TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

May 10, 2004

 

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

absent:  Guy J. Settipane

 

also present:

Maryanne Crawford, CPA, Town Administrator

J. William W. Harsch, Town Solicitor

Arlene D. Petit, Town Clerk

 

 

AWARDS, PRESENTATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

Council President Littman expressed his congratulations on behalf of the Town Council to Councilor David Long and Mrs. Dana Long on the recent birth of their twin daughters, Jessica and Sofia Long.

 

Representative Bruce Long presented State proclamations congratulating Councilor David Long and Mrs. Dana Long on the birth of their twin daughters, Jessica and Sofia Long. 

 

1)                  Proclamation 04-010P re: Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to adopt Proclamation 04-010P honoring the Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)                  Proclamation 04-012P re: Jamestown Ambulance Association

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to adopt Proclamation 04-012P honoring the Jamestown Ambulance Association.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)                  Proclamation 04-013P re: Newport County Community Mental Health Center

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to adopt Proclamation 04-013P regarding the Newport County Community Mental Health Center.  So unanimously voted.

 

4)                  Jamestown Police Department Promotions:

a)                  Sergeant William G. Donovan to Lieutenant

b)                  Officer Angela Deneault to Sergeant

 

Council President Littman administered the oath of office to the following individuals:

  • William G. Donovan on his promotion to Lieutenant
  • Angela Deneault on her promotion to Sergeant

 

SITTING AS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSING COMMISSION

 

None

 

CONSENT AGENDA

 

It was requested that items # 1 (c) and 2 be removed from the Consent Agenda.  It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to approve the Consent Agenda as amended.  So unanimously voted.  The Consent Agenda consisted of the following:

 

1)         Adoption of Council minutes:

a)                  04/08/2004 Work Session

b)                  04/15/2004 Special Meeting

c)                   

d)                  04/29/2004 Work Session

2)                   

3)         Minutes from Boards, Commissions and Committees:

a)         Library Board of Trustees (03/16/2004)

b)                  Zoning Board of Review (03/23/2004)

c)                  Harbor Management Commission (03/10/2004)

d)                  Beavertail State Park Advisory Committee (10/15/2003)

e)                  Jamestown Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force (04/07/2004)

f)                    Water Resources Protection Committee - amended (03/24/2004)

g)                  Jamestown Fire Department Compensation Review (04/02/2004)

4)         CRMC Notices:

a)         May 2004 Calendar

5)         Zoning Board of Review abutter notification re: application of Catherine A. Goode-Devellis, 27 North Road ; Plat 8, Lot 86 for a special use permit under Article 3, Section 82-301 Table 3-1 (Permitted Uses I. Residential, #10. (Mixed Use) to allow for a specific mixed use permit to use the property as residential and two office areas.  Said property is located in a CL zone and contains 15,658 sq. ft.

6)         DEM Notice re: Draft RIPDES General Permit for Discharges Associated with the Treatment of Groundwater Contamination by Fuel #2 Oil

7)         Proclamations & Resolutions from other Rhode Island cities and towns

a)                  City of Newport

i)          Resolution re: 2004-57 in opposition to Casino Gambling

8)         Newport County Fund of the Rhode Island Rhode Island Foundation and The Newport Daily News re: May 19th meeting (regional cooperation)

9)         Abatements/Addenda of Taxes

 

 

1)         Adoption of Council minutes:

c)         04/26/2004 Regular Meeting

 

Council President Littman asked that page 3 of the minutes be changed to indicate that it was President Littman that requested the minutes of the Water Resources Protection Committee be corrected to state whether Mr. Hubbard was present or not.

 

Councilor DiGiando requested that page 7 of the minutes reflect that David Laurie was appointed as a representative for Riparian Property Residents (costal waters) in lieu of the fact that there was not a coastal waters representative available at the time of appointment.

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to approve the April 26, 2004 Council minutes as amended.  Councilor Long abstained from voting as he was not present for the meeting.   It was voted, Councilor DiGiando, aye; Councilor Ferguson, aye; Council President Littman, aye.  The motion passed with three in favor and one abstention.

 

2)         Bills and Payroll

 

Councilor DiGiando remarked that the Highway Department has recently purchased cold patch, as indicated on the statement of Bills and Payroll and inquired if the Town would research the use of asphalt that has been mixed with rubber tires as is done in Newport and Middletown.

