TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

February 23, 2004

 

A regular meeting of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order at the Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road, at 7:07 PM by Council President Kenneth G. Littman.  The following members were present:

David J. Long, Vice President

Julio J. DiGiando

Guy J. Settipane

Claire M. Ferguson arrived at 7:30 PM

 

also present:

Maryanne Crawford, CPA, Town Administrator

A.Lauriston Parks, Town Solicitor

Arlene D. Petit, Town Clerk

Lisa Bryer, Town Planner

Steven J. Goslee, Public Works Director

 

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

1)         Vollmer Associates re:  presentation of alternative building for highway facility

 

In attendance for the presentation by Vollmer Associates:         

John T. Hannigan

Joseph Donovan

 

Council President Littman introduced John T. Hannigan, PE, Principal of Vollmer Associates, noting that Mr. Hannigan’s presentation would conclude with questions from the Council.   President Littman noted that this is a preliminary design of the building and it is expected that within a month the Council will have cost estimates for the facility.

 

The following items were addressed by Vollmer Associates:

 

Design Issues

         Functional & Efficient Operations

         Safe & Healthy Work Environment

         Economical First (Construction) Cost

         Life Cycle Costs & Green Design

         Aesthetics (Massing, Detail & Materials)

 

Life Cycle Costs and Green Design

           Maximize Natural Ventilation

           Optimize Daylight

           Design to Control Heat Gain/Loss

           Optimize Mechanical Systems

           Manage Water Consumption

           Employ Local Materials

 

The preliminary design presented is to be used as a baseline.  Once the cost estimates are completed, decisions will be made by the Council as to a more final design.

 

There was Council discussion regarding the most cost effective materials to be used on the building.  Additionally, there was discussion regarding the drainage and catch basins that would be constructed. 

 

It was the consensus of the Council that Vollmer Associates provide information to the Council prior to presenting cost estimates. 

 

In addressing the design, Mr. Hannigan stated that consideration would be given to the following components:

 

         Basic functional requirements

         Massing complexity

         Materials quality

         Details/scale/texture

         High performance design

 

It was the consensus of the Council to continue discussion on cost estimates and further preliminary design to the March 22, 2004 Town Council meeting.

 

Mr. Hannigan informed the Council that he would provide a tally sheet with estimated unit costs.  Additionally, Mr. Hannigan noted that the Council would have the option to make adjustments at that time. 

 

2)         Condolence letter for the Harpool Family re: Maegan Harpool

 

Council President Littman noted that the Council would be forwarding a letter of condolence to the family of Meagan Harpool.

 

SITTING AS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSING COMMISSION

 

None

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.  So unanimously voted.  The Consent Agenda consisted of the following:

1)         Adoption of Council minutes:

a)         02/09/2004 Regular Meeting

b)         01/22/2004 Budget Hearing

c)         01/23/2004 Special Meeting

2)         Bills and Payroll

3)         Minutes from Boards, Commissions and Committees:

a)         Planning Commission (01/21/2004, 02/18/2004)

b)         Harbor Management Commission (01/14/2004, 01/22/2004)

c)         Jamestown Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force (02/04/2004)

d)         Conservation Commission (12/09/2003, 01/13/2004)

e)         Water Resources Protection Committee (11/20/2003)

f)          Tree Preservation and Protection Committee (01/20/2004)

4)         CRMC Notices:

a)         Revised Public Notices:

i)          David G. & Judith B. Enstone, 10 Holmesead Ct.; re: construction of a residential boating facility located at Plat 2 Lot 60; said location

ii)         Jean-Guy E. Schilling & Donna M. Schilling, POB 77 re: construction of a residential boating facility; located at Plat 4, Lot 123; 376 E. Shore Rd.

5)         Naval Station Newport Restoration Advisory Board Meeting minutes (01/21/2004)

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Council President Littman announced that there would be an executive session held later in the evening, pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5 (a) (2) potential litigation.

 

1)         Pursuant to RIGL 42-46-5 (a) (2) Potential Litigation

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

Council President Littman opened the public hearing for the proposed amendments to the Jamestown Comprehensive Community Plan at 8:45 PM.

