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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Town Council Meeting - November 13 play-by-play

by Tom Ferrio

I thought the lame duck image was cute though this Town Council meeting doesn't fully qualify as a lame duck session since a majority of the current Council has been re-elected and will be sworn in (tentatively) next Monday, November 19.

This meeting was planned to be short and sweet, leaving much of the normal business for the new Council later in the month. But I still thought I would stay in practice by writing a report on the meeting.

So here goes, comments inserted into Will's "actual order of business".

Update (added summary): This was a very short meeting, as expected for the last meeting of a Council after the election. Notable points:

  • A number of Charlestown and Westerly residents came to speak in the Public Comments section about the COPAR quarry and its impact on the quality of life in the Ross Hill Road/Buckeye Brook Road area.This will be a topic at future Council meetings.
  • New up-front engineering costs to the town for the red light cameras will also be a topic for the next Council meeting in light of the contract promise that they will be cost-neutral.
  • Lisa DiBello asked, during the agenda meeting, that the job title appointment for Vicki Hilton as Parks and Recreation Program Manager be removed from the consent agenda so it could be discussed at the Council meeting, continuing the normal pattern for any Parks and Recreation topic. Peter explained it as a previous oversight and it was approved, with Lisa DiBello abstaining. 

Detailed notes highlighted in the following agenda:

The regular monthly meeting of the Charlestown Town Council will be held on November 13, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Town Hall, 4540 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI.  The proposed agenda is as follows:

1.      CALL TO ORDER, Moment of Silence, Pledge of Allegiance
2.      ROLL CALL

3.      PUBLIC COMMENT for items not on the Agenda
Evelyn Smith spoke to congratulate Gentz, Slattery and DiBello for their re-election and thank Avedisian and Frank for her service.
Mr. Mc Donough, Ross Hill Road, spoke to voice his complaints about the COPAR quarry. (This has been reported in a couple articles here.) He pointed out that the Charlestown neighbors of the quarry are being affected. Dan Slattery asked whether the Westerly Town Council has done anything to help. McDonough explained that the quarry is zoned light industrial and it seems odd that blasting and mining would be considered light.
Steven Dubois, a Westerly resident, also spoke about the COPAR quarry issues. Mr. Dubois pointed out that the company owns 120 acres of adjacent land including some in Charlestown. Tom Gentz explained that he has done some research after hearing of this. His contact at DEM says that he cannot find the dust that the residents complain of. Gentz also stated that a retied police officer is on site to monitor compliance when the quarry is in operation. Gentz offered to have a more thorough discussion at the December Council meeting. Slattery asked if there is evidence of people becoming ill from this. Mr. Dubois related some health issues in the neighborhood.
Lorriane Boucher, Buckeye Brook Road, spoke to relate how the blasting shakes her house. 
Several other residents in the area spoke to relate their experience with dust, explosions, cracked foundations, high radon levels in their homes, well water quality issues, etc.
Paula Andersen (newly-elected Councilperson) spoke to support the idea of an in-depth workshop.
This item ended at 6:18 pm.

Tom Gentz skipped this item until reminded by Dan Slattery who spoke to commend the town employees efforts during Sandy, mentioning many employees by name.
Marge Frank explained that the supplier of our town phone message changed and some people seem to have dropped off the list during the change. People who did not get messages after Sandy should sign up again.
Lisa DiBello suggested holding a post-Sandy meeting to discuss how things could be improved next time. She also thanked the people in town for the help she received after her house was damaged.
Gregg Avedisian congratulated the new Council-elect and thanked the town for the opportunity to serve during the last 8 years.


b.   Town Solicitor
Dan Slattery asked about the up-front costs related to the red-light cameras, questioning how that works with the contract clause that this will be break-even. This will be discussed in depth at the next Council meeting.


8.      NEW BUSINESS - None

9.      PUBLIC HEARINGS - None

a.   Public hearing and potential action on the following license renewals:
This is a straightforward renewal of existing alcohol licenses so I'm removing the details from this article; you may see them at this article or on ClerkBase. These were all routinely approved.

