TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
May 27, 2003
A regular meeting of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order at the Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, at 7:05 PM by Council President Kenneth G. Littman. The following members were present:
David J. Long, Vice President
Julio J. Digiando
Claire M. Ferguson
Guy J. Settipane
AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
1) Certificate of Appreciation:
a) Norma B. Willis
It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to invite Norma Willis and David Swain to the next Council meeting for the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation. So unanimously voted.
SITTING AS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSING COMMISSION
1) Request of the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company/Class G Liquor License renewal for the 2003 season to serve alcoholic beverages to their patrons while at dockside at East Ferry (issued by the State, pursuant to RIGL 3-7-15)
It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to award the Class G Liquor License renewal for the 2003 season to the Jamestown & Newport Ferry Company. It was voted four in favor with Council President Littman abstaining.
It was requested that items # 3(a), 4(a), 4(b) and 5(c) be removed from the consent agenda. Motion by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to approve the consent agenda as amended. So unanimously voted. The consent agenda consists of:
1) Adoption of Council minutes:
3) Minutes from Boards, Commissions and Committees:
a) Zoning Board of Review (04/22/2003)
4) CRMC Notices:
5) DEM Notices:
6) Resolutions/Proclamations of other Rhode Island Cities & Towns:
7) Navy Station Newport Restoration Advisory Board Meeting Minutes 04/16/2003
8) Town of Jamestown as an abutter notification re: Class A liquor License application of Grapes & Gourmets, Inc dba: Grapes & Gourmets; proposed location at 9 Ferry Wharf
9) Abatements/Addenda of Taxes
b) Affordable Housing 04/14/2003)
Council President Littman noted that the minutes referred to the criteria to be used when the light house becomes available for lease and requested that the Town Administrator provide the new Council members with this information.
4) CRMC Notices
Councilor DiGiando noted that the Harbor Management Commission has not had a chance to review the application from David & Sally Ryan. The Town Administrator suggested that she discuss this item with Chief Tighe for his recommendations.
i) Brian Larkin, 159 Legion Way, Cranston re: boat broken upon shore located at Seaside Drive
Councilor DiGiando noted that the boat wreck should be brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Wrecks. The Town Administrator suggested that she would discuss with the Police Chief and Samuel Paterson, the Harbormaster and Commissioner of Wrecks.
5) DEM Notices:
c) Project Priority List Request for Projects State Fiscal Year 2004
Councilor DiGiando requested additional information on the Request for Projects. The Town Administrator informed the Council that the Town has applied for funds for the Clean Water Financing relating to the Sewer Rehabilitation Project and funding for the Wastewater Management Program.
It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to accept items 3(b), 4 (a) and (b) and 5(c). So unanimously voted.
EXECUTIVE SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT
The Town Administrator informed the Council that the executive session could be withdrawn, as she does not have any additional information for the Council this evening.
2) Non-scheduled request to address
It was the consensus of the Council that the following item be moved up on the agenda for discussion under Open Forum:
It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the communication from Michael Larkin. So unanimously voted.
It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to continue the letter and resolution to the June 9, 2003 Town Council meeting, under New Business and to request that the Town Solicitor review the resolution. So unanimously voted.
Council President Littman invited comment from the audience regarding the proposed resolution from Michael Larkin in Defense of the Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties.
The following individuals spoke in favor of the proposed resolution:
Open Forum continued
William Munger, Cole Street, stated that he was not sure if the lighthouse belongs in the affordable housing market. Council President Littman noted that this would be discussed at when the present lease has ended.
Fred Brome, 11 Luther Street, requested that the Public Works Department assist the Rocket Dawgz with cordoning off an area at the lower portion of Shoreby Hill for the fireworks display in July.
Chief Tighe informed the Council that Shoreby Hill is private property and suggested that the Rocket Dawgz contact the association for permission to cordon off an area at Shoreby Hill.
Councilor Settipane suggested that the Town Administrator and Police Chief assist Mr. Brome in contacting the association for permission to cordon off the lower portion of Shoreby Hill.
Sav Rebecchi, 13 Sail Street, commented on the late submission of minutes from several committees. Mr. Rebecchi further commented that draft minutes should be submitted within ten (10) days or thirty (30) days or before the next meeting.
Council President Littman requested that the Town Clerk notify those committees to submit their minutes on time.
