July 22, 2002
A regular meeting of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order at the Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road at 7:06 PM by Council President Guy J. Settipane. The following members were present:
David A. Swain, Vice President
David J. Long
Norma B. Willis arrived at 7:12 PM
Kenneth G. Littman arrived at 9:30 PM
Also present were:
Maryanne Crawford, CPA, Town Administrator/Finance Director
Arlene D. Kalooski, Town Clerk
Douglas DeSimone, Esq., Town Solicitor
SITTING AS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSING COMMISSION
SeaDish, Ltd. d/b/a Tricia’s Tropi Grille
The Town Solicitor related the events that led up to the notice of violation being sent to Tricia’s Tropi Grille. He stated that the Police Chief issued a notice advising Tricia’s Tropi Grille that there was a violation of their license; that violation being that a service bar was being utilized as a bar where patrons were sitting and being served. The site plan attached to the license that was transferred from Beavertail Grille allowed a service bar to be used by the restaurant staff only. The Town Solicitor informed the Council that he had reviewed minutes of hearings for alcoholic beverage licenses all the way back to 1992 and advised that he was in agreement with the Chief’s position and therefore, a letter was forwarded to the owners of Tricia’Tropi Grille.
Attorney Turner Scott, representing Tricia’s Tropi Grille noted that the owners were not aware of the site restrictions attached to the liquor license but thought their plans had been accepted. He further noted his clients were under the impression that a new site plan had been forwarded to the Council for their review. Mr. Turner requested that the establishment be allowed to continue serving in their present manner until this issue is resolved. It was noted by the Town Solicitor and Mr. Scott that the new site plan was presented after the hearing date and approval of the license for Tricia’s Tropi Grille; that hearing being held on May 13, 2002.
Patricia A. Masso, owner of Tricia’s Tropi Grille, informed the Council that they had the documents prepared for the hearing; however, no one requested them. Ms. Masso further noted that they were submitted with the license as required.
Mr. Masso indicated that he brought the site plan to the building official when applying for his permits for renovation to 14 Narragansett Avenue to see if there were any problems. Mr. Masso stated that he showed Mr. Brown the service bar, which included an extension with eight bar stools, but total seating capacity was reduced; Mr. Brown did not indicate that there were any problems with the this plan.
Members of the Council expressed concern that the site plan, as presented by Mr. Masso, was not in their packet when considering the transfer of license. The Town Clerk assured the Council that the site plan had not been received prior to the hearing.
The Town Solicitor noted that restrictions imposed on a license are carried over for the life of the license unless a hearing is held to otherwise amend it. The Town Solicitor informed the Council that the building official does not have the authority to lift restrictions on liquor licenses. It was noted by Council President Settipane that the building official would only be reviewing plans for issues relating to zoning or building codes.
Council President Settipane noted that the request for license transfer was listed on the Agenda for hearing on May 13, 2002, there was no indication that a request for expansion of business was to be considered.
Council President Settipane inquired if it would be possible to put a stay on the notice of violation until this matter could be resolved. The Town Solicitor advised that the liquor control laws are silent as to the powers to the Board of License Commissioners once a notice of violation is issued. Because the State has delegated through the municipality broad discretion over the sale of alcoholic beverages, they do in fact have the authority to grant a stay.
Attorney Quentin Anthony, representing George Tournas, owner of 10 Narragansett Avenue, presented information relating to the outside patio area. Mr. Anthony indicated that this area was at one time and should be now, a parking area. Additionally, Mr. Anthony suggested that in his opinion it was not legal to put a stay on the cease and desist order.
Council President Settipane noted the short summer season and his concern that Mr. Masso’s business would be adversely effected while these issues were being resolved.
Lilliam Hadfield, 10 Narragansett Avenue requested that the Council not allow the continuation of service in the outdoor patio because it is too noisy and close to the apartment building where she lives.
There being no further comments and following deliberation by the Council, the hearing ended. It was moved by Council President Settipane, seconded by Councilor Swain to order a temporary stay of the enforcement with the stay being up until 9:00 PM of the use of the outdoor facility for serving alcoholic drinks until August 13, 2002 when there will be a full hearing on this matter. It was voted, Councilor Swain, aye; Councilor Willis, aye; Council President Settipane; Councilor Long, nay. The motion passed with three in favor and one opposed.
Upon the request of Attorney John Murphy, the Council moved the entertainment license for Tricia’s Tropi Grille to be heard at this time.
