Archive - 2013 - News Article
WOONSOCKET â The School Committee is set to consider a proposed school budget for 2013-14 that is roughly equal to its current spending of $67 million and, for the moment, absent of dramatic changes in programs and staffing.
The panel will take up a draft version of the budget being worked out by School Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan and the school departmentâs interim Finance Director Ralph Malafronte at its regular meeting Wednesday in the Hamlet Middle School building.
Sheila Loureiro, whose mother, Jeanette Barry, 91, died in a fire here on January 22, 2013, looks through a photo album she salvaged from the debris as her childhood home is demolished on 107 Boulevard Ave. in Lincoln Thursday.
By RUSS OLIVO
WOONSOCKET â A consulting team assembled by the Providence law firm of Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West has been hired to evaluate the cityâs plans for replacing the antiquated Charles Hamman Water Treatment Plant on Manville Road.
The Budget Commission accepted the firmâs $23,500 offer to review the plans on a unanimous vote earlier this week. Lawyer Teno West, the team leader, told members in a letter the job would be done no later than April 30.
WOONSOCKET â On a split vote, the Budget Commission has approved new contracts with Bellingham, Blackstone and North Smithfield that compel those communities to pay the city millions in âhost feesâ for using the Woonsocket Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The fees, which amount to more than $6.2 million over 20 years, mark the first time the city has taken money from outside ratepayers that will be deposited into the cityâs general fund instead of a
self-sustaining, ratepayer-generated fund that supports all other wastewater operations.
Connie Anderson applies a fresh coat of paint to a space that will be the new home for the recently established Arts Guild of Woonsocket, expected to open at the beginning of April. The space is located inside Le Moulin, a crafters gallery and marketplace at 68 South Main St. in Woonsocket. Anderson, owner of the nearby Stage Right Studio for Arts and Wellness, came up with the idea for the Guild while serving as a member of the Main Street Livability Plan Steering Committee as part of its mission to create a more lively and vibrant downtown city zone.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) geologists are in town this week to conduct new surveying, drilling and soil testing of the Stamina Mill Superfund site in Forestdale and determine whether volatile organic compounds still exist in soil above the water table.
The government geologists will be focusing their efforts on an area that has undergone soil vapor extraction and treatment for the past several years.
WOONSOCKET â The Budget Commission Tuesday afternoon unanimously approved a resolution to move forward with key portions of the five-year plan to wipe out the deficit, including sweeping rollbacks in pensions and post-retirement benefits for retirees.
The night before, in a non-binding vote, the City Council offered lukewarm support for the plan, approving the resolution on a split vote of 3-2. Two other members abstained, citing conflicts of interest.
WOONSOCKET â The Budget Commission has scuttled its original plan for raising $2.5 million in supplemental taxes largely on the backs of single-family homeowners in favor of an across-the-board hike on all classes of real estate, coupled with higher motor vehicle taxes.
All residential property, including multi-families, would pay a supplemental bill equivalent to 4.4 percent more than what they were billed in July if the plan passes muster with state lawmakers. The same hike would extend to apartment complexes of 11 or more units, which are currently classified as commercial real estate.
WOONSOCKET â In a victory for Mayor Leo T. Fontaine, a Superior Court judge has ruled that former Highway Supt. Robert Harnois was not wrongfully terminated nearly three years ago and has no right to pursue a grievance to get his job back.
At issue was a settlement agreement that Harnois reached with the city days after he had been fired on May 19, 2010. The agreement was a swap, essentially â the city would refrain from pressing any criminal charges against Harnois and allow him to resign voluntarily if he agreed to drop grievance proceedings challenging the termination.
BLACKSTONE â The Blackstone-Millville Chapter of the National Honor Society held its seventh annual âEmpty Bowls Projectâ dinner recently in the high school cafeteria.
The room was set-up to look like a soup kitchen where soup, bread and desserts were served. Each of the 33 NHS members was required to sell tickets to the community, while faculty and staff members from the five schools in Blackstone and Millville bought tickets from designated faculty.