Sunday, May 5, 2013
Five things to know for May 5.
1. The North Kingstown Town Council meets tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. at town hall. Check here for the full agenda. 2. Today is your last chance to catch the North Kingstown Community Chorus' spring concert. Stop by the high school for the show. Starts at 3 p.m. Learn more here. 3. It's opening weekend at Smith's Castle. Stop by today from noon to 4 p.m. for the castle's annual "Bridge to the Past" celebration.Get the details here. 4. Did you know you can add events to the North Kingstown Patch calendar? From fundraisers to basketball games to fun stuff, add your event by clicking here. 5. Today: cloudy then gradually clearing with highs near 65. Tonight: lows around 43 with mostly clear skies. Tomorrow: sunny with highs near 65.
Friday, May 3, 2013
The new budget will increase taxes by an average of $90 per household.
The fiscal 2014 budget is set to go after the North Kingstown Town Council unanimously approved the $97.4 million budget Wednesday night. Going into the night's special meeting, council members had asked Town Manager Michael Embury and Finance Director Trish Sunderland to find cuts and scenarios that would bring the town's side of the budget as close to revenue-neutral as possible (i.e. no additional tax dollars would be raised to fund increases in the municipal side). Among those cuts, the council passed the elimination of three potential positions in the North Kingstown Fire Department – a $200,000 price tag. Another $225,000 allotted for road repairs and repaving will come from the town's surplus. Embury and Councilor Carol Hueston …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
School Committee Member Bill Mudge asserts the contract with Jamestown students is costing the town millions of dollars.
Tuesday, April 30
To the editor, The superintendent of schools, Dr. Phil Auger, has repeatedly stated over the past two years that North Kingstown “makes a profit of between $1.2 and $1.4 million” by providing a high school education for approximately 200 Jamestown students. I find no empirical evidence that supports this conclusion. If you have been unwittingly persuaded by Dr. Auger’s unsubstantiated rhetoric, it’s time for you to hear the truth, the whole truth, about Jamestown tuition rates. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of evidence that will substantiate an “indifferent mindset” by past members of both the Town Council and School Committee has cost North Kingstown taxpayers a minimum of $5 million over the past 10 years. That’s correct, $5 …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Less than 10 people spoke at Monday night's public hearings.
With May 1 (the date when the North Kingstown Town Council is scheduled to approve the 2014 budget) approaching, both the council and the North Kingstown School Committee looked for resident input at two public hearings Monday night. Only three people spoke during the council's hearing (addressing the town side of the budget) while six spoke at the school committee's hearing. "With a $60 million-plus enterprise, I was hoping more of our citizens would take interest in coming out," said School Committee Member Robert Jones. On the town side, John McDermott – a trustee with the Willett Free Library in Saunderstown – asked the council to consider equal appropriations between Willett and Davisville Free Library. In the preliminary budget, …
Monday, April 8, 2013
Public hearings for this year's budget are scheduled Monday at North Kingstown High School.
In just under a month, the North Kingstown Town Council will look to approve the fiscal 2014 budget. In anticipation of the ratification, the council and the North Kingstown School Committee and looking for public input from town residents. On Monday night, both municipal bodies will hold public hearings at North Kingstown High School. The preliminary budget for 2014 funds the school department's request, increasing it by $1.6 million from last year's allotment. Overall, the town's budget will jump by about $2.5 million – resulting in a tax levy increase of about 2.95 percent. For the average homeowner in town (with a home valued around $310,000), this averages out to about a $171 tax increase. Click here for a breakdown of the …
Friday, April 5, 2013
The deal will preserve the development rights at the 41-acre farm off Lafayette Road.
In a unanimous vote, the North Kingstown Town Council approved a deal that allows the Town of North Kingstown to purchase and preserve Healey Farm. The deal pays Healey Farm owners Lou Ann and Scott Rippin $650,000 for the development rights to the farm located at 1100 Lafayette Road. By right, the 41-acre lot could be sold and converted into 12 single-family house lots. This purchase now preserves the land and removes the ability to build on it, restricting it to agricultural use and development. The Rippins will maintain physical ownership of the property and continue paying taxes. Healey Farm has been in operation since 1950, growing and selling items from hay to watermelons to squash and more. Of the $650,000 needed to purchase the …
Friday, March 29, 2013
The Rhode Island Supreme Court has continued the stay that extends the town's deadline to return firefighters to their former shift schedule.
The deadline for the Town of North Kingstown to return its firefighters from mandated 24-hour shifts to their prior schedules has been extended once again. The Rhode Island Supreme Court has continued the stay, which was supposed to expire on March 21, until May 15. At that time, oral arguments will be heard. During that time, the court is urging both sides to continue negotiating. Town officials sought a stay from the Supreme Court after Superior Court Judge Brian Stern sided against the town in its implementation of a new ordinance that ordered firefighters to work 24-hour shifts for the town's firefighters, increased the work week from 42 to 56 hours, eliminated one platoon and decreased firefighters' hourly wages. According to Stern…
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Asqah Cooperative was removed from NK's affordable housing count last year.
The Town of North Kingstown will be applying for roughly $300,000 in federal grants to improve affordable housing in town, help return Asqah Cooperative to its affordable housing designation and make other improvements across town. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a federally funded program focused on benefiting low- and moderate income families, preventing and eliminating blight and meeting other community development to eliminate serious and immediate health/welfare threats to the community. Included in North Kingstown’s CDBG application is a $40,000 analysis and feasibility study for Asqah Cooperative. Last year, Asqah’s 96 housing units were no longer deemed to qualify as affordable housing because they did not meet …
Monday, March 25, 2013
The Department of Public Works is evaluating the condition of North Kingstown's roads.
The arrival