 

1)         Town of Jamestown Comprehensive Community Plan (duly advertised on 02/12/2004)

a)         Memorandum from Planning Commission Chair re: approval of changes to Town approved Comprehensive Community Plan based upon comments from RI Statewide Planning

 

The Town Planner reviewed the changes made to the Comprehensive Community Plan based upon comments made by Rhode Island Statewide Planning.  Ms. Bryer also noted that the Planning Commission voted to approve those changes and submit them to the Council for their consideration.

 

Ms. Bryer stated that the Rhode Island Statewide Planning review encompassed three areas pursuant to the requirements of the Comprehensive Planning Act; those being, (1) inconsistencies with adopted State Guide Plan elements, (2) defects relative to completeness, internal consistency, and/or omission of plan components required by the Act or State Planning Council guidelines and (3) conflicts with the goals and policies of State agencies. 

 

(1)        Inconsistencies with State Guide Plan

 

As recommended by the State, the Comprehensive Community Plan now includes specific implementation items and timeframes demonstrating the Town’s commitment to addressing the housing affordability and choice issues.

 

(2)        Defects relative to completeness

 

An introduction is included at the beginning of the Plan, which clearly states that this document is the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, and supercedes the 1991 Plan.

 

Goals and Policies element will be repositioned at the beginning of the Plan rather than listed under the various element headings.

 

There is added a Land Use Element describing the Town’s intent and standards for the usage and intensity of all categories of future land use identified on the Future Land Use Map.

 

(3)        Conflicts with goals and policies

 

Plan now addresses strategies and includes specific implementation plans to explore rental and home ownership opportunities in Jamestown’s Affordable Housing Strategic Plan. 

 

Other areas amended to improve the accuracy, readability and usability of the Plan were Land Use Element, Recreation/Open Space Element and Circulation Element.  Another area of change includes the clear understanding that the purchase of water from North Kingstown has strictly been on an emergency basis, and that North Kingstown’s ability to supply water in the future, even on an emergency basis, may be limited as summer demands approach their capacity. 

 

There being no comments from the audience, Council President Littman invited comment from the Council.

 

Councilor Settipane suggested the inclusion of a table indicating up-to-date housing costs in the Town of Jamestown showing how difficult it is to provide affordable housing.  Councilor Settipane requested additional information regarding the Housing Action Plan and how the policies would be implemented. 

 

The Town Planner reviewed the action and resources related to the Housing Action Plan.

 

Councilor Settipane requested additional information on the changes to the maps.

 

Ms. Bryer noted that the changes in the maps are corrections to errors caused when the maps were transferred to computer generated maps.  These errors have now been corrected.  Additionally, Ms. Bryer noted that the Zoning Map included in the Plan is the map in effect at the time of the adoption of the Plan. 

 

There being no further comment, it was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to close the public hearing at 8:20 PM.  So unanimously voted.

 

Councilor Settipane requested that the Plan include updated figures on the mean cost average of housing in Jamestown.

 

The Town Solicitor suggested having the Town Planner send a transmittal letter to the State with updated figures.  The Town Planner indicated that the current figures will be in the Comprehensive Community Plan.

 

There was discussion regarding the designation of lot 47 on the Future Land Use Map.  The Town Planner noted that lot 47 is under the public facility designation on the Future Land Use Map and that it is zoned RR-80 because the previous Town Council chose not put it into the public zoning designation.  Our previous Solicitor told the Town that having lot 47 as public facility designation on the Land Use Map is not inconsistent as long as some public uses are permitted within that zone.

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to approve of the amendments to the Comprehensive Community Plan as presented by the Town Planner.  So unanimously voted.

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to transmit the adopted changes to the Comprehensive Community Plan to the State.  So unanimously voted.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

1)         Scheduled request to address

 

None

 

2)         Non-scheduled request to address

 

David DeAngelis, Weeden Lane, commented on the meeting with the State Fire Marshal.  Mr. DeAngelis stated that there are serious problems with fire code violations and suggested that the Council form a committee to work with local business owners to address compliance issues.

 

Representative Long stated that the local Fire Marshall has received training in identifying conformance issues and has been working directly with businesses.  Additionally, Representative Long stated that he hoped the state would make provisions to assist business owners to come into conformance.

 

Representative Long addressed the number of property owners in the Shores area that have applied for ISDS.  Representative Long encouraged the Council to continue to address this issue.

 

Charlotte Zarlango, Seaside Drive, requested that the Council meet directly with RIDEM to explain how serious the high water table situation is in the Shores area.    

