian Acres, is a historic former farm located between East Avenue and Black Hut Road. The farm was once used to produce milk, eggs, corn, hay and vegetables and is named for the Sweet family that owned it in the late 1800s and early 1900s. "Whatever people wanted, that farm pretty much provided every- thing to the local folks here during that time," said Paul Roselli, presi- dent of the Burrillville Land Trust. The property has faced vari- ous development proposals over the years, including a mixed-use development and a solar farm, with a denial of the first leading to a drawn-out lawsuit with the town. More recently, it's been the subject of a conservation plan as a "mitiga- tion property" for Invenergy's Clear River Energy Center off Wallum Lake Road. Per the federal Clean Water Act, companies proposing development on wetlands can ask to preserve another property in place of the developed land. "The ratio in this case was 15 to 1. For every acre that Invenergy was about to destroy, you had to provide 15 acres for a mitigation property," explained Roselli. The Invenergy project was ulti- mately denied by a state board, largely due to opposition by the Burrillville Land Trust and other town groups, and the possibility of development is once again back on the table for Sweet's Hill. Richard St. Angelo, current owner of the property, told The Breeze he's open to selling it to the Land Trust but has entertained offers from other buyers. "We have had several offers," he said. "I think that it seems to be heating up with people wanting to buy property. There's nothing cur- rent that would be binding at this point, we've entertained a couple of offers within the past month." The Burrillville Land Trust is now looking to raise $2.2 million to meet the asking price for the prop- erty. In a video accompanying the announcement, members of Land Trust described its long history in the town. The farm was once the largest in Burrillville and comprised more than 1,000 acres. During World War I, chestnut trees on the property were used to build keels for ships. Today, the remaining parcel abuts the Black Hut State Management Area, making it an ideal target for preservation. Roselli said they're open to state and private open space grants, but are hoping to find a private donor that will help them purchase the property free from government constraints. Though the town of Burrillville has worked with the group to help develop plans for land preservation in the past, Roselli said the COVID-19 crisis weighs far more heavily on the town's priorities at the moment. "I don't think at this point the town would be willing financially to go after a parcel of that size and with that price tag. This is not on their high priority right now, and I don't see it being on their prior- ity, on their radar, for many, many years," he said. At the same time, he said, land- owners have continued to see a spike in property values as the pan- demic drives new interest in rural land. While they've had several con- versations with St. Angelo about a possible purchase over the years, the group could be working under a deadline. The landowner said his main goal is to sell the property, and he's looking for the best offer. "For me, it's going to be who comes with the best offer first," he said. "Do I really want to wait any longer? No, I really don't." Burrillville Land Trust launches $2.2 million campaign to buy Sweet's Hill By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com A historical photo provided by Pamela Cardin shows Sweet's Hill when it was a working farm. The Burrillville Land Trust is hoping to raise $2.2 million to purchase the property. Woonsocket woman who claimed she had cancer ordered to pay back $26,000 WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket woman accused of duping friends and family into giv- ing her money by falsely claiming she had cancer has been ordered to pay back all of the funds, state prosecu- tors said this week. Alicia Pierini, 39, pleaded no contest to obtaining more than $26,000 by claiming she had a brain tumor and setting up a GoFundMe page in 2017 to request donations. According to prosecutors, Pierini, who did not have cancer, used the money to buy trips, tickets to sporting events and other per- sonal expenses. Attorney General Peter Neronha said this week Pierini was ordered to repay $26,993.26 to her victims. More than $16,000 will be paid to GoFundMe, which has already reimbursed individuals who donated through the page, while another $10,840 will go to family members and friends who contributed to Pierini directly. "Today's sentence is a significant step forward to ensure that those who were victimized by the defen- dant's scheme are made whole," Neronha said. "I suspect, however, that no amount of restitution will fully repair the harm done to the trust and relationships between her family, friends and generous mem- bers of the public." According to the attorney general's office, Pierini set up the page in January of 2017, claiming she had cancer and needed assistance to pay for her medical treatment. She took Continues on next page PIERINI City Council - Woonsocket, RI Application to hold a 1st Class Victualing License has been made at the office of the City Clerk as follows: California Taco Shop, 1049 Cass Avenue. e City Council will hold a public hearing on this application in Harris Hall, 169 Main Street, on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 6:30 PM. All persons interested and wishing to be heard are invited to attend via the following website: www.woonsocketri.org/city-council. Christina Harmon, Clerk of the City Council CITY OF WOONSOCKET, RHODE ISLAND Invitation to Bid for: Bid# 5992 Pavement Restoration/Woonsocket Regional Wastewater Plant Specifications are available on the City of Woonsocket's website, www.woonsocketri.org and click on Bids, or email jdesrochers@ woonsocketri.org Sealed bids will be received by 2:00 PM on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Because Woonsocket City Hall is closed to the public, all bids not mailed must be dropped off in the Drop Box located within the vestibule at the Tax Assessors Office. Individuals requesting interpreter services for the hearing impaired should call the Finance Director at 401-762-6400 seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the bid opening. Responses will be evaluated on the basis of the relative merits of the bid in addition to the price. The City of Woonsocket reserves the right to reject any and all bids, or parts thereof, to waive any irregularity in the bids received and to accept the bids or parts thereof deemed to be most favorable to the best interest of the City. Christine Chamberland Finance Director

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