2) Tricia’s Tropi Grille re: entertainment license
The Town Solicitor instructed the Council that pursuant to Rhode Island State Law, when issuing entertainment licenses, restrictions shall be uniform throughout the municipality. Mr. DeSimone further noted that it would be without regard to what zoning district the property is in. Mr. DiSimone advised the Council that he believed the restriction on the entertainment license for Tricia’s Tropi Grilleis not the same as others and therefore, not enforceable.
Council President Settipane stated that he would like to hear this matter coupled with the hearing on the alcoholic beverage license and inquired if Mr. Masso would be willing to maintain the hours as stated on his present license. Mr. Masso stated that he believed 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM seven nights a week in the summertime should be considered by the Council.
The Town Solicitor advised that before the Council took any action, he be allowed to review other entertainment licenses issued in the Town.
Several neighboring residents spoke out against the noise and the close proximity of the bar and tables to their apartments.
Lillian Hadfield, 10 Narragansett Avenue
Albert Hall, 10 Narragansett Avenue
George Tournas, 10 Narragansett Avenue
Donna Mignella, 12 Union Street
Bayview Condominimum resident (unnamed)
Attorney Quentin Anthony asked the Council how can entertainment take place in a spot that was dedicated to off-site parking. Council President Settipane noted that the issue of off-site parking is a zoning issue and suggested that Mr. Anthony proceed as he sees fit.
It was moved by Councilor Willis, seconded by Council President Settipane to continue this matter to August 13, 2002. It was voted Councilor Willis, aye; Councilor Long, aye; Council President Settipane, aye; Councilor Swain, nay. The motion passed with three in favor and one opposed.
Bruce Long 08/10/2002 Feast of the Holy Ghost (PAC Club)
Mr. Bruce Long informed the Council that all profit for the selling of Del’s Lemonade would go directly to the Feast of the Holy Ghost celebration.
It was moved by Councilor Willis, seconded by Councilor Swain to grant the peddler’s license to Bruce Long for August 10, 2002. So unanimously voted.
It was requested that item #2 be removed from the Consent Agenda. It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Swain to approve the Consent Agenda as amended. So unanimously voted. The Consent Agenda consists of:
3) Copies of Minutes of Boards & Committee meetings:
4) Proclamations and Resolutions from other communities:
a) Hopkinton Town Council re: State of Rhode Island weapons training facility
5) Naval Station Newport Restoration Advisory Board minutes (06/19/2002)
6) Tax Abatement/Addenda
Councilor Willis requested additional information on repairs to the police station hot water system in the amount of $3000.00. The Town Administrator informed the Council that these funds were budgeted for under capital improvement.
It was moved by Councilor Willis, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the bills and payroll. So unanimously voted.
EXECUTIVE SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT
Council President Settipane announced that there would be an executive session later in the evening, pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5(a) (2) litigation and 42-46-5(a) (5) real estate.
Richard Allphin requested additional information on the issue relating to litigation. The Town Solicitor noted that this is regarding the Cox Communication lease.
2) Pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5(a) real estate
Mr. Johnston informed the Council that he lives at 40 Summit Avenue and feels unsafe. He noted that there have been instances when he has felt threatened. Additionally, Mr. Johnstone informed the Council that the Town removed a tree three or four feet from his property line. Mr. Johnstone said that there are problems with the maps in that area and noted that Prospect Street is in his backyard.
The Town Administrator informed the Council that it was her understanding that there was tree trimming in that area and was unaware of any tree being cut down. The Town Administrator noted that she has worked with Mr. Johnstone in the past to resolve some issues.
The Town Solicitor informed the Council that there was litigation regarding adverse possession in that area; however, it has not been completed.
Council President Settipane requested that the Town Administrator research the access to the road and tree cutting and report back at the next Council meeting.
REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND TOWN OFFICIALS
The Town Administrator reported that the reservoir is down fifteen (15) inches and recommended that the major water ban be lifted. The lifting of the all out water ban would leave the normal restrictions in place. The Town Administrator informed the Council that the Town staff has worked with Mark Edwards from US Filter, an expert in this field and has changed the chemical balance at the reservoir enabling the facility to run in a more efficient manner. The Town Administrator noted that she would like to budget funds in the future for Mr. Edwards to evaluate the water system on a two or three year basis. It was the consensus of the Council to return to normal water restrictions.
The Town Administrator informed the Council that an offer has been made to a candidate for the Wastewater Management position; however, as with other candidates, this position is being declined because of lack of benefits. The Town Administrator suggested prorating benefits on a single level as with other part-time employees of the Town. It was the consensus of the Council to allow the Town Administrator to offer benefits as requested.