 

The Town Solicitor noted that the Town’s High Groundwater Ordinance would protect those areas with poor drainage and high water tables. 

 

Deborah D’Agostino, Steamboat Avenue, asked the Council for their support in protecting the lots in the Jamestown Shores.

 

REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND TOWN OFFICIALS

 

1)         Town Administrator’s report (verbal) 

 

The Town Administrator reported that the Council will be receiving the Water and Sewer budget and the Wastewater Management budget within the next few weeks.

 

Union Negotiations

It is expected that union negotiations will be finalized and presented to the Council in executive session on Wednesday.

 

State Budget

The Town Administrator informed the Council that the Governor would be releasing his budget on Wednesday evening.  Once the information is received the Town Administrator will forward it to the Council.

 

Councilor DiGiando inquired if there has been any discussion between the State and the Administration regarding the transportation of liquefied natural gas.  The Town Administrator stated that she will contact the proper officials and get a detailed plan for the transportation of liquefied gas on the Narragansett Bay and forward it to the Council.  Council President Littman noted that there were hearings in January relating to LNG proposals for a section of Fall River. 

 

2)         Conservation Commission

a)         Memorandum from Chair re: DPW Facility – Green Buildings

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the memorandum from the Conservation Commission and to refer it to the Town Administrator and Vollmer Associates.  So unanimously voted.

 

b)         Letter from Chair re: Reappointments

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Settipane to accept the letter from the Chair regarding appointments to the Conservation Commission.  So unanimously voted.

 

c)         Two vacancies exists; terms ending 12/31/2006; duly advertised and interviews complete, if favorable:

i)          Reappoint:

           Steven Ryba

           Thomas Johnson

ii)         Letter of Interest:

           Jennifer Stearns Talancy

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to reappoint Steven Ryba and Thomas Johnson to the Jamestown Conservation Commission for terms ending 12/31/2006.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)         Tree Preservation and Protection Committee

a)         Letter from Committee Chair re: membership   

 

The Town Solicitor noted that the Tree Warden is not a resident of the Town of Jamestown and therefore is not eligible to be a voting member of the Tree Preservation and Protection Committee.  Additionally, the Town Solicitor noted that pursuant to section 1002 of the Jamestown Charter, all boards, commissions and committees shall not exceed seven (7) voting members; therefore, by making the Tree Warden an ex-officio member, the committee will be brought into compliance with the Charter.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to instruct the Town Solicitor to prepare an amendment to the Tree Preservation and Protection Ordinance to address the composition of the membership with the repositioning of the Tree Warden as an ex-officio member.  So unanimously voted.

 

The Clerk was instructed to advertise and schedule a hearing for March 8, 2004.

 

4)         Memorandum from the Town Clerk re:  additional items on the Financial Town Meeting Warrant

a)         Proposed motion for an increase re: Jamestown Fire Department

 

The Town Solicitor informed the Council that the notice of proposed motion by members of the Fire Department is in compliance with Section 1106 of the Town Charter; whereby, the Town Clerk must be notified of any motion to increase the Town budget by $10,000.00 or more.

 

b)         Town Administrator proposal re: transfer of funds from School unreserved fund balance

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to amend the Town budget to increase the transfer from the unreserved fund balance by $145,000.00 for a total of $320,000.00 and to reduce the general fund contribution to said budget by $145,000.00.  So unanimously voted.

 

Catherine Kaiser, School Committee Chair, informed the Council that the transfer has not yet been approved by the School Committee.  The School Committee will meet on February 26, 2004 and it is expected that this item will be approved.

 

5)         Planning Commission

a)         Proposed Zoning Ordinance amendments to Article 314 Protection of Critical Lands containing Freshwater Wetlands, High Ground Water Table and or Shallow Impervious Layer

 

The Town Planner noted that the changes that are being recommended would allow the ordinance to be implemented on an easier basis.  Changes are being proposed to the definition of impervious layer and a change to the definition of seasonal high ground water table.  In addition, there has been a chart indicating where test holes should be located and the criteria for those test holes.  A paragraph has been added regarding the determination by the Zoning Official as to whether a particular lot is located in either sub-district “A” or sub-district “B”.

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to order advertising for a public hearing to consider and amendment to the Zoning Ordinance entitled Protection of Critical Lands containing Freshwater Wetlands, High Ground Water Table and or Shallow Impervious Layer.  So unanimously voted.

