October 28, 1996

A regular meeting of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order at the
Town Hall, 93 Narragansett Avenue, at 7:31 PM by Council President Fred F.
Pease. The following members were present:
  Paul A. Robertson, Vice-President
  Richard A. Hines
  Mark E. Liberati
  Steven M. McInnis

Also present were:
  Frances H. Shocket, Town Administrator
  Denise Jennings, Deputy Town Clerk
  Steven J. Goslee, Public Works Director
  James A. Donnelly, Esq., Town Solicitor

(Arthur J. Christman, Fire Chief arrived at 8:56 PM.)


1)   Request of the Newport Lodge #104 of the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks to proclaim Theodore Kaiser as "Veteran of the
Year 1996" and invitation to award ceremony (11/09/96)
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Hines to approve the
request of the Newport Lodge #104 of the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks and proclaim Theodore Kaiser as "Veteran of the
Year 1996" in such form as the Town Council President shall approve.
      So voted. 

2)   Request of the Jamestown Fire Department for a proclamation
honoring a 12-year old Jamestowner, Nicholas Periara
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Hines to adopt the
proclamation as presented.
      So voted.
      Council President Pease then presented the proclamation to Nicholas


Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Hines to approve the
consent agenda with the exception of items #2 and 3c.
     So voted. The amended consent agenda consisted of:

1)   Adoption of Council minutes: 
  a) 10/15/96 (regular meeting) 
3)   Copies of minutes of Boards and Committees
  a) Library Board of Trustees (09/17/96)
  b) Planning Commission (10/02/96)
4)   CRMC notices:
  a) Assent:  John R. & Elizabeth Perez (27 Aquidneck Court; Plat 2, Lot
106) re: to construct a pool, patio and cabana
5)   "Ethics Today", a quarterly update on the RI Code of Ethics;
published by the RI Ethics Commission
6)   Announcement from New Visions of Newport County, Inc. re: information
meetings and public elections for board of directors
7)   Resolutions from other Municipalities:
  a) City of Newport re: expansion of video slot machines at Jai Alai
  b)    Town of North Kingstown re: State Referendum #8, regarding voter
8)   Abatements/Addenda Report of Tax Assessor received 10/24/96

2)   Bills and payroll: Following clarification of a few items, motion by
Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Hines to approve bills and
payroll.  So voted.

3)   Copies of minutes of Boards and Committees
  c) Tax Assessment Board of Review (10/09/96)
Councilor Hines:  As I look at some of these cases that are being heard,
they all seem to relate to recent reassessment, am I wrong?  I thought
that the time frame for that had passed.
      Administrator:  The Tax Assessor gave me a memorandum after the last
      There is a time frame where one can apply to appeal their tax each
year after the tax bills go out.
      Councilor Liberati:  You can challenge your tax bill every year if
you meet certain prerequisites.
      One can appeal each year.
      Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to
approve item #3c.  So voted.


1)   Elderly Tax Abatement/Deferral Plan
  a) Proposed amendment to Chapter 7 (Finance; Taxation; Property) of the
Code of Ordinances

Council President Pease opened the public hearing at 7:41 PM.

Clyde Park:  I kicked this thing off two years ago.
      I didn't ask for a large show of people to be here.
      They are not happy with the deferment.
      (Mr. Park then read a written statement)  The deferment program in
the Town of Narragansett has been in effect since 1981 and there have been
no takers.

Clifton Largess:  I have been on the Tax Assessment Board of Review for a
long time.
      I thought we came up with a solution.
      No matter what town you go to, most caps range in the 

$10,000-$12,500 range.
      Only a few towns are above this cap, including Narragansett which is
$18,000 and Portsmouth is $17,000.
      Lets have the same program that we have now, and use the ceiling of
the Federal Poverty Guideline as our base and tax it from here.
      I am opposed to the deferral.

Gertrude H. Desoito:  I have no kids in the school system and I pay my
taxes faithfully and I am just asking for a little break.

Pauline Lathan:  A lot of people are telling me that they will have to
leave their homes and go to subsidized housing.
      We are not asking for much.
      We do not want to be taxed off of the island.
      We want to stay in our homes.  

Emily Cabral:  How many people in this town would qualify?  Councilor
McInnis:  We do not really know.
      People will not be forced out of their homes.
      Councilor Liberati:  There are people who are not in this room that
are having a hard time and they are not elderly.
      Councilor Hines:  The primary objective for this ordinance is to
allow the people to stay in their houses and it protects the others in the
town, so they do not have to foot the bill for the taxes.
      Mrs. Cabral:  What other towns have this?  Councilor McInnis: 
Coventry and Narragansett.
      Councilor McInnis:  Normally, the interest rate on overdue taxes is
12% and we only proposed 5% for this.    

