Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 02-24-2021

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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©2021 THE VALLEY BREEZE Serving Pawtucket Breeze THE VALLEY FREE FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2021 BREEZE PHOTO BY CHARLES LAWRENCE MARY MOONEY, of Pawtucket, is happy that she will soon have protec- tion against COVID-19 thanks to the vaccine being administered by Lt. ERIC GONSALVES of the Pawtucket Fire Department last Saturday at St. Anthony's Parish Center in Pawtucket. It was the first of four planned municipal vaccine clinics in the city. See story on page 4. PAWTUCKET – There was plenty of praise to go around when the City Council passed Mayor Donald Grebien's zero-increase budget last May, with councilors hailing the mayor for not raising taxes in a dif- ficult year. Though there would be no tax increase to start out, councilors noted for a story at the time, they did not rule out having to take action later in the year based on the uncertainty related to the city's various revenue streams in a pandemic. It now appears time to pay the piper, as Grebien's administration is seeking a 1.72 percent increase on residential taxes to cover remaining deficits for the fiscal year ending June 30, a move he says would lead to an increase of $68 per year for the aver- age owner of a single-family home in Pawtucket. Commercial taxpayers would also see a tax increase, adding up to a total increase on the levy (total amount collected in taxes) of 2.25 percent. The increase on the residen- tial and commercial sides combined would generate about $1.58 million, restoring the budget picture for this year and making the long-term out- look more sustainable, according to Grebien. Chief of Staff Dylan Zelazo said this week that while typically this propos- al would be termed a supplemental Administration proposes 'delayed tax increase' By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com See TAX INCREASE, Page 24 PAWTUCKET – Faced with continued problems with the city's 13-year-old animal shelter, City Councilor Mark Wildenhain is seek- ing a full review of the facility as officials try to get the building to a satisfactory place. Wildenhain, chairman of the Animal Control Committee, has scheduled a meeting tonight, Feb. 24, for a "discussion regarding facil- ity deficiencies at the animal shelter and possible funding options to make improvements." Previous efforts to hold the manu- facturer of the shelter's crumbling roof shingles accountable came up short after Pawtucket retrieved only $5,000, said Wildenhain. That amount was reached because the city did end up getting 10 years of life on a 15-year shingle. "Thank God we don't have any leaks," he said. "That's definitely on the agenda." As are plentiful other issues, includ- ing the building's inefficient heating system, which has proven an expen- sive burden to the city for years but has seen some upgrades to the point where it's working better, said Wildenhain. "It's been worked on and adapted to the point where it's now more effi- Wildenhain seeks top-to- bottom review of animal shelter By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com See SHELTER, Page 8 Slater Park gets new 'Airbnb-ee' Eagle Scout Schwab creates pollinator boxes for endangered bees PAWTUCKET – In an effort to help endangered bee populations, 18-year-old Abby Schwab built and installed three "bee hotels" at Slater Park this winter, work- ing with the Pawtucket Parks and Recreation Department. A member of Troop 1846 Attleboro, Schwab, of Pawtucket, completed the proj- ect and achieved the status of Eagle Scout, making his- tory as a member of the Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America's first female Eagle Scout class. She's among only a handful of young women across the U.S. to make By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer melanie@valleybreeze.com See BEES, Page 16 SCHWAB Does your child like? Robotics • Google Chromebooks Up to date computer room with fiber optic technology School has been recently re-wired with brand new Wi-Fi throughout the school Strings and Instrumental Music Chorus • Drama • Smartboards • Sports Saint CeCilia SChool Celebrating over 100 years of Catholic education! Then St. Cecilia School is the only school for you! Accepting Registrations for 2021-2022 Pre-K - Grade 8 Where morals and values meet academic excellence Extended Care is available 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. 755 Central Avenue, Pawtucket, Rhode Island 401-723-9463 • www.scsri.org • mtetzner@scsri.org Join US FoR a ViRtUal toUR at SCSRi.oRG Call FoR a PeRSonal toUR Wills & Trusts Estate Planning & Settlement The Law Office of George M. Prescott Esquire Rhode Island does not have a procedure for the certification or recognition of specialization by lawyers. 300 Front Street, Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865 Telephone – 401.726.5577 No fee for initial consultation. C o m i n g S o o n Valley Breeze Special Section Featured in our March 24th & March 25th Editions Making our communities stronger by telling their stories. 401-334-9555

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