 

b)         Downtown Parking Plan 2004 prepared by the Jamestown Planning Commission

 

The Town Planner informed the Council that following the implementation plan on page 35 of the report she will begin forwarding the Plan to the responsible departments for the implementation of their particular task.

 

It was the consensus of the Council to forward the 2004 Downtown Parking Plan to the Town Solicitor for review and incorporation of the recommendations for amendments to Section 1204 and 1205 of the Zoning Ordinance made by the Planning Commission into the existing ordinance for discussion at the March 8, 2004 Town Council meeting. 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

1)         Town Solicitor opinion re:  liability and enforcement issues related to East Ferry (cont. from 02/09/2004)

 

The Town Solicitor stated that in addressing the problems associated with the use of the touch-and-go dock at East Ferry, the Council has the authority to adopt an ordinance whereby those touch-and-go docks are restricted to boat use.  The Town Solicitor noted that this would only affect the touch-and-go docks and not the wood pile pier.

 

The Council discussed the conflicting uses of the touch-and-go dock at East Ferry and the difficulty in accessing the dock.  It was the consensus of the Council to further discuss this issue at the next Town Council meeting on March 8, 2004.        

 

2)         Petition for Abandonment of Street/Highway, pursuant to RIGL 26-6-1 et.seq (cont. from 02/09/2004)

a)         Petition from John A. Murphy, Esq., representing all abutters to a portion of Columbia Avenue, further described as the northern boundaries of lot 495 and lot 609 on Tax Assessor’s plat 9

 

Attorney John Murphy, representing the abutters to the unbuilt portion of Columbia Avenue, requested that the Council consider the abandonment of that portion of the street and provide deeds to the petitioners so that it would become part of the existing abutters property. 

 

The Town Solicitor informed the Council that it is Mr. Sollito’s opinion that the portion of Columbia Avenue in question is enough of a public highway that if the Council wishes to consider abandoning it a hearing must be scheduled and advertised.  The Council would then make their determination.  The Town Solicitor further stated that if the street is abandoned, it would then be part of the abutters property and would be assessed as such.

 

Councilor Ferguson expressed her concern that several Town Officials were recommending that this property not be abandoned. 

 

Councilor Settipane indicated that if the Council moves forwarded with the abandonment the concerns of the Town could be met by making any decision subject to an easement being placed on the property.

 

Councilor DiGiando asked if the following information could be made available for the night of the hearing: 

           How the abandonment of this portion of Columbia Avenue sill affect lot sizes and set backs to these abutting properties

           Whether or not the abandoning of this property sets a precedent for all other streets with the same dynamics

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Council President Littman to order the advertisement for the petition of abandonment subject to the approval of the Town Solicitor.  So unanimously voted.

 

b)         Memorandum from the Town Clerk re:  Petition for Abandonment of Street/Highway

 

No action taken.

 

3)         DEM Fish & Wildlife re: Research Vessel Facilities Plan (cont. from 01/12/2004)

a)         Review of plan by Christopher Powell

b)         Engineering firm cost to review plan from Town Administrator

c)         Harbor Management Commission review

 

The Town Administrator informed the Council that the Research Vessel Facilities Plan is being reviewed by the Harbor Management Commission.  It was the consensus of the Council to continue discussion regarding the Research Vessel Facilities Plan to the March 8, 2004 Council meeting.

 

Council President Littman called for a break at 9:34 PM.

 

The Council returned from break at 9:42 PM.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

1)         Letter from the Mayor of Newport re: 48th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade; Saturday, March 13, 2004

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to accept the letter regarding the 48th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  So unanimously voted.

 

 

2)         Letter from William Kelly re: appointment to the Planning Commission

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Council President Littman to accept the communication from William Kelly.  So unanimously voted.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