William Munger inquired if the restriction for boat washing could be lifted. Council President Settipane suggested that Mr. Munger raise that question at the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners meeting. 2) Harbor Management Commission (one vacancy; Interested, Otherwise Unaffiliated; term ending 12/31/2004), if favorable, appoint (all applicants have been interviewed)
a) Mary Ann Joyce
Following a discussion on the candidates, It was moved by Councilor Willis, seconded by Council President Settipane to appoint Dennis Owens as the Harbor Management Commission representative for the position of Interested, Otherwise Unaffiliated, term ending 12/31/2004. It was voted Councilor Swain, aye; Councilor Willis, aye; Council President Settipane, aye; Councilor Long, nay. The motion passed with three in favor and one opposed.
3) Town Planner
The Town Solicitor informed the Council that the High Groundwater Table Ordinance is presented to the Council for the setting of a hearing date.
It was moved by Councilor Willis, seconded by Council President Settipane to set the High Groundwater Table Ordinance down for public hearing. It was moved by Council President Settipane seconded by Councilor Willis to amend the motion to include that the clerk be directed to advertise and set down a hearing date. The amended motion was unanimously voted.
4) Jamestown Quonset Davisville Liaison Committee
It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Willis to send the letters as drafted by the Quonset Davisville Liaison Committee to candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, US Representative US Senators and our neighboring communities. So unanimously voted.
The Town Solicitor discussed Sec. 1002 (1) of the proposed charter amendments whereby the Council may limit the minimum number of members on Town Boards, Commissions and Committees.
Following Council discussion, it was moved by Council President Settipane, seconded by Councilor Willis to establish a minimum number of members in Sec. 1002 to three (3). So unanimously voted.
The Council reviewed the lease for the position of Beavertail Lighthouse Keeper. Of concern, was the section under Termination and Renewal; in particular, whether the lease was to be renewed if the lessee so chose.
The Town Solicitor noted that the lease was vague and he was of the opinion that there was an intention that if the lease was to be renewed it would require the agreement of both parties and with no terms and conditions for renewal it would be unenforceable.
There was extended discussion relating to the intent of the statement included in the lease under the heading "Termination and Renewal"; that being, "Upon completion of a satisfactory annual inspection and satisfactory performance of the terms and conditions of the agreement, this agreement shall be renewable for a period of three (3) years."
Councilor Littman arrived at 9:30 PM
Councilor Littman was updated on the previous discussion regarding the Beavertail Lighthouse Keeper lease.
There was also discussion relating to this property being considered as an affordable housing opportunity. Consideration being that the applicant must have the ability and skills to perform the necessary duties at the lighthouse.
Nick Robinson, Affordable Housing Committee member, stressed that the property has been used in the past as an opportunity for affordable housing and requested that the Council consider it as such at this time.
The Town Administrator suggested that she be allowed to advertise for the position and noted that the present lighthouse keeper would not be precluded from applying.
Councilor Long presented a letter from Richard Shutt, the present tenant, informing the Council that he was exercising his option for renewal of the Beavertail Lighthouse caretaker’s lease.
Councilor Littman requested that the minutes of the Town Council for the meeting that the Beavertail Lighthouse Keeper lease was approved be provided to the Council for review.
It was moved by Council President Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to allow the Town Administrator to begin advertising for tenants no later than August 1st and that a decision regarding Mr. Shutt and lease renewal be had in consideration with other applicants by the first Town Council meeting in September.
Councilor Swain suggested that the two items be kept separate.
It was voted, Councilor Long, aye; Council President Settipane, aye; Councilor Littman, nay; Councilor Swain, nay; Councilor Willis, nay. The motion failed with three opposed and two in favor.
With a suggestion by the Town Solicitor that the lease be discussed in executive session, it was the consensus of the Council to put the Beavertail Lighthouse lease on the executive session agenda for the next Council meeting.
Upon review of the figures presented by the Town Administrator it was noted that Lot 47 was used as a comparison rather than figures for the transfer station.
It was moved by Council President Settipane, seconded by Councilor Willis that this matter be continued to the August 13, 2002 Town Council meeting. So unanimously voted.
It was noted that the proposed Noise Ordinance as presented is in draft form would require that a work session be held. It was suggested that the Police Chief provide input regarding decibel levels. Additionally, penalties to be considered for this ordinance should be discussed.
It was moved by Council President Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long that a date for a work session be administratively set. So unanimously voted.
