TOWN COUNCIL
  JAMESTOWN, RHODE ISLAND
  JUNE 16, 1997

A work session of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order in the
conference room of the Jamestown Philomenian Library, 26 North Road at
8:29 PM by Council President Craig A. Amerigian following a regular
meeting of the Council as a Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners.
     The following members were present:
  David E. Dolce, Vice President
  William H. Murphy
  Fred F. Pease
  Ellicott Wright

Also present were:
  Frances H. Shocket, Town Administrator
  Theresa C. Donovan, CMC, Town Clerk
  Steven J. Goslee, Public Works Director
  Maryanne Crawford, Finance Director
  Arthur J. Christman, Fire Chief
(Absent: Quentin Anthony, Esq., Town Solicitor)

The purpose of the work session was to discuss the future of the
restaurant facility on the upper level of the country club building at the
municipally owned golf course, specifically 245A Conanicus Avenue.
     Excluding members of the press and Town officials, there were 18
residents present.

Ms. Shocket: There has been discussion over the past several years of the
possibility of a consolidated municipal building which will be an adequate
facility for the present and future; considered was the possibility of
temporarily relocating some departments to the upper floor of the vacant
country club during construction, if necessary; the Town pays rent to the
water department for the use of the Southwest Avenue facility; relocating
those employees would free up that building for sale and revenue
generation; the rumor, erroneous as it was, created such ill will that I
have not considered it for months.

Paul J. Levesque: I was on the Save the Golf Course Committee in the late
1970s; the intent of that building was, if not to remain as a restaurant,
that it would be some sort of passive recreation for the residents.

E. W. Sterling Graham, Jr.: A petition has been circulated for a proposed
dance hall; I understand the floor would not withstand that; there must be
some alternative that is suitable.
     Mr. Goslee: There are no support columns under most of it.

Steven M. McInnis: The Mistowskis continue to do a great job at the golf
course; any use considered for the upper level should be compatible with
their use; anything that would disrupt the success of the golf course
arrangement would be undesirable; it might be advisable to speak to them
to see if they have rethought their possible use of the upper level as an
adjunct to their current use.

Vernon F. Parker, Jr. (242 Rogers Lane, Middletown, RI; owner of Precision
Glass & Mirror, 20 Douglas Street, Jamestown): I am interested in leasing
the property for a dance club with a limited menu; it is my understanding
that there have been DJs and dancing there in the past without problem; I
have spoken to Joseph Mistowski and he likes the idea; he does not want to
see another restaurant there during the day; my parking requirements would
be at night and not in conflict with his use.

Ms. Shocket: Some cooking equipment has been sold, which would have to be
replaced if the facility was reopened as a restaurant; that which was sold
was not of good quality.
     Councilor Pease: It could be run as a restaurant again; this meeting
was called to see what the owners of the property, the taxpayers, want to
see there, then the zoning and structure would need to be addressed
accordingly.

Jean MacGregor-Brown: People I spoke to during my campaign wanted it to
remain a public space where they could recreate; I do not know how or if
temporary offices would prohibit that; people want to be involved in that
process.

Mr. Parker: I put several flyers around Town for about a week and a half
and gathered 150 signatures of support; I also received many telephone
calls of support; I would propose a limited menu with a tropical setting;
it would be a theme club with a DJ for dancing and also a quiet area for
conversation.

Councilor Murphy: My recommendation has always been to advertise space for
rent, with a solicitation for proposed uses, rather then advertising it
specifically as a restaurant.
     Ms. Shocket: I asked the Zoning Officer what the specific zoning of
that facility was, and he replied OS (open space).

Councilor Pease: The vast majority of the people I talk to say sell it and
get out from under the debt; the second suggestion is rent it out,
probably as a restaurant; the layout is such that the kitchen faces the
golf course, which is probably not the best arrangement; trying to find
out what the owners, the taxpayers, want there.

Alcina L. Blair: Why not have business offices there, whether municipal or
not? Ms. Shocket: That is not allowed by zoning.

Mr. Parker: Most of my supporters are telling me they have no place to go
to sit and listen to music other than fighting traffic and going to
Newport; all ages support it; I would anticipate operating year round.