Representative Bruce Long reported that the Bills presented to the General Assembly (1) An act relating to fixing the date and time for holding the annual town meeting in Jamestown and (2) An act relating to levy and assessment of local taxes have passed both the House and the Senate. The Bill that would provide a Jamestown resident on the board of directors for the Quonset Point/Davisville Industrial Park Management corporation as a nonvoting member has passed the House and is presently being considered by the Senate.
REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND TOWN OFFICIALS
Town Administrator's Report
May 27, 2003
The following report consists of items of general interest to the Council. I will be pleased to provide any additional clarification or information you require.
Last winter the Town acquired a surplus mini bus from RIPTA to be used mainly by the seniors. I met with Sirje Carl, Executive Director of the Jamestown Housing Authority, and Charlotte Richardson, Executive Director of the Jamestown Seniors, to arrange for monthly shopping trips to the Stop & Shop Plaza in Newport. The final repairs to the bus were completed at the end of April totaling over three thousand dollars. The first trips were scheduled for the beginning of May. Attendance from the Senior Center was low. We anticipate it increasing with a schedule change and once more people become aware of the service from outside the Senior Center.
With Tax Assessor Sue Brayman scheduled to retire in mid-July, last month I began the process of finding her replacement. I placed an advertisement in the Providence Journal and received eleven applications. The selection team consisted of Tax Assessor Sue Brayman, Linda Cweik, Tax Assessor in North Kingstown, and I. We reviewed all applications and narrowed the field down to four candidates to be interviewed. Interviews were held on May 5, 2003. Personnel Committee Chairwoman Nancy Coleman Ventrone also participated in the interviews. The committee was unanimous in their decision to offer the position of Deputy Tax Assessor to Kenneth Gray. I offered Mr. Gray the position on May 16, 2003; he accepted and will begin work on June 2, 2003. Mr. Gray owned a family business for over twenty years and recently has worked for Hogan Appraisal Company. Once Sue Brayman retires, Mr. Gray will assume the position of Tax Assessor. I believe Mr. Gray will be an excellent addition to our administration and I anticipate he will provide the same excellent service Sue Brayman has provided the past eighteen years.
I have attached a copy of a proposal from GZA GeoEnvironmental to complete the Town's remediation plan of the former landfill. GZA has been working with the Town in recent years testing the site and completing the investigation of the former landfill. To date the Town has been extremely please with GZA's performance and expertise in this field of remediation. I would recommend the Council approval this proposal.
On May 13, 2003 I was at the State House to attend a hearing in the House Corporation Committee regarding two Jamestown Bills. The first Bill was to allow the Town to exceed the 5.5% tax levy cap, when we change our fiscal year from March 1st to July 1st. The change in the fiscal year will result in a one-time sixteen-month fiscal year. The second bill was to change the financial town meeting from the first Monday in March to the first Monday in June. School Committee Chairwoman Kathy Kaiser and Councilman Guy Settipane joined me at the State House. Both Bills passed the House Corporation Committee and likely will be signed into law within the next four to six weeks. The Town Clerk and I have discussed open items from the previous Council. For your consideration the following item will be included on the June 9th agenda: Proposed Drafts of the Noise, Alcoholic Beverage Licenses, and Harbor Management Ordinances. I have attached a copy of the Noise and Alcoholic Beverage Licenses for the new Council members. I will forward to all Council members the most recent draft of the Harbor Ordinance once it is received from the Harbor Commission
In my welcoming memo to the Council dated May 9, 2003, I recommended the Council conduct a tour of Town facilities. Previous Councils have found this tour extremely helpful for two reasons: First, it gave the Council an opportunity to meet or reacquaint themselves with Town department heads and the second, to become familiar with all Town owned facilitates. If the Council desires to complete such a tour, I will set one up and develop an agenda. For your information I have attached a copy of the agenda of the last facility tour in 1999
Set a date for a tour of Town facilities
Approve proposal submitted by GZA GeoEnvironmental for the remediation plan
of the former landfill.
Set a date for a tour of Town facilities, possible dates June 3rd or 5th.
Following the report of the Town Administrator, the following was discussed:
Council Tour of Facilities
It was the consensus of the Council that the tour would be held on Thursday, June 5 beginning at 2:00 PM.
Councilor DiGiando noted that the list of committee members contain names of non-residents. The Town Clerk will review the list and bring it up to date.