1)         Sunday Sales Licenses - renewals

a)         Baker’s Pharmacy

b)         Bay Voyage

c)         Chopmist Charlies

d)         Conanicut Store & Chandlery

e)         Conanicut Yacht Club

f)          Dutch Harbor Boatyard

g)         East Ferry Deli & Market

h)         Grapes & Gourmet

i)          Hodgkiss Farm

j)          House of Pizza

k)         Jamestown Boat Yard

l)          Jamestown Designs

m)        Jamestown Golf & Country Club aka: Caddy Shack

n)         Jamestown True Value Hardware

o)         Jamestown Xtra Mart

p)         McQuade’s Laundromat

q)         McQuade’s Supermarket

r)          Ocean Essence Spa

s)         Page’s Liquors

t)          Portuguese American Citizens Club

u)         Randall Art Gallery

v)         Secret Garden

w)        Slice of Heaven

x)         Spinnakers Café

y)         Theatre Family Restaurant

z)         Trattoria Simpatico

aa)       Tricia’s Tropigrille

bb)       Video Showcase

cc)       Village Hearth Bakery

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to grant the Sunday Sales License renewals for the applicants as listed above, subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)         Trash Collector’s License – renewals

a)         BFI Waste of Fall River/Allied Systems

b)         Island Rubbish

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to grant the Trash Collector’s License renewals for BFI Waste of Fall River/Allied Systems and Island Rubbish, subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted. 

 

3)         Private Investigator’s License - renewals

            a)         Ronald Lewis

            b)         Malcolm Brown

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Long to grant the Private Investigator’s License renewals for Ronald Lewis and Malcolm Brown, subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted. 

 

4)         Peddler License – renewals

a)         AB Munroe Dairy

b)         Cove Grille

c)         Freddie Bing’s Hotdog Thing

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the Peddler License renewals for AB Munroe Dairy, Cove Grille and Freddie Bing’s Hotdog Thing, subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

5)         Letter from Brenda Bennett & Joseph DeCubellis re: parking problems at 40 & 46 North Main Road

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Settipane to accept the communication from Brenda Bennett & Joseph DeCubellis and to refer it to the Town Administrator for a response.  So unanimously voted.

 

6)         Petition from Verizon Communications and the Narragansett Electric Co. re: relocation of one joint pole (P 15) and anchor guy located on Southwest Avenue and Spring Street

 

The Town Administrator requested that the Petition from Verizon Communications and the Narragansett Electric Company for a relocation of one joint pole and anchor guy on Southwest Avenue and Spring Street be continued to the Council meeting on March 8, 2004. 

 

7)         Town Council Rules & Procedures – Town Solicitor opinion

 

It was moved by Councilor Settipane, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to table the Town Council Rules & Procedures.  Following Council discussion, Councilor Ferguson withdrew her second.

 

There was Council discussion on whether new rules and procedures are needed or if the present one is adequate.  Councilor DiGiando suggested reviewing the present rules and procedures prior to any further discussion.

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to continue discussion regarding Council Rules and Procedures to the Council meeting on March 8, 2004.  So unanimously voted.

 

SITTING AS THE BOARD OF WATER AND SEWER COMMISSIONERS:

 

1)         Award of Bid re:  Pump Station Rehabilitation Project (cont. from 02/17/2004)

                        a)         Process Engineering in an amount not to exceed $1,704,287.00

 

The Town Administrator reported that the references for Process Engineering have been checked and found to be in order and recommended that the Council award the bid to Process Engineering.

 

Councilor Settipane stated that any time water and sewer business is being conducted at a Council meeting the agenda should indicate that it is a Town Council Meeting and a Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners Meeting. 

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the bid to Process Engineering in an amount not to exceed $1,704,287.00.  So unanimously voted.

 

 

OPEN FORUM CONTINUED (if necessary)

 

Sav Rebecchi, Sail Street, suggested that the two enterprise funds, Harbor and Water and Sewer, remain on the twelve-month financial cycle rather than the sixteen-month fiscal year.

 

The Town Administrator informed the Council that Water and Sewer and Harbor fall under the corporation of the Town of Jamestown and when the fiscal year was changed, it was changed for the entire Town. 

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Councilor Settipane left the meeting at 10:10 PM.

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Council President Littman to adjourn into executive session at 10:10 PM, pursuant to RIGL42-46-5 (a) (2) to discuss potential litigation.  It was voted, Councilor DiGiando, aye; Councilor Ferguson, aye; Councilor Long, aye; Council President Littman, aye.  The motion passed with four in favor and Councilor Settipane recusing and leaving the meeting. 

 

The Council returned from executive session at 10:25 PM.

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Council President Littman to instruct the Town Administrator to move forward with the contract as discussed in executive session.  So voted with four in favor.

 

There being no further business before the Council, it was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to adjourn at 10:27 PM.  So voted with four in favor.

 

Attest:

 

Arlene D. Petit

Town Clerk