Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 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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28 CUMBERLAND / LINCOLN JUNE 7-13, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION he said. Kane responded by reminding Bradley that the public hearing "is supposedly closed," and said speak- ing should be restricted to the coun- cil. • Cutting the inspections division by reducing the office equipment line item from $500 to zero, vehicles from $2,500 to $500, gas and oil from $4,000 to $2,000, education and training from $2,000 to $1,000, and dues and subscriptions from $750 to $500. • Reducing public works special services from $7,000 to $5,000. • Reducing a line in the police budget for traffic management from $5,000 to zero. This was another item Kane noted hasn't been used. • Cutting a $20,000 town/school achievement grant from $20,000 to zero, another item that wasn't spent in the current year. Shaw expressed concern that the $20,000 was placed in the budget even as Murray pro- posed taking $1,500 away from vari- ous youth athletic groups to offset the tax levy. • Cutting an unemployment line item from $10,000 to $5,000. A Kane motion to reduce overtime in the senior citizen budget from $1,000 to $250 failed. A motion to reduce fringe benefits by $64,789 also failed. Kane made a motion to reduce the Town Council salary line item from $24,400 to $17,400, eliminat- ing raises previously considered, and the council voted unanimously to cut the raises. He also increased the council's legal budget from $23,000 to $25,000. A motion by Shaw to eliminate a $1,500 stipend for flag football, which he said was done with knowledge of the league, passed unanimously. Shaw gets a partial win on fields Councilor Shaw, who is on the board for the Cumberland Youth Soccer Association, moved to increase the budget for field main- tenance from $40,000 to $52,000, and to move the line item from the Highway Department to Parks and Recreation. He offered concern that most of the money isn't spent on the actual materials for maintaining fields, and placing the bud- get under the over- sight of Parks and Recreation, where members are working on implement- ing a maintenance plan based on an outside expert's analysis, would help ensure that the fields are being prop- erly maintained. Schmitt said that while the plan deserves discussion and should be addressed at some point, he wor- ries that it could set off a "turf war" between the departments. The council ended up holding off on switching the accounts, but did increase the budget. The extra $12,000 will come out of the Kane cuts. Battle over legal services Kane's proposal to move the town's $60,000 in special legal services and $50,000 in extraordinary legal servic- es lines under the council's budget, giving the council greater oversight of outside legal costs, also drew criti- cism from Murray. Council attorney Kelley Morris said the town charter only gives the mayor authority to hire the solicitor and assistant solicitor, and all other hires must be made by the council. Murray responded that the hiring has never been done that way, and Morris responded that "just because we've never followed it doesn't mean it's not correct." Schmitt said he saw a number of potential pitfalls with Kane's propos- al, suggesting a possible compromise to keep the council in the loop on hires. Kane and others disagreed with Assistant Solicitor Chris Alger's asser- tion that the move could make the town vulnerable in key legal situa- tions. Morris said Alger and Solicitor Tom Hefner could handle any emer- gency situations, meaning there is no situation she could think of where the administration wouldn't be able to go to the council on a hire. The council ended up moving all but $10,000 in legal funding to the council's budget. Kane and Murray feud Murray said this week that Kane accomplished nothing with his $54,050 in cuts other than to contin- ue his "beef" with the administration. Kane initially suggested lowering taxes by that amount, but he and the council instead reduced the budgeted appropriation from surplus accounts. Many of the items represented pointless cuts, he said, particularly the intern line item his administra- tion was planning to use to do the groundwork for development of Epheta Park. If Kane's cuts were an honest attempt at saving money on taxes, he would have no argument, said Murray, but this was about again attacking him and his administration and was politically motivated. He said he informed staff on Monday that many items, such as the Christmas party, likely won't happen. Kane responded that his cuts, sup- ported by colleagues, affect areas of the budget that have not been exhausted in several years, thus not requiring a full funding for this year's budget. A portion of the money will go toward maintaining athletic fields, he said. "The balance of these cuts will remove unnecessary bloat and pre- vent all taxpayers in the town from over-paying on imprudent line items that are not vital to everyday munici- pal operations," he added. As it stands, the budget still calls for an almost 4 percent tax levy increase after using more than $1.5 million in surplus funds to balance properly, added Kane. "After this year's initial levy process left us with a nearly $2 million gap to fill, it is more important than ever to manage essential town expenses and allocate accordingly throughout the year," he said. CUTS From Page 27 SHAW Lincoln schools hosting yard sale Saturday LINCOLN – The Lincoln Public Schools will host a community yard sale/vendor sale on Saturday, June 9, from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of Lincoln High School, 135 Old River Road. The rain date will be Saturday, June 16. There will also be crafts for kids, refreshments and a raffle. Any com- munity member wishing to purchase a table to sell items can contact . Individual spots are $10 each and vendor spots are $35 each. For more information, see the Lincoln PS District Yard Sale page on Facebook or call 401-249-0202. CHS softball team car wash is Saturday CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland High School soft- ball team will host a car wash on Saturday, June 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Freedom Bank, 2152 Mendon Road. Donations are $5 each. Tickets are available from team players or donate on the day of the event. Cumberland Education Foundation gets $1,000 from R.I. Foundation CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland Education Foundation has received a $1,000 grant from the Applegate Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. The group was recommended for the award by Holly Applegate, the local education group said in a release. CEF plans to put the money toward grants it gives out to Cumberland School Department teachers and staff for innovative programs to enrich educational experiences, as well as scholarships it awards to graduating seniors at Cumberland High School. 10 Monument Square, Woonsocket RI 02895 (401)767-1990 100 Old River Road, Lincoln RI 02865 (401)333-0780 7 YEAR FIXED RATE EQUITY LOAN AT 3.30% DURING JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST Whether it's putting a pool in, fixing the roof, or siding the house. Use your imagination. Get your projects done with this great summer rate. NMLS # 742988

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