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to accept Bills and Payroll.  So unanimously voted.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION ANNOUNCEMENT

 

None

 

PUBLIC HEARING

 

1)                  Proposed Harbor Management Ordinance to consider the repeal of Chapter 78 of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Jamestown entitled “Waterways” and the adoption of the “Town of Jamestown Harbor Management Ordinance

a)         Request for change of date for continuation of hearing from Thursday May 27, 2004 to Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at 7:00 PM at the Jamestown Philomenian Library

 

It was the consensus of the Council that the hearing on the Harbor Management Ordinance be continued to June 17, 2004 at 7:00 PM at the Jamestown Philomenian Library.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

1)                  Scheduled request to address

2)                  Non-scheduled request to address

 

Dennis Webster, Mt. Hope Avenue, noted that the draft legislation regarding the real estate transfer tax has not been prepared as yet and requested that it be continued to the next Town Council meeting.  

 

Jill Anderson, West Reach Drive, inquired when the sign for the police station would be installed.  The Town Administrator noted that it is in the process of being constructed and installed.

 

Perry Scott, Top O’The Mark Drive, stated that he is not against affordable housing; however, he is against instituting a real estate transfer tax.  Mr. Scott also stated that he would like to see affordable housing and acquisition of open space addressed separately.

 

Arthur Christman, Windsor Street, indicated that he was in agreement with Mr. Scott and asked where the Town would locate additional affordable housing.

 

Joseph Medeiros, Frigate Street, addressed the Council regarding the proposed resolution against gambling.  Mr. Medeiros encouraged the Council to avoid passing a resolution that would not allow the question of gambling to be submitted to the voters. 

 

Representative Bruce Long updated the Council on the following:

 

  • June 2, 2004, Melrose Avenue School – meeting with representatives from Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation - Michael McMahon, Executive Director and John Riendeau, Defense Industry Manager regarding the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas facility.

 

  • Lightering on Narragansett Bay - this practice of moving cargo or fuel from one ship to another has increased – additional information will be submitted to the Council

 

  • Grant – Tree Preservation and Protection Committee will be receiving a grant from Newport County Convention and Visiting Bureau

 

  • Legislation has been submitted regarding reimbursement for buses, police and fire vehicles traveling over the Newport Bridge

 

Sav Rebecchi, Sail Street, asked if Representative Long had any information on the statewide real estate tax proposal.  Representative Long indicated that it is not scheduled to be heard in the near future.

 

Richard Hines, East Shore Road, requested that the Council consider the resolution opposing additional gambling in the State.

 

Councilor Long reviewed the procedure for open forum, stating that open forum is continued only if the Council is not able to recognize everyone wishing to speak in the allotted time set aside for open forum.

 

Donald Forrest, Summit Avenue, stated that there should be additional open forum at the end of meetings in order to allow for comments on agenda items.

 

REPORTS OF BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND TOWN OFFICIALS

 

1)                  Town Administrator’s report (attached)

 

-------------------------------------------

 

Town Administrator's Report

 

May 10, 2004

 

The following report is of items of general interest to the Council. I will be pleased to provide any additional clarification or information you require.

 

Congratulations

 

School Committee Chairwoman Cathy Kaiser received the Howard Kay Award at the annual meeting of School Committees and Superintendents. The award is named in memory of Howard Kay, retired Navy Commander and Newport School Committee member. Cathy's fellow school committee members nominated her for this award, which is presented annually to a school committee member within the state who demonstrates excellent leadership and initiative.

 

It looks as though the Parade of Sail for the Tall Ships will be held as originally planned. However, the Ships will now be docked at Goat Island for the duration of their stay here in Rhode Island. With the Ships being re-located to Goat Island I anticipate increased visitors to Jamestown from July 14 through July 20th. The necessary planning for this event has been underway for two months. In early July I will forward to the Council the Town's Public Safety Plan for this event. As I have stated in the past, this is traditionally very family oriented and I do not anticipate problems during the week long event, but I do expect crowds, increased pressure on our water supply and sewer system, and resulting parking issues.

