Archive - 2013 - News Article
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.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â Work on the new Aldi supermarket at Dowling Village is wrapping up and Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton said on Friday plans are in the works for the storeâs grand opening the morning of April 4.
Hamilton has been invited to the storeâs ribbon-cutting ceremony that morning and noted there will be grand opening giveaways and other activities at the store.
âWe are very excited about that; the only other Aldi's I am aware of in Rhode Island is in Providence,â she said of the Germany-based supermarket chainâs arrival in the Blackstone Valley.
BLACKSTONE â Never give up.
Those were the three words Cory Gaudet lived by every day; words that not only inspired him to forge during his 19-month battle with a terminal brain tumor, but also inspired the family members and friends who shared his short, but remarkable life.
CUMBERLAND â Students at Cumberland High School on Friday had Aydan Nyberg in their hearts â and on their sleeves.
Aydan, an eight-year-old student of the Cumberland Hill Elementary School, has been battling cancer since age 3 and has inspired the school to show support for him in a variety of ways, including wearing orange-colored clothing -- because orange is his favorite color -- and holding a number of fundraising projects.