Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 02-17-2021

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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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021 THE VALLEY / OBITUARIES 11 Richard Zabek Richard Zabek, 64, of North Providence, entered eternal rest on Thursday, Feb. 11. He was the son of the late Matthew P. Zabek and Stella (Block) Zabek. Richard is survived by his two daughters, Jennifer Landi and Michelle Godfrey, and his former wife, Irene Zabek, as well as his three grandchildren, Anthony Landi, Abigail Landi and Adam Godfrey. He is also survived by his sisters, Kathy Zabek, Debbie Menard and Karen Agrela, and his brother Joe Zabek; two nieces, three nephews and one great nephew. Richard was pre- deceased by his brother Peter Zabek. He will be greatly missed by his dog, Daisy. Due to Covid restrictions, services will be private. Visit www.thekeefefu- neralhome.com . ZABEK Free income tax preparation offered PROVIDENCE – IRS-certified vol- unteers at Amos House, a fully handi- cap-accessible agency at 460 Pine St., prepare free income tax returns for those earning $57,000 or less. There are two options: coming in for document drop-off and a safe- distance in-person interview, and fully electronic. For drop-off, appointments are required; they are available on Mondays and Wednesdays during the day and Tuesday and Thursday evenings, plus on selected Saturdays, by calling 401-272-0220. Completed returns available for pick-up within a week. Electronic filers do not have to come in. More information on filing this way with Amos House and its partner GetYourRefund is available at www.amoshouse.com/freetaxprep . Other free tax sites in R.I. and Massachusetts may be found by dial- ing 211. PAWTUCKET – Lacking the city staffing to properly maintain McCoy Stadium now that the Pawtucket Red Sox franchise has mostly left the building, the city has hired an outside contractor to do the work. The Department of Public Works has not been responsible for man- aging and maintaining McCoy for decades now, said Acting DPW Director Dylan Zelazo, and doesn't have the capacity to do so now. "With the COVID-related budget challenges the city is facing, and our need to control costs as well as our ongoing attempts to avoid layoffs, adding multiple specialized staff would not be appropriate at this time," he said. "Instead, the most cost-effective solution for the city was to engage an outside contractor with the expertise to handle these functions." City Council members last week asked a series of questions about the arrangement at McCoy, including the $6,500-per-month deal with the Peregrine Group to maintain the property. Councilor Mark Wildenhain, who serves on the city property commit- tee, was among those who said he wonders if the agreement should have gone through that committee, as well as whether it should also have gone out to bid. He also asked whether the cost for maintenance might be rolled into an ongoing lawsuit from the city against the PawSox for leaving the city with a substandard facility to take care of. Council members also asked about the month-to-month lease agreement the team continues to be under to use a portion of the stadium, as well as how much of the cost for the maintenance other par- ties are having to cover. Zelazo told The Breeze that officials followed all appropriate rules and regulations, receiving Purchasing Board approval to do so. The costs associated with the contract are more than offset by revenue associ- ated with the license agreements the city has negotiated with the state COVID-19 operation at McCoy and the PawSox as licensees, he said. "As such, this is a revenue-positive arrangement for Pawtucket taxpay- ers at a facility that would otherwise be completely vacant currently and costing them money at a time when they can least afford it," he said. The city is now solely responsible for upkeep with the PawSox lease expiring at the end of February and the state declining to continue its partnership with the city at the site, said Zelazo. "As the mayor has said many times, including in The Valley Breeze last month, the city's primary responsibility continues to be to preserve and protect our taxpayers' investments at the site," he said. "As acting DPW director, carrying out that responsibility largely falls to me and our hardworking, dedicated team at DPW." As the sole landlord, the city has negotiated temporary license agree- ments that continue to provide value for city taxpayers, he said. Most importantly and signifi- cantly, he said, the state is partner- ing with the city and private sector partners to operate a large COVID- 19 test site at McCoy, and officials are also working on expanding COVID-19-related services at the site to help the community recover from and become more resilient "to this terrible virus." The PawSox have a temporary license agreement with the city to use some space in the facility for storage while they transition their operations, he said. "This space would have otherwise been vacant. Instead, the city is now realizing revenue that is offsetting its costs associated with operating the building," he said. "Additionally, our state and private partners are responsible for a share of the utility costs at the facility while they are there." With a little help, Pawtucket now maintaining McCoy By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON The city of Pawtucket is now responsible for maintaining MCCOY STADIUM. Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to: news@valleybreeze.com, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. In your time of need, The North Providence Breeze will print your loved one's full obituary for a small charge. The paper also places the obituary on our Web site, valleybreeze.com, as soon as it is provided to us by your family's funeral director. Notification to friends and neighbors is also made weekdays on WOON-AM radio announcements. Should you desire our services, kindly inform your funeral director. The full charge is $99, or $138 for lengthy obituaries, in the edition of your choice. You may place the obituary in any of our other editions for $55 each. Thank you. OBITUARIES 3rd Generation Family Owned and Operated Geoffrey Greene ~ LfD Jennifer Greene faGan ~ LfD 2251 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 231-9307 • www.robbinsfuneralhome.com

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