Susan McGrath:  I am not elderly, but my husband is and we are supporting
a young child.
      I do not like the idea of putting interest on.
      I'm 45 years old, would I have to pay if my husband died?  Councilor
McInnis: Yes, of course.    

Councilor Robertson:  I spoke to a number of these people.
      These people do not like deferment at all.
      They do not want to pass on debts to their heirs.
      They would like something like the volunteer exemption.
      Councilor McInnis:  Relief for the volunteers is way less then this

Mrs. McGrath:  Our taxes doubled with the new assessment.  Councilor
Liberati:  Taxes did not double, the assessment doubled but the tax rate
went down.  

Roland J. Gabriel:  I had a professional appraisal done and it came out
$30,000 lower then my assessment.  

Mr. Park:  Deferment is not popular.  Four hundred people agreed that we
need to help, but deferment will not work.
      There are very few cities or towns that have deferral.
      Councilor McInnis:  We have the third lowest tax rate in RI.
      Mr. Park:  We do have needy people on the island.  Councilor
Liberati:  Maybe we should have help for all of those who are needy, not
just the elderly.  

Solicitor:  People are not required to get into this program.
      This is elective.
      Mr. Park:  People do not grasp this deferral.  Mr. Park:  We need to
explain this better.
      Councilor Robertson:  I would prefer to see an exemption from the
bill or a tax reduction and not deferment.
      Councilor McInnis:  We are trying to keep taxes low for everyone.
      Mr. Park:  Many of these 
people are well above  the need, but something may happen and then they
will need.  

Helen Clarke:  I'm currently not eligible for deferral.
      This would put an additional problem/burden on those who inherit the
property.  We are trying to think of our next generation.

Olafur Gislason:  With deferment, taxes would be due the same way they
would be for an estate situation in probate.
      It does not seem equitable that other taxpayers should have to foot
the bill.
     Guaranteed that the owner of the property have the opportunity to
leave the property to their heirs, with the property in tact.

Mrs. McGrath:  Under the section 7-33 (B, subsection 4) it states that
upon the death of an owner, that taxes must be paid to the tax collector
within thirty (30) days of the transfer of title.
      That would not be enough time, if they need to sell the property.
      Council Consensus:  Agreed that this is not enough time.  

Mrs. Clark:  Some people have turned their property over to their heirs
before their death and have been thrown out into the cold and all so that
the house would not be taken by a nursing home.
      Councilor McInnis:  I agree, do not turn your property over to heirs
before your death.

Mrs. Desoito:  I hope you put a lid on this.  Councilor McInnis:  We can
not drop this whole thing now.
      If we do not adopt this it will take another year.
      This is all or nothing.
      Council President Pease:  We need to start somewhere.  

Charlotte Richardson:  We have to take into consideration that most people
under 65 years of age have a shot at getting a job or other income.
      When they turn 65 this is it, you have to take what Uncle Sam gives
you.  You can not increase your income.   

Public hearing was closed at 8:36 PM.
      Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to
amend section 7-33 (B, subsection 4) from thirty (30) days to One hundred
Eighty (180) days.  So voted.  

Motion by Councilor Robertson, seconded by Councilor McInnis to reduce the
interest rate to zero.

Councilor Hines: I think 5% is a very low number.
      A person would have to pay 12% on unpaid taxes and I think that 5%
is fair.
      Councilor Robertson:  There are certain groups getting tax relief
and they are not 65 or older and we are sharing the cost of that with
      Councilor Liberati:  We have people that are younger than 65 and
make less then $17,928 and are having trouble paying their tax bills and
they are paying 12% interest.
      Councilor Robertson:  I know how that works.
        Councilor Hines:  The purpose of this ordinance is to allow the
taxpayer to be able to stay in their homes and not to protect heirs or
reduce interest rates.
      This does this without an impact on other taxpayers.
      Councilor Robertson:  Since about the seventies, real estate has
escalated in this town much faster then peoples incomes and have forced
these people out of their homes and down to Florida or elsewhere.

Councilor McInnis:  People will not be forced out of their homes.
      Their heirs may get less

money than they would otherwise.
      The purpose of this ordinance is not to protect their kids.
      If the heirs are concerned about it, they could pick up the bill.

