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May 27th, 2012

City to state: HELP!

May 27, 2012

WOONSOCKET — In a rare Sunday session, the City Council voted 5-2 last night to ask the state bring in a budget commission to take over the city’s finances.
Pro-commission councilors blamed lawmakers for forcing their hand by failing to okay the city’s request for a 13 percent supplemental tax bill last week.

May 26th

NEW OFFICERS

May 27, 2012

Woonsocket police officers, from left, Andrew Broccoli, Jeffrey Gagnon, Justin Mowry, Sean Rochette and Mitchell Voyer, are sworn-in as police officers during a ceremony at police headquarters Friday. The five new officers graduated from the Rhode Island Police Academy earlier in the day.

Town to begin property revaluation

May 27, 2012

BURRILLVILLE — The town is getting ready to begin a revaluation of all properties within the community.
The state-mandated 2012 revaluation project kicks off within the next few weeks when inspectors from Certified Revaluation Company, Inc. (CRC) — which the Town Council has contracted with — fan out throughout the town with property record cards and aerial maps. The inspectors will visit every type of property, from residential to commercial to industrial.

Teachers Guild critical of Baldelli-Hunt on tax issue

May 27, 2012

WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket Teachers Guild has issued a statement criticizing State Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt's handling of the supplemental tax increase issue.
The teachers union described Baldelli-Hunt's “waffling position” on the tax increase as resulting in the measure being sent back to committee.
The statement issued by the Guild maintained that while “there has been much debate over whether this supplemental tax increase is the best solution for Woonsocket, right now the schools have no other current alternative to fund operations.”

City's bond rating downgraded -- again

May 26, 2012

WOONSOCKET – Citing continued erosion of the school department’s finances, Moody’s Investor Service downgraded the city’s bond rating from Ba2 to B2 Thursday, three notches deeper into junk territory.
Moody’s said the city remains on watch for further downgrades. Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings, which already pegs the city’s bond rating at a junk-level BB-, is scheduled to reevaluate the assessment next week and could follow Moody’s lead, said Finance Director Thomas M. Bruce III.

State intervention imminent, city's path murky

May 26, 2012

WOONSOCKET – After an eleventh-hour parliamentary maneuver in the House killed his supplementary tax plan, Mayor Leo T. Fontaine said it’s inevitable that a state budget commission will take over the city’s finances, injecting more uncertainty than ever into the city’s financial picture.

Landmark surpasses final hurdle to sale

May 26, 2012

WOONSOCKET — Three days after the Rhode Island Department of Health gave its blessing, state Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin Friday announced he has approved - with conditions - the proposed sale of financially-troubled Landmark Medical Center and Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island to Steward Health Care System, a for-profit Massachusetts hospital group.
Kilmartin's decision, which finally paves the way for the sale, came just days after State Health Director Michael Fine announced his decision to approve the deal, under which Landmark would become a for-profit hospital.

May 24th

House stalls tax bill

May 24, 2012

PROVIDENCE — In a shocking, tearful reversal of a stand she took two days before, Woonsocket Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt torpedoed the bill that would have allowed Woonsocket to impose a 13 percent supplemental tax, legislation city leaders say was vital in order to avoid the need for a state budget commission.

Monument to get attention on Memorial Day

May 24, 2012

WOONSOCKET — The monument at the center of a simmering feud between the city and a Wisconsin atheist group will get some special attention on Memorial Day.
There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at Place Jolicoeur, the first holiday rite of its kind at the site of the monument in recent memory.
Led by Mayor Leo T. Fontaine and members of the United Veterans Council, the ceremony will take place at noon, after the Memorial Day Parade.

$69.8 million school budget gets first approval

May 24, 2012

WOONSOCKET — It took multiple meetings and a line-item-by-line-item spending review but on Wednesday the School Committee finally came to terms on how much money it needs to spend during the 2012-2013 school year.
Four members of the panel gave a unanimous first passage to a budget of $69.8 million after School Committeeman Christopher Roberts made a final round of adjustments based on his meetings with the School Administration and City Finance Director Thomas M. Bruce III.

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