 

For you information I have attached a copy of the Membership Participation Agreement for the Rhode Island Energy Aggregation Program (REAP) for your approval. Approximately six years ago, with the deregulation of electricity, the Board of Directors for the League of Cities and Towns explored the possibility of purchasing energy for local municipalities. The League was successful in the solicitation and negotiation to purchase electricity on behalf of its membership for fifty-five months from Select Energy. During this period of time, the Town saved over $52,000.00 in energy cost. With the expiration of the contract with Select, the League once again solicited bids and has negotiated a new fifty-five month fixed contract price with Constellation Energy. Based upon approved electricity rates on the open market the Town will be saving approximately nine percent for the month of June, twenty-four percent for the month of July and twenty-one percent for the month of August. Since the Town recognized significant savings over the last fifty-five months, I recommend the Council approve the signing of the Membership Participation Agreement.

 

Last night Bob Bryer was elected Chief for the Jamestown Fire Department. In recent weeks, the Town Solicitor and I have been working with Bob to resolve the issue regarding his ability to be a paid part-time Fire Chief without jeopardizing his pension. The Town will provide a grant to the Fire Department for the services of a Fire Chief. A formal grant agreement will be drawn up by the Solicitor outlining services to be provided and compensation which will be signed by both parties. The Fire Department will be responsible for compensating the Fire Chief.

Attached please find a copy of the Wastewater Management Budget. I am requesting you approve this budget tonight.

 

For your information I have attached an editorial that appeared in the April 28th edition of the Newport Daily News.

 

Council consideration:

 

• Approval of the Membership Participation Agreement for REAP

• Approval of Wastewater Management Budget

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

 

In addition to the Town Administrator’s report the following items were discussed:

 

Catherine Kaiser

The Town Administrator congratulated Catherine Kaiser for receiving the Rhode Island Association of School Committee’s Howard Kay Award for her excellent leadership and initiative.

 

Trial Balance Report

The Town Administrator explained that the Trial Balance Report is an analysis of the Town’s receipts and receivables as relates to tax collection. 

 

Rhode Island Energy Aggregation Program (REAP)

The Town Administrator reported that this has been a very successful program, saving the Town over $50,000.00 in energy costs over the last fifty-five months.

 

a)         For Council consideration

i)                    Approval of Wastewater Management Budget

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to approve the sixteen- month Wastewater Management Budget in the amount of $45,657.00.  So unanimously voted.

 

ii)                   Approval of the Membership Agreement for Rhode Island Energy Aggregation Program (REAP)

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to approve the membership to Rhode Island Energy Aggregation Program (REAP) as presented by the Town Administrator.  So unanimously voted.

 

b)                  Report re: Termination of Siegmund & Associates

 

The Town Administrator read her report to Council concerning the termination of Siegmund & Associates. 

 

Council President Littman noted that these issues have been previously discussed in executive session and because of potential arbitration or litigation cannot be further discussed at this time.

 

Councilor Long stated that the Council has been aware of the on-going problems, further noting that all decisions made have been Council decisions.  Councilor Long asked for patience from the community throughout this difficult process.

 

The Town Solicitor noted that the Town has been served notice that arbitration has commenced by Mr. Siegmund’s firm.  The Town will be answering the request for arbitration and as those documents are filed, they will become public. 

 

Mr. Siegmund attempted to speak; however, he was informed by both the Town Council President and the Town Solicitor that because the Town has been working with his attorney and with potential litigation it would be in his best interest not to address the Council at this time.

 

2)                  Jamestown Housing Authority

a)                  Copy of letter from Sirje Carl, Executive Director in response to tenant’s concerns regarding electric vs. oil heat

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the letter from Sirje Carl, Executive Director of the Jamestown Housing Authority.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)                  Memorandum from the Town Clerk re:  Directory of Boards, Commissions and Committees

 

It was the consensus of the Council to hold an Appreciation Day honoring all members of the various Jamestown Boards, Commissions and Committees. 

 

Councilor DiGiando asked what the procedure would be to discharge committees that the Council feels are no longer necessary.  Additionally, Councilor DiGiando suggested reviewing the process for interviewing and appointing committee members.

 

The Town Clerk stated that a formal vote of the Council would be necessary to discharge a committee. 