Councilor President Pease:  According to the legislature there is  really
not much we can change at this time.
      I do not think that dropping the interest off of this would be that
      I think that we can look at income level again.
      I sense that deferral is not well accepted.
      I would rather look at income levels and leave the interest rate the
same.  Motion failed with four opposed and Councilor Robertson in favor.

Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Hines to approve the
ordinance as amended.  So voted.




1)   Scheduled Requests to Address (none)
  a) Charlotte S. Richardson representing the Friends of the Jamestown
Seniors, Inc. re: Jamestown Senior Center proposed elevator

Charlotte Richardson:  Would like to request that a question be put on the
agenda for the Special Financial Meeting on December 2, 1996, in order to
secure $25,000 for the elevator at the Senior Center.
      We were granted through the Town $50,000 from the Community
Development Block Grant (CDBG).
      We have within our means $10,800 and the $50,000 grant which will be
in our hands as soon as we show you that we have been able to raise the
money, including the $25,000.
      We have also been told that we need to have an architect stamp the
      I was told today that the plans are being redrawn by our registered
architect and will be done on Wednesday (10/30/96), we will have them on
Friday (11/01/96).
      This building is not only used by the seniors, it is used by many
groups in Town and all of those groups have physically impaired people.
      The elevator is not a matter of choice, we are required to have it.
      We want to give the voters a chance to speak.
      Councilor McInnis:  You are getting $50,000 from the CDBG, $25,000
will come from the voters and the seniors have $10,800?  Mrs. Richardson: 
Yes.  We are providing handicapped accessibility to far more people than
the elderly.
      People from all walks of life use this building.
      We request that we be placed on the agenda of the Special Financial
Town Meeting on December 2, 1996.

Councilor Hines:  It is my understanding that there are other questions
involved with the building and the elevator.
      I think the most serious is the fire code.
      Aren't there fire code regulations that still have to be met?  Mrs.
Richardson: Yes, there is one major project and this 

is to make a safe a haven entrance way at the front of the building, such
as we have at the back of the building.
      If we have extra money, this money can be applied to that.
      Councilor Hines:  Do you mean that there would be enough money with
the federal money and the town money 
that we are talking about to do both the elevator and the fire code work? 
Mrs. Richardson:  No, there might be some small amount that could go
towards this.
      We went for zoning variances in June and they were all granted.
      We were given a year to come up with a plan for the fire safe
      We need to produce the plan and then present it the Zoning Board
Review for approval and at that point we would then raise funds for that
      At this point, we need to get the elevator in place.
      Council President Pease: I spoke to Mr. Barrette.  Mrs. Richardson: 
Yes, he is Clerk of the Works.
      Mrs. Richardson:  It will cost approximately $8,000 to install the
two hour safety zone at the front of the building.
      If you can get into that area during a fire, you would be safe for
two hours.
      There are also possibilities of sprinkler systems that would take
care of some of that.
      Council President Pease: You should have both.
      Councilor Hines:  So you do not know that number?  Mrs. Richardson: 
No, but it is not part of this request.
      Councilor Hines:  I know that the federal government is very
sensitive as to how the CDBG money is spent.
      I'm concerned about how the fire code problems impact that
application for the $50,000.
      Ms. Shocket do we know how this works?  Administrator: The $50,000
if for the elevator and the fire code issues have not been discussed.
      Councilor Liberati:  If the fire walls are not in place at the front
of the building, the building probably should not be occupied.
      Councilor McInnis: But, they received the variance from that for one
      Councilor Liberati:  The Zoning Board gave an exemption in regards
to a fire code requirement?  Richard Allphin:  If it is a matter of
$8,000, they should ask for $33,000 to finish the job.
      The Zoning Board has the right to allow relief from the state code.
(The Fire Chief arrived at this point; 8:56 PM.)

Councilor Liberati:  I know that Zoning Boards can act as building code
boards of review, but I didn't think that the Zoning Board had anything to
do with the fire code.
      Solicitor: Fire separation was a building code violation.
     The Building Official cited them and they then asked for a variance.
      Councilor Liberati:  It makes complete sense to me that this is
approached as a completed package and not piecemeal.
      You should be budgeting for not only the elevator, but completion of
the fire code issues.
      We need a budget.
      Councilor McInnis:  Can you supply a budget for the two hour fire
stop project for the next meeting on November 12?  Mrs. Richardson: Yes.
Fire Chief Christman:  I can not give them any relief from the fire code,
they have to go to the Board of Fire Wardens to get relief.
      Councilor Liberati:  We need to get something straight.
      I was told that this two hour fire rating at the front entry way, is
a building code issue not a fire code issue.
      Chief Christman:  It is in the building code and also is a fire code
      Councilor Liberati:  So if they are looking for approval on these
kinds of issues, they would come to you?  Chief Christman:  No, I can not
give permission, they have to go to the board of appeals.
      Councilor Liberati:  Where is that?  Chief Christman:  The Fire
Marshall in Providence.
      Councilor Liberati:  Do you know if any variances are need in this
particular circumstance?  Chief Christman:  One is that it is not
handicapped accessible.
      The elevator is not a means of egress.
      Councilor Liberati:  I am very confused?  Administrator:  How about
if I get a written 

