Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 10-3-13

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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OCTOBER 3-9, 2013 Serving North Smithfield, Blackstone and Woonsocket Breeze FREE The valley FRIGHTFULLY FUN blue girl POWER Fill your October with lots of local spook-tacular events. LIVING Meet the local woman who plays a blue Power Ranger. LIVING @ "Like" us on Search for The Valley Breeze Newspapers Playground pitch-in Redevelopment Agency plans Woonsocket's next 'big steps' Economic board looks to help create MED Zone, commuter railway, university and more By SANDY SEOANE Valley Breeze Staff Writer Valley Breeze Photo by Tom Ward Nick Rossi, one of the scores of volunteers who turned up Saturday to build the new playground at Bernon Heights Elementary School in Woonsocket, studies plans for the installation early in the day. Fundraising for the project took years. The job? About 12 hours. See more photos on Pages 12 and 13. Ups and downs this month for Woonsocket businesses By SANDY SEOANE Valley Breeze Staff Writer WOONSOCKET – A few Woonsocket businesses closed their doors for good this month, but it's not all bad news on the city's economic front, as long-vacant properties in highly visible sections of town have finally seen some action. After 11 years of serving breakfast in a friendly shop on Diamond Hill Road, Yolks went out of business on Sept. 22, adding yet another empty See BUSINESS, Page 14 WOONSOCKET – After nearly a decade of dormancy, an agency given broad powers under state law to tackle blight is back in action, and has hatched major plans to reignite Woonsocket's struggling economy. The Woonsocket Redevelopment Agency released the details of six projects this week aimed at adding value to the city's tax base by utilizing Title 45 of Rhode Island General Law. The law outlines specific processes by which redevelopment agencies across the state can acquire properties and clear large tracts Charles L. Kirby Insurance Auto • Home • Business • We protect you for less • Quote Line – 401-762-4501 • Independent Insurance Agency Since 1957 • Licensed in RI & MA Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays by Appointment 69 Eddie Dowling Hwy, North Smithfield, RI 02896 Rick Dowling – 401-762-4500 e-mail: web: ©2013 Breeze Publications Inc. of land for redevelopment, circumventing zoning obstacles and helping to attract investors. In Woonsocket, the agency had a strong start, working to help create Highland Corporate Park in the 1990s. Sometime around 2004, it stopped meeting. Five new members were appointed to the reignited agency in January, and have worked with the administration over the past nine months to develop a six-point citywide blight reduction program. It includes goals such as the creation of a Municipal Economic Development Zone in the Diamond Hill area, the addition of an adult vocational school to the city's downtown, and See REDEVELOPMENT, Page 9

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