Mary Frances Byerly: Since it was received favorably as a restaurant
before, I think it should be one again.

Charles T. Masso: Is Council going to entertain other lessees and would
the proposed income exceed my last proposal to the Town? My proposal was
turned down because it was not for enough money; that being the case, I
would want to be sure the Town in fact gets more; [when asked if his offer
still stands, he replied "it may"].

Donald A. Richardson: I support it remaining as a restaurant.

Ms. MacGregor-Brown: An indoor pool or health club could be a possibility.

Ms. Byerly: We already have a recreational facility; why would we need
another? Ms. Shocket: The Recreation Director says there are unfulfilled
needs at the community center due to scheduling and inadequate facilities;
any activity which inhibits the Mistowskis' revenue source will inhibit
our revenue the way the lease is based. Mr. Murphy: I want to see it
generate revenue and believe a compatible use can be found.
     Mr. Levesque: What the best use is for the taxpayers may not be just
revenue.

Clyde R. Byerly: If we open this area for municipal office area, that will
be a problem for future rentals; you would be better off renting portable
offices rather than use a revenue making piece of real estate; regarding
possible uses, the proposed use as municipal offices has generated the
most negative comments; put that rumored use to bed.

Councilor Dolce: I was concerned about the underutilization of the country
club in 1991; I would like to see a capitalization of what we have; it is
a perfect location; from our initial lease to what we have now, we should
be proud of the lease we now have with the Mistowskis, but we need to 
improve the asset we have on the upper level to make it a fantastic
facility.

Mary Schachtel Wright: We have a lot of arts groups on the island that are
always looking for a center: gallery, classes, rehearsals, etc.; many
communities have an arts center.

William C. Brennan: In the current condition the facility is in, you will
never get the best revenue for it as a restaurant; the irrigation pond was
a good idea for the golf course, but the esthetics are poor; we need a
long range plan that capitalizes on the beauty of the view; improvements
will have to be made to get the best revenue stream.

Mr. Parker: Temporary use as offices will result in the building becoming
once again vacant.

Mr. Graham: Residential use might be considered, as in golf condominiums.

Councilor Wright: The lease should correspond with that of the golf
course; that would have to be considered when contemplating extensive
renovations, no matter who makes them.

Councilor Dolce: Anyone who goes upstairs is competing with the
Mistowskis; the Town has to  understand from a management aspect that you
can not set them up to compete with each other; they must be compatible
uses.

Barbara A. Ryan: A dance club could be lucrative enough without major
renovations.

Council President Amerigian: It is pointless to make improvements to the
property if you do not have a specific proposal in mind.

Mr. Byerly: It might be a good idea to get a good structural analysis
before considering various uses; it has not been well maintained.

Ms. Blair: Has the noise level of dance bands been taken into
consideration considering the neighboring properties? A proposed bed and
breakfast across the street was denied by the Zoning Board; I would not
want to live near a dance hall.

Mr. McInnis: It sounds like Mr. Dolce is recommending moving toward a
unified facility rather than two separate competing units; I would agree;
it would be best if integrated.

Mr. Masso: It would take a sizable investment for anyone to go in and open
up a food/beverage operation again; the fire hood and fire suppression
system in the kitchen are inadequate; the restrooms are not handicapped
accessible; it is likely that it would not pass fire and health department
inspections; if the Town wants to invest in it to make it more marketable,
the rent would have to be in the $6,000 to $8,000 per month range with a
longer lease; after being there for 2 and a half years, the only market I
feel would make it would be as a banquet facility doing private parties
and functions to keep payroll and utilities down to a minimum by operating
seasonally.

Mr. Parker: A full scale restaurant does not work there; that is why I
propose the dance club; neighbors support it.
     Mr. Graham: You could combine uses: ie, art gallery, ballroom, etc.;
capital improvements would be a good investment.
     Ms. Ryan: I would love to see a space available for social dancing.

  Adjournment

There being no further business before the Council, the work session was
informally adjourned at 9:35 PM.
     (After a brief recess, Council reconvened as a Board of Water and
Sewer Commissioners.)

Attest:

Theresa C. Donovan, CMC
Town Clerk