SERRA, RICHARD C. d/b/a “Rippy’s Liquor & Marketplace”
CHARLESTOWN WILLOWS d/b/a “Foster Pier Restaurant”
MGMR GROUP, INC. d/b/a/ “Meadow Brook Inn”
NORDIC LODGE, INC. d/b/a/ “Nordic Lodge”
OLD WILCOX TAVERN, INC. d/b/a/ “Wilcox Tavern”
MARR, CRAIG T. d/b/a “The Breachway Grill LLC”
C & E PIZZA, INC. d/b/a “Famous Pizza”
FIGARSKY, COURTNEY d/b/a “Gentleman Farmer Diner”
G.J.S.I.,  INC, d/b/a G.J.S.I. Tavern and Inn
b.   Motion to set the following cap on beverage licenses within the Town of Charlestown: Class A: 2; Class B Full: 6; Class B Limited: 2; Class B Tavern: 1; Class D:1
c.   Request from the Charlestown Willows for their annual closure on September 18, 2012 and reopening on May 25, 2013.

b.   Certificate of achievement for Andrew Kenneth Thoman for obtaining the high rank of Eagle Scout
This was delayed to this point on the agenda because no one from the Thoman family was present at the beginning of the meeting.

12.    CONSENT AGENDA All items marked with “CA” are to be considered consent agenda
These were all routinely approved. Note that Lisa DiBello requested that the appointment of Vicki Hilton (17.a) be removed from the consent agenda.
Motion to accept approve and place on file the following as the consent agenda: 11a1, 11a2, 11a3, 11a4, 11a5, 11a6, 11a7, 13a, 13b, 15a, 17b, 18a, 18b and 18c

“CA” a.  Applications received for General Entertainment Licenses for the following Beverage License Holders.  (May be done as one motion or individually.)  All applications are in order.
1.   Birdmar Enterprizes Inc. d/b/a “The Cove” – Hours of Indoor Entertainment: Monday-Sunday, 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  Outdoor: Friday-Saturday, 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight; Sunday-Thursday until 10:00 p.m. 
2.   Charlestown Willows Inc. d/b/a “Foster Pier Restaurant” – Hours of Entertainment: No later than 11:00 pm.
3.   MGMR Group Inc. d/b/a/ “Meadow Brook Inn” – Hours of General Indoor/Outdoor Entertainment: Monday-Sunday ll:00 am to 12:00 midnight.
4.   Old Wilcox Tavern, Inc. d/b/a “Wilcox Tavern” – Hours of Entertainment: Saturdays, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
5.   Marr, Craig T. d/b/a “The Breachway Grill LLC” – Hours of Entertainment: Daily, 6:00 pm to10:00 pm.
6.   G.J.S.I, INC., d/b/a G.J.S.I. Tavern and Inn – Hours of Indoor Entertainment: Friday and Saturday, 8:00 pm to 12:00 pm.
7.   Downey Weaver Post Bldg Assoc. d/b/a “Downey Weaver Post No. 34 American Legion” – Hours of Entertainment:  varies due to the functions but will start no earlier than noon and end 12:00 midnight.

“CA” a.  Town Council Minutes: September 24, 2012; October 3, 2012; October 9, 2012 (Executive and Regular); October 15, 2012; October 28, 2012; November 7, 2012
“CA” b.  Reports: Town Clerk – October 2012; Treasurer – August 2012

“CA” a.  Resolution in support of an Affordable Housing moratorium & reactivation/reconstitution of the Oversight Commission as recommended by the Affordable Housing Review Advisory Group

“CA” b.  Acceptance of the resignation of Jill Cuddy from the Parks and Recreation Commission with regret

“CA” a.  Approval of the Rubberized Asphalt Chip Seal Bid to All States Asphalt, Inc. for use on Shannock Road and other Town roads (in the Spring of 2013 as funds remain available) for an amount not to exceed $109,260 as budgeted in the General Fund Budget, line item 01.990.9961.
“CA” b.  Approval of the SCAG Model Mower Bid to Pat’s Power Equipment  for a 2012 SCAG Model STT61V-791KA-DFI Mower for an amount not to exceed $10,159.20 after trade in, as budgeted in the Capital Budget, line item 990-9958, and authorization for the Acting Town Administrator to execute the purchase documents.
“CA” c.  Waiver of all Town electrical reconnection fees for storm related damage.

a.   Board and Commission vacancies


a.   Appointment of Vicky Hilton as Parks and Recreation Program Manager with a recommendation from the Town Administrator

Peter Ruggiero explained that this was correcting for a previous oversight and there was no further discussion. Lisa DiBello abstained from voting.

19.    LEGAL MATTERS - None

Done at 6:35 pm.