 

Councilor DiGiando requested that the definition of resident, as stated in the Town Charter, be reviewed. 

 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

1)         General Rules & Procedures for Town Council Meetings (per Councilor DiGiando)

 

Following review and discussion on the General Rules and Procedures as recommended by the Town Solicitor, the following changes were requested by a consensus of the Council:

 

RULE 6 Public Hearings

 

6.2

 

Delete the language as indicated by the strikethrough.

 

…disaster survival proposals; and land subdivision plans acquisition or sale of Town real estate, or any other real estate acquired at tax sales of the Town, without first submitting any such ordinance…

 

RULE 7 Participation in Discussion

 

7.2

 

Add the following underscored language:

 

With the objective of facilitating prompt attention to Council member concerns, any member of the Town Council who knows in advance of a meeting that…

 

 

7.5

 

Add the language as indicated by the underscore:

 

Persons who wish to be heard on the agenda shall present suck requests in writing to the Town Clerk no later than…

 

 

7.5

 

Add the following language as indicated by the underscore:

 

In preparing a meeting agenda, a determination shall be made by the Town Clerk as to whether the request is…

 

 

RULE 14 Appointments to Boards & Commissions

 

14.2

 

Add the following language as indicated by the underscore:

 

The Council will continue the practice of appointing the best qualified… without regard to personal or political affiliations, except as required by State law.

 

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to adopt the Jamestown Town Council Rules & Procedures as amended.  So unanimously voted.

 

 

2)         Public Access and Rights-of-Way (cont. from 04/29/2004)

a)         Chapter 675.9 of the TRPA Grants Manual (provided by the Town Solicitor)

 

The Town Solicitor reviewed the stipulations and responsibilities of communities developing or obtaining properties with federal grant funding as outlined in Chapter 675.9 of the TRPA Green Manual. 

 

Councilor DiGiando referenced the April 29, 2004 Council work session and the issues that could immediately be addressed at Park Dock, those being:

  • installation of port-a-john
  • signage
  • parking on Broad Street
  • placement of boulders along side of road to eliminate parking in the bushes

 

Donald Forrest, Summit Street, referenced the last paragraph of a letter from a previous Town Solicitor dated April 22, 2003, which states that: by limiting parking to Town residents only, the Town would be restricting such access; however, there is nothing in the agreement that prevents the Town Planner from requesting from DEM a written variance to restrict certain parking spaces at Park Dock for residents only.

 

Mr. Forrest requested that the Town Planner be allowed to make a written request to DEM for a variance relating to parking at Park Dock.

 

There was Council discussion on how this would impact other rights-of-way, such as the Jamestown Shores. 

 

The Town Solicitor informed the Council that the Coastal Council insists that rights-of-way remain open and accessible to the public and suggested that the Council refer this to the Town Administrator for further study and report.

 

As a possible alternative, the Council discussed the possibility of a tow zone being posted for unauthorized vehicles along Broad Street.

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to add a port-a-john at Park Dock and provide boulders on the south side of Broad Street and that the Town Administrator and Town Solicitor develop a change in the ordinance regarding parking on the north side of Broad Street and that the Town Council review the results of these measures at the last meeting in July.  So unanimously voted.

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to request that the Town Solicitor write a letter to DEM seeking a variance for Park Dock from the requirements that are described in the Post-Completion Responsibilities, Chapter 675.9.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)                  Proposed legislation re: Real Estate Transfer Tax (cont. from 04/26/2004)

 

It was the consensus of the Council to continue the proposed legislation relating to a real estate transfer tax to the May 24, 2004 Town Council meeting.

 

4)                  Resolution in opposition to gambling in Rhode Island (cont. from 04/26/2004)

 

The Council discussed their concerns regarding making a decision that would be in opposition to placing the question on a statewide ballot.  

No action taken.

 

5)                  Liquefied Gas (LNG) Facility

a)         Letter from the Town of Swansea, MA re: facility

 

It was moved by Councilor Littman, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the letter from the Town of Swansea.  So unanimously voted.