The Town Solicitor noted that the proposed amendments before the Council have been put in question form to be placed on the November ballot. In addition, there is the actual text for these proposed amendments to the Charter. The Town Solicitor informed the Council that in order for these questions to appear on the ballot the Council must make the appropriate vote.
Council President Settipane noted that question number 2 should be clear as to "there shall be no financial benefit." The Town Solicitor assured the Council that the question requires that all elected and appointed in the Town comply with the Code of Ethics legislation, rather than only requiring that statement; therefore being more inclusive.
Following further review, it was noted that Section 1002 has added language to limit terms and membership on Town Boards, Commissions and Committees and is listed as question number 28.
It was moved by Councilor Willis, seconded by Councilor Swain that we approve the questions that pertain to the Town Charter and authorize the Town Solicitor to clean up any language that he feels needs to be corrected in consultation with Sav Rebecchi, Charter Commission Chair, and prepare it for the November ballot. So unanimously voted.
It was moved by Councilor Swain, seconded by Councilor Willis to accept the letter from Thomas F. Ginnerty and to refer it to the Chief of Police. So unanimously voted.
It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Swain to accept the letter from Governor Almond. So unanimously voted.
It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Littman to accept the communication from Emmet Turley. So unanimously voted.
It was moved by Councilor Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the letter from Friends of Jamestown Skaters. So unanimously voted.
Clayton Carlisle, speaking for Friends of Jamestown Skaters, informed the Council that they have received funding in the amounts of $6,000.00 in Foundation Grants, Substance Abuse Task Force donation $3,500.00, local businesses $2,500.00, private donations $5,500.00, local civic organizations $9,700.00. Additionally, Mr. Carlisle stated that a Department of Environmental Grant in the amount of $25,000.00 has also been donated; however, the skate park must be constructed this year or they will loose the money. Mr. Carlisle requested that the Council consider allowing the project to go out to bid and begin construction prior to raising the full amount of money needed to complete the project. Mr. Carlisle noted that this would allow the construction to be completed in time to receive the grant and that fundraising would continue throughout the process.
The Town Administrator expressed her concerns in beginning a project without adequate funding to complete the project. Mr. Carlisle assured the Council that his committee has applied for other grants; although the date for notification of approval is beyond the date needed for the project to begin, they do expect to receive additional grant money.
The Town Solicitor advised the Council that there is no prohibition against allowing the bidding process prior to raising all the funds.
It was moved by Councilor Swain, seconded by Councilor Willis to authorize the Town Administrator to work with Mr. Carlisle to draft an RFP to bed sent out for the construction of the Jamestown Skaters Park. So unanimously voted.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE DONATION
The Town Administrator informed the Council that the School Committee voted to make a donation of $39,000.00 from the unreserved fund balance, to be used towards the construction of the skate park. Additionally, she noted that the Town Solicitor and the Attorney for the School Committee had been contacted for an opinion on whether the School Committee could commit these funds.
The Town Solicitor noted that he had a difference of opinion with the School Committee counsel. He stated that he was of the opinion that if a School Committee may spend more funds than have been allocated in any single budget year that they must give notice to the municipality. However, the School Committee counsel advised that this could be done. Ultimately it is the School Committee’s decision.
Council President Settipane inquired if the playground was considered infrastructure of the school and included in the capital expense budget for the School Committee. The Town Solicitor noted that the playground was considered infrastructure.
No action taken by the Council.
Bruce Long 08/10/2002 Feast of the Holy Ghost (PAC Club)
2) Tricia’s Tropi Grille re: entertainment license
The Town Administrator inquired if it would be necessary to submit a bond for the Collection System Rehabilitation on the November ballot. The Town Solicitor informed the Council that he would be contacting the bond attorney for an opinion.
It was moved by Council President Settipane, seconded by Councilor Littman to prepare the bond issue for the November ballot, subject to the opinion from the Town’s Bond Counsel. So unanimously voted.
The Town Administrator noted that Siegmund Associates has requested a letter of intent prior to proceeding with the project.
It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Willis to approve the letter of intent subject to the approval of the Town Administrator and Town Solicitor. So unanimously voted.
It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Swain to enter into executive session at 10:20 PM pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5(a) (2) litigation and RIGL 42-46-5(a) (5) real estate. The vote was, Council President, aye; Councilor Littman, aye; Councilor Long, aye; Councilor Swain, aye; Councilor Willis; aye. The motion passed unanimously.
1) Pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5(a) (2) litigation
2) Pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5(a) real estate