TOWN COUNCIL
JAMESTOWN, RHODE ISLAND
November 3, 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
7:35 PM by Council President Craig A. Amerigian. The following members
were present:
David E. Dolce, Vice President
William H. Murphy
Ellicott Wright
(Absent: Councilor Fred F. Pease)

Also present were:
Frances H. Shocket, Town Administrator
Theresa C. Donovan, CMC, Town Clerk
J. Christopher Powell, Conservation Commission Chair
Samuel Patterson, Harbor Master
State Representative George Levesque
(Absent: Quentin Anthony, Esq., Town Solicitor)

As well as the following officials from the RI Department of Environmental
Management (RIDEM):
Malcolm Grant, Associate Director for Operations
Robert W. Sutton, Jr., Planning and Development Administrator
Russell Chaufty, Project Manager
John O'Brien, Fish and Wildlife Division Deputy Chief

The work session was called by unanimous vote of the Council during its
regular meeting on October 14 for the purpose of discussing a marine
fisheries facility as proposed by RIDEM.

Mr. Grant: A committee was formed in 1990 to develop a master plan for
Fort Wetherill, consisting of  seven Council-appointed residents and four
State representatives; the plan was submitted to the Town Council on May
16, 1991; part of the plan included the State's fisheries functions being
consolidated and relocated to the State's property (7 acres); we are now
planning to relocate 27 technical and support staff there with a
laboratory and office space.

Mr. Sutton: The site already has a water main on it; RIDEM recognizes the
Town's concerns about water use; we are prepared to drill a well and/or
look at the use of salt water; the project would involve two of the
State's buildings and demolition of the third, which is not on the
historical register; we will restore the other two with historical
character; a third building would be built, considerably larger than the
one to be demolished, to be used for laboratory and office work; the two
historical buildings will be used for storage and office space; toward
greater public accessibility, this will extend the parks and recreation
aspect of the state park into that area, and it will serve as an
educational base; there is no restriction on use of the docks; there will
be no reduction of public access to the dock or overlook area;  parking
spaces in excess of staff needs will be created; the property was deeded
to the state and local governments with a prohibition of commercial
activity; regardless of this project, the commercial use (commercial
fishing fleet) will become more difficult to maintain; there is nothing in
this project that would amend the Town's management of the boat basin and
management of the small boat marina use; the Town's present use of 3 acres
for a highway garage will become more difficult as it becomes limited to
those 3 acres; the existing leach field at the park would be extended and
sewage would be pumped to that field; we anticipated using 600 to 700
gallons of water per day, 5 days per week, which is the same as a single
family residence; we want to formulate a design committee to develop the
plan over the next 6 to 8 months, and a local representative would be
welcome.

Mr. O'Brien (distributed summary): RIDEM has a serious problem with
crowded, outdated facilities; the Jerusalem, Wickford and Great Swamp
facilities are to be combined, along with offices now in Wakefield, all
into the Fort Wetherill site; the location has many advantages.

Mr. Sutton: The facility is designed around specific functions; department
growth is not anticipated; this is a downsized agency.
     Mr. O'Brien: The plan is for only 25 current staff members and 2
unfunded vacancies.
     Mr. Sutton: The third building will be two stories tall, but within
the grade and architecturally similar; it is a $2 million plan consistent
with the intended use.
     Mr. O'Brien: There will be no 24-hour security or caretaker; if there
is neighborhood concern, we could turn off all lighting after hours.
     Mr. Grant: This is part of the design process; Town input is being
sought; the project would comply with all laws and regulations, local or
otherwise; there is a right of way across Town property that services the
State parcel.
     Mr. O'Brien: We would dock a 40' vessel there and a couple smaller
(23-26') vessels seasonally.
     Mr. Grant: There is no plan to improve the existing boat ramp. Mr.
Sutton: We are willing to do another survey, but that may not be
necessary.
     Mr. Grant: The Town Solicitor and our lawyer will have to discuss the
applicability of the Zoning Ordinance's site plan review provision; we are
seeking something acceptable to the Town.

(Donald Armington, Harbor Management Commission Chair arrived at this
point, 8:37 PM.)

The following individuals asked questions about the proposal:
Martha O. Milot, 60 Walnut Street        E. W. Sterling Graham, Jr., 172
Racquet Road
David C. Pritchard, 45 Windsor Street    Duncan Laurie, 2 Fort Wetherill
Road
Richard H. Hutchinson, 4 Fort Wetherill Road   Mary M. Webster, 22 Mount
Hope Avenue
Gerald B. Bay, 27 Newport Street         John B. Parsons, 25 Ledge Road
Dennis H. Webster, 22 Mount Hope Avenue  Jane M. Anthony, 8 Shady Lane
Arthur C. Milot, 60 Walnut Street        Stephen H. Garnett, 36 Newport
Street
David A. Swain, 2 Scull Street
William Hutchinson, "Ft. Wetherill Road" (resident: Dedham, MA)
Joseph N. Medeiros, 65 Frigate Street (FWBOA President)

It was stated by the panelists that the education program would be small,
with Town agreement; the current commercial use is in noncompliance with
the deed to the point where the property might revert back to the federal
government, and the same is true of the Town's storage of public works
equipment and pipes; having been on notice since 1990; the federal
National Parks Service has already found the proposal to be consistent
with the deed of gift; RIDEM is required to maintain the historic
structures because they have been cited by the RI Historical Society; a
management agreement with the Town is anticipated to address issues such
as lighting, intensity of use, etc.; the intention of locating the third
building up the hill is to get out of the hurricane zone; there will be 43
parking spaces, 27 of which would be used by staff, 5 days per week; the
project is subject to the same regulations (CRMC, zoning, etc.) as any
property owner; sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks will be used and
boats trailered; there will be no heavy equipment assigned to the
facility; they will not use fresh water constantly for tanks; an
application for water connection will be made, but a conservation plan
will also be developed; there should be no noise (the 40' vessel will be
shut down at night); the State wants the Town to participate in the
design; certain buildings could be closed down during construction, but
not the entire location; intend to use a Sonitrol security system; the
area will close at the same time as the park, but actual gates are not
proposed; even if this project does not move forward, the deed requires
enhancement of public access, termination of the relationship with
commercial fishermen and removal of the highway department items.

Mr. Sutton: We are advertising for a design consultant, who should be on
board by April; the design itself will take 6 to 8 months, then the
permitting process begins, with construction slated for the middle of 1999
at the earliest; the budget is estimated at $2 million; federal fish and
wildlife would contribute 50%, with the balance coming from the State;
there will be local representatives on the design committee.
     Council President Amerigian: There should be limitations on
occupancy, a clear definition of riparian rights, a definition of rights
of way, limitations on the number of buildings (including accessory
structures), a definition of the relationship with the marina, a
definition of the function of the buildings and hours of operation, a
discussion of need for municipal services, and lighting.
     Mr. Grant: Those types of things can be included in a legal
instrument to be negotiated.

There being no further business before Council, the work session was
informally adjourned at 10:05 PM. 

Attest:

Theresa C. Donovan, CMC
Town Clerk