 

6)                  Council Decision on Appeal of Dr. Jerrold Rosenberg

a)         Memorandum from Town Clerk

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to accept the memorandum from the Town Clerk.  So unanimously voted.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

1)         Letter of thanks from Joseph Corrente re: Town’s contribution for World War II Memorial

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to accept the letter from Joseph Corrente.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)                  Letter from Laszlo Siegmund re: information requested

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to accept the letter from Laszlo Siegmund.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)                  Letter (Council coy) from James & Lizbeth Tobin re: ISDS Variance Application 215-1656, Plat 5 Lot 244 to RI DEM

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to accept the letter from James & Lizbeth Tobin.  So unanimously voted.

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to refer the letter from James & Lizbeth Tobin to the Conservation Commission and the Planning Commission.  So unanimously voted.

 

4)                  Letter from Charles J. Pyle re: cost of Highway Facility (Town Barn)

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to accept the letter from Charles J. Pyle.  So unanimously voted.

 

5)                  Letter from Anthony Leiter re: P.U.C regulations relating to taxi cabs

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to accept the letter from Anthony Leiter.  So unanimously voted.

 

6)                  Letter (Council copy) from Jill & Frank Meyer re: Filing of an opposition to Jamestown’s action restricting our ocean view

 

The Town Administrator reported that Mr. Meyer has been informed that the tree will not be planted.

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to accept the letter from Mr. Meyer.  So unanimously voted.

 

7)                  Letter from Robert W. Sutton re: engineering contracts

 

It was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to accept the letter from Robert W. Sutton.  So unanimously voted. 

 

Mr. Sutton inquired if the Town Council was satisfied with the answers given by the Town Administrator and did they feel that the public was properly informed.   Additionally, Mr. Sutton asked how much Vollmer was being paid to complete the work.

 

The Town Solicitor noted that the Vollmer contract that was proposed for approval on the last Council agenda, was discussed, and is a public document.

 

The Town Administrator stated that Mr. Sutton could review those contracts if he would like. 

 

The Town Solicitor informed the Council that the contract for the sewer plant has not been negotiated or agreed to. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

1)         Ft. Getty Entertainment License Application

a)         William Hamel request to hold a private party at the Ft. Getty Pavilion on May 22, 2004 from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, insurance policy provided

 

It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the request of William Hamel to hold a party at the Ft. Getty Pavilion on May 22, 2004, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, subject to the resolution of debts, taxes and appropriate signatures and adequate insurance.  So unanimously voted.

 

2)         One Day Peddler License Application

a)         Jamestown Medical Fund to sell flowers and plants at East Ferry on May 22, 2004 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

 

It was moved by Councilor Ferguson, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the One Day Peddler License for the Medical Fund to sell flowers and plants at East Ferry on May 22, 2004 (rain date May 23, 2004) from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, subject to appropriate signatures.  So unanimously voted.

 

3)         Event Application

a)         Application by BJ Whitehouse to hold the annual Jamestown Fireworks display at East Ferry Beach on July 1st at 9:15 PM

i)                    Letter from BJ Whitehouse re: fireworks display

 

It was moved by Councilor Ferguson, seconded by Councilor Long to approve the application by BJ Whitehouse to hold the annual Jamestown Fireworks display at East Ferry Beach on July 1, 2004 at 9:15 PM.  It was moved by Councilor DiGiando, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to amend the motion making it pursuant to the applicant providing adequate insurance to the Town Administrator.  The amended motion passed unanimously.  The main motion as amended passed unanimously.

 

4)         Letter from BJ Whitehouse re: closing Steamboat Street between Beacon Avenue and Beach Street to commercial traffic

 

Mr. Whitehouse requested that there be weight limits set for commercial vehicles traveling on Steamboat Street between Beacon Avenue and Beach Street.  Mr. Whitehouse stated that the road is in a watershed and is being torn up by heavy vehicles. 

 

It was moved by Council President Littman, seconded by Councilor Ferguson to refer the request from BJ Whitehouse to the administrative staff for review with recommendations to be returned to the Council at the first meeting in June.  So unanimously voted.

 

There being no further business before the Council, it was moved by Councilor Long, seconded by Councilor DiGiando to adjourn the meeting at 10:25 PM.  So unanimously voted.

 

Attest:

 

 

 

Arlene D. Petit

Town Clerk

 

c:          Town Council Members (5)

            Town Administrator

            Town Solicitor

            Administrative Circulation