report to Council from the Fire Chief and the Building Official for the
next Council meeting? 
Council consensus:  The Solicitor, the Building Official in conjunction
with the Fire Chief 
should report on what the legal status of this is and for Mrs. Richardson
to come up with a 
budget on what it will take to finish the elevator and to bring the
building up to code.
      Including the two hour safety zone.
      Report due for the next meeting on November 12.     

2)   Non-Agenda Requests to Address



1)   Town Administrator's Report (attached hereto)
For Council Consideration:
a)   Approve golf course RFP for advertisement
Motion by Councilor Hines, seconded by Councilor McInnis to approve as
advertised.  So voted.

b)   Approve use of Mackerel Cove for Penguin Plunge
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to grant
permission to the Special Olympics of RI for the use of Mackerel Cove
Beach for their 21st Annual Penguin Plunge on January 1, 1997.  So voted.

c)   Grant permission to Jamestown Rotary Club for holiday decorations to
be in the public way
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to grant
permission to the Jamestown Rotary Club to install holiday decorations in
the public way.  So voted. 

2)   Harbor Management Commission: One vacancy ("interested,
otherwise unaffiliated"; term ending 12/98)
Letters of interest: Christopher J. Lembo, William Hahn and Sandra C.
Councilor Hines:  All of the applicants are good candidates.
Motion by Councilor Robertson, seconded by Councilor Hines to appoint
Sandra C. Lareau to the Harbor Management Commission, term ending
December, 1998.  So voted.

3)   Library Board of Trustees: One vacancy (if favorable, order
advertised; term ending 12/1999)
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to advertise
the vacancy.  So voted.

4)   Zoning Board of Review: One vacancy (if favorable, order
a)   Letter of resignation from Maurice Vandal (effective 12/31/96)
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson 
to advertise the zoning amendment for the third alternate as presented by
the Solicitor for public 
hearing on November 25, 1996. So voted.

Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson order  the
vacancy advertised 
and also the three alternate positions.  So voted. 


1)   Street light request of Angelo and Carmen Pizzi (Spanker
Street/Starboard Avenue)
Councilor McInnis: Lighting is consistent with that of surrounding
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to deny the
request of Angelo and Carmen Pizzi for a new street light.  So voted.

2)   Suggested names for Route 138 in Jamestown
Motion by Councilor Hines, seconded by Councilor McInnis to request that
the State consider the name of John Eldred Parkway for the section of
Route 138 which runs between the Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge and the
Newport-Pell Bridge.  So voted.


1)   Copy of letter from William S. Munger to the Harbor Management
Commission re: reconstruction of steel pier
Administrator:  I spoke to Donald Armington and the Harbor Management
Commission will be having a special meeting on October 30, 1996 to discuss
this matter.

2)   Letter from Sherman & Howard representing Heritage Cablevue,
Inc. re: assignment of lease for microwave tower site
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to approve
the assignment of the lease in principal, subject to clarification by the
Administrator and that the Town must be notified of starting date of the
lease.  So voted.      

3)   Copy of letter from the Oak Lawn Volunteer Fire Association to
Chief Christman re: payment for equipment
Administrator:  Must have been overlooked, the bill has been paid.
Motion by Councilor McInnis, seconded by Councilor Hines to accept all
communications.  So voted.

1)   One-day license application:
  Applicant         Type     Date     Location
  Arnold Zweir Post 22       Peddlar       11/5/96       Both Polling
Motion by Councilor Robertson, seconded by Councilor Hines to approve the
request, subject to approvals Town officials.  So voted.




There being no further business before the Council, motion by Councilor
McInnis, seconded by Councilor Robertson to adjourn at 9:36 PM. So voted.


Denise Jennings
Deputy Town Clerk

cc:  Town Council Members (5)
  Town Administrator
  Town Solicitor
  Administrative Circulation