Councilor Settipane inquired if the proposal submitted by GZA for remediation of the former landfill should be a separate contract and go out to bid. The Town Solicitor stated that he would review the original contract and report back to the Council with a determination.
Deputy Tax Assessor
Councilor Settipane stated that under Section 404 of the Town Charter, the Council is required to approve the appointment of department heads following nominations by the Town Administrator. Councilor Settipane expressed his concern that he has not received any pertinent information on the applicants for this position. The Town Administrator noted that she had discussed the hiring of a Deputy Tax Assessor during the budgeting process and proceeded with that course of action. The position was advertised, a team was put together for the interviews and if the person in the deputy position is acceptable, will be nominated by the Town Administrator to fill the position of Tax Assessor.
The Town Administrator noted that the Town has received some funding for the Litter Corps from the Substance Abuse Task Force. Also, the Newport County Foundation will participate in a site visit to consider funding for the Litter Corps.
2) Conservation Commission
It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Settipane to accept the communication from the Conservation Commission. So unanimously voted.
3) Neighborhood Advisory Committee – new committee (to consist of not more than five members to make recommendations to the Town Council relating to the location of the Highway Facility at Taylor Point, concerning the design, traffic, lighting and operational aspects and their impact on the local neighborhood); if favorable appoint three members, terms unspecified
It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to continue the appointments to the Neighborhood Advisory Committee until the Council meeting on June 9, 2003. So unanimously voted.
4) Town Clerk
a) Selection Process for Town Solicitor
It was the consensus of the Council that the Town Solicitor position be advertised in the Providence Journal and readvertised in the Newport Daily News and to arrange for interviews on June 14 and June 21, 2003.
1) Jamestown Housing Authority (cont. from 01/13/2002)
a) Request to waive PILOT funds
The Council discussed the request from the Jamestown Housing Authority to waive the PILOT funds for 2001 through 2003. Council President Littman noted that this issue has been continued because the Council was unsure of whether past years funds for 2001 and 2002 could be waived. Previously, the Town Solicitor advised that the Council could, if they wished, waive the PILOT funds for the current year.
The Town Administrator noted that the Housing Authority is tax exempt and the PILOT funds are calculated by a HUD formula determined by gross rent, less utilities, ten (10) percent of balance is the PILOT; because of past practice by the Council, the PILOT funds revenue was not included in the Town budget.
The Town Solicitor suggested that this issue be continued to the next Council meeting on June 9, 2003.
It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to continue the waiving of the PILOT funds to the Council meeting on June 9, 2003. So unanimously voted.
1) Letter to the Council President from the eighth grade class re: concerns
It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the communication from the eighth grade class. So unanimously voted.
Following discussion, it was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Settipane to respond in writing to the eighth grade class informing them that their letter of concerns has been forwarded to the Substance Abuse Task Force, School Superintendent and the Town Administrator. So unanimously voted.
2) Letter to the Town Council from Michael Larkin requesting adoption of a Resolution of the Town Council in Defense of the Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties
It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to accept the communication from Steven Tucker. So unanimously voted.
It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to accept the notice of proposed ISDS requiring a variance from regulations. So unanimously voted.
The Town Administrator informed the Council that the ISDS application falls under the High Groundwater Table Ordinance and it will be necessary for the individual to seek a variance to proceed through the building process.
Following Council discussion, the ISDS Application #0215-0461 regarding Plat 15, Lot 272 was referred to the Town Administrator for submission of a letter to RIDEM Groundwater Section expressing that the Council has concerns.
Michael Swistak, Chamber of Commerce representative, informed the Council that it might be necessary to change the date requested in an attempt to coordinate efforts with a committee working to plan Jamestown’s 325th Anniversary.
It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Council President Littman to approve the application for the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce for September 13 or a date as approved by the Town Administrator. So unanimously voted.
OPEN FORUM CONTINUED
Councilor DiGiando inquired if the Town Solicitor would provide the Harbor Commission with a written report regarding his meeting with Grover Fugate, Executive Director of Coastal Resources Management Council relating to the rights of way and mooring issues. The Town Solicitor indicated that he is working with the Harbor Management Commission on those issues.
There being no further business before the Council, it was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to adjourn the meeting at 8:42 PM. So unanimously voted.
Arlene D. Petit