Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 10-2-13

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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Serving Pawtucket OCTOBER 2-8, 2013 FREE Breeze THE VALLEY RUN FOR YOUR LIFE BAEBES AT BRT Be part of the upcoming Haunted Hill Race. PAGE 18 @ "Like" us on Award-winning Mediaeval Baebes return to Blackstone River Theatre. PAGE 16 Search for The Valley Breeze Newspapers Council: Spend grant funds on the things residents care about By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Staff Writer VALLEY BREEZE PHOTO BY ETHAN SHOREY CHARLES WHITIN, grant writer at the Slater Mill, shows off improvements at the Wilkinson Mill at the Slater Mill historic site last Friday. A contraption catches trash coming down the raceway before it can get into the waterwheel under the building. Staff at the Slater Mill are working hard to upgrade the historic landmark. Time of transition at Slater Mill brings renewed focus on community By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Staff Writer PAWTUCKET – A period of transition is no time to sit still, say staff members at the Slater Mill, which is why now is the perfect opportunity for a renewed focus on basics of what has made this place a success, the community and the things it cares about. Charles Whitin, the grant writer whose work helps land so much of the funding needed to keep the historic site going, told The Breeze that staff members are pushing hard to regain the footing they might have lost a bit in recent years when it comes to engaging the community in the work that is done here. There's a "real focus on the community" right now that "may not have been nurtured" very much in the recent past, he said. Whether growing and maintaining close relationships with See SLATER, Page 8 Family Owned & Operated for 41 Years ALL FLOORING ON SALE!!! – Ceramic — Laminate – – Hardwood — Carpet – FREE PAD • FREE LABOR 772 Dexter Street, Central Falls, RI 401-724-6674 401-724-0470 Family Owned & Operated for over 41 years RETAIL WAREHOUSE Open to the Public Hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs. & Fri. 9- 6:30 PM; Wed 9- 6:00 PM, Sat. 9- 5:00 PM ©2013 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. PAWTUCKET – Members of the Pawtucket City Council say they aren't pleased with a plan to spend some $400,000 of "community development" funds on projects they say the average Pawtucket citizen cares little about. City residents would much prefer that officials use available money to deal with issues in their neighborhoods, like crumbling sidewalks and run-down storefronts, than a redesigned Festival Pier on the riverfront or two-way traffic on a downRUDD town street, said council members. Freshman Councilor Tim Rudd, of District 6, ripped existing plans for the remainder of the city's 2013 Community Development Block Grant funding, saying the money should be spent "where people live, work and play." "If you're saying we have 45 percent of the money left, I feel strongly that it should be spent on neighborhood projects," he told Planning Director Barney Heath at a meeting last Tell us at week. Rudd added that members of the council are "more involved" in the day-today life of the city, and they have a "better idea about what's happening in their neighborhoods than the second floor," referencing members of Mayor Donald Grebien's administration. HEATH Heath responded that he's "open to suggestions" on how the CDBG funding should be used and would love more input from council members on the topic. Council members like Rudd and John Barry are particularly upset that they've had conversations in the past with Heath and members of Grebien's administration about projects they'd like to see done to fix "blight" in Pawtucket neighborhoods, but none of those projects are on this year's list. What do you think the money should be spent on? See FUNDS, Page 14

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