Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 06-07-2018

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 SMITHFIELD JUNE 7-13, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION 'Animation on Ice' at Smithfield Ice Rink Sunday SMITHFIELD – The Smithfield Figure Skating Club will present "Animation on Ice" at the Smithfield Municipal Ice Rink, 101 Pleasant View Ave., on Sunday, June 10, at 3 p.m. Club members and guest skat- ers will bring their favorite animated characters to life on the ice, perform- ing to songs and music from popular animated films. Admission is $10 for adults; $2 for children. This show is the club's 38th annual exhibition to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. This fun- draiser was started by longtime Smithfield Figure Skating Club member Pamela Medeiros, who was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 2. Organizers say ice time and raffle items are donated, allowing all pro- ceeds to benefit JDRF. Brunch Bunch Toastmasters meet Saturday CUMBERLAND – The Saturday Brunch Bunch Toastmasters club will meet on Saturday, June 9, from 9:20 to 11:30 a.m, at the Cumberland Public Library's Hayden Center, 1464 Diamond Hill Road. The meeting is open to the public, and new members are always wel- come. Regular meetings are on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. The club fosters the develop- ment of public speaking and leader- ship skills. For more information, call 508-293- 1488 or email sbbtm31@gmail.com . AREA NEWS The Valley Breeze & Observer distributes 10,800 papers in greater Smithfield every Thursday? do you know? Smithfield's school, fire station bonds called into question Warning of four straight years of tax increases SMITHFIELD – Apprehensive about the upcoming $45 million ele- mentary school reconfiguration and $4.5 million fire station bonds, local state representatives met with town department heads Tuesday morning to discuss the possibility of lowering bond debt. Sen. Stephen Archambault and Reps. Thomas Winfield and Gregory Costantino met with Town Manager Randy Rossi, Supt. Judy Paolucci, Town Council President Paul Santucci and Vice President Al LaGreca, and School Committee Chairman Sean Clough to discuss the ramifications of taking on signifi- cant debt. The House Finance Committee reacted to the bonds with a luke- warm reception, Winfield said, with many fearing that taking out the bonds would leave the town vulner- able to an emergency situation. If approved this fall, the bonds would nearly maximize the town's possible bond indebtedness, he said. Currently, the town's indebted- ness is at $21,225,000, with a legal limit of $82,478,910. Adding the $50 million debt would put the town at $71,225,000, $10 million shy of the limit. Paolucci said waiting to fix the school buildings could cost more in the future, and with current incentives, now is the time to act. Gov. Gina Raimondo has proposed bonding out $250 million for school infrastructure in this year's budget. Paolucci worked with the Rhode Island Department of Education to create the elemen- tary reconfiguration project, hoping to maximize on state incentives. "We're not going to get any of that money if we don't have you fight- ing for us. What I fear is that five years from now, we're putting the taxpayer at a huge disadvantage," Paolucci said. Also, in the face of an upcom- ing statistical revaluation affecting 2019 tax bills, and a full revaluation in 2021, the representatives called Tuesday's meeting to ensure the town understands the tax implica- tions of taking out the loans. "Knowing that this bond is going to result in four successive years of tax increases, tax increase are inevi- table, and that's what concerns us," said Archambault. He said tax rates would increase by 3.8 percent in the year 2020, 4 percent in 2021, 3.7 pecent in 2022 and 3.3 percent in 2023, including estimated growth in town and school spending. Compounded with the senior tax freeze, a large portion of the burden would fall on the taxpayers who are not senior citizens, projected to be around 60 percent in 10 years. Santucci said though many people believe taxing seniors would cause them to leave the town, he said he was concerned about the opposite happening. "The thing that I am most con- cerned about in this town is the non-seniors ability to continue to pay the increases that they've been pay- ing," Santucci said, adding, "If they do (move), you're not going to have a senior tax freeze, because no one will be able to afford it." Rossi explained that the numbers include the lowest state reimburse- ment the town can accept, at 40 percent. But, if the governor's $250 million school infrastructure bond to be voted on in the November elec- tion does not pass, the whole plan falls through. If it does pass, incen- tives could increase reimbursement up to 55 percent for the elementary school project. Winfield questioned Rossi on the use of the rescue billing fund to cre- ate a zero-increase budget. "If you look back over a short period of time, and didn't take that money, we could have paid for our fire department, we could have paid for that bond," Winfield said. Rossi agreed, but said the practice of balancing the budget with the "self-sustaining fund" occurred over the past 25 to 30 years. He said though he'd "love to not use any of those funds," he said phasing them out can't happen overnight. Town officials and members of the town's General Assembly delega- tion agreed that fact-based literature regarding the bonds needs to be dis- tributed to the residents prior to the vote, with both best-and worst-case scenarios, which would be included in the tax bills sent out at the end of July. Residents would vote on the bonds during the November general election. By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com WINFIELD ROSSI ARCHAMBAULT Town of Smithfield Planning Board • Major Land Development Proposal MOWRY HILL COMMONS NOTICE OF INFORMATIONAL MEETING Notice is hereby given pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 45-23-42 and the Smithfield Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations (1996, as amended) that an Informational Meeting will be held at the time, date and place indicated below for the purpose of presenting and discussing the acceptance of a Master Plan for the development of a proposed major land development, identified below, and provide the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed development. Time and Date of Hearing: Thursday, June 21, 2018 Meeting begins at 7:00 PM Place of Hearing: Smithfield Town Hall, 2nd Floor, Crepeau Hall 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI Property Proposed for Major Land Development: MOWRY HILL COMMONS Major Land Development – Master Plan review and recommendation to the Town Council on a proposed zone change from R-80 to Planned Corporate / Economic Growth Overlay (EGO) district and recommendation to the Zoning Board on required dimensional relief. AP 46 / Lot 63 – 150 George Washington Highway 2.21 Acres / R-80 Zone Owner / Applicant: Blue Water Realty, LLC Availability of Information The Plans and accompanying documents for this Subdivision Proposal are available for the public review during normal business hours at the Smithfield Planner's Office, 64 Farnum Pike, Town Hall – Lower Level, Smithfield, RI. All persons interested in the above are requested to be present at the time and place to be heard there - on. Facilities are accessible to handicapped persons. If communication assistance (readers/interpret- ers/captions) or any other accommodation to ensure equal participation is needed, please contact the Smithfield Town Manager's office at 401-233-1010 at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting. Per Order of the Smithfield Planning Board John Yoakum, Chairman Town of Smithfield Zoning Board of Review PUBLIC HEARINGS The Smithfield Zoning Board of Review will hold public hearings on Wednes- day, June 27, 2018 at 7:00 PM, at the Smithfield Town Hall, 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, Rhode Island. All persons entitled to be heard will be heard for or against the granting of the following applications: – David Lombardo as applicant and owner of property located at 4 Lakeview Drive, listed as Plat 6, Lot 148 seeks a special use permit for an accessory family dwelling unit above the existing detached garage in an R -20 district. – Gregory A. Gabel as applicant and owner of property located at 39 Cedar Swamp Road, listed as Plat 43, Lot 18 seeks a variance for frontage and a vari- ance to construct a building within 100 feet of a residential zone in a Commer- cial (C) district. The public is welcome to any meeting of the Smithfield Zoning Board of Re- view. Complete applications are available for review in the Building and Zoning Department (401) 233-1039. If communication assistance (readers/interpreters/ captions) is needed or any other accommodation to ensure equal participation, please contact the Smithfield Town Manager's Office at 401-233-1010 at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting. BY ORDER OF THE ZONING BOARD. Antonio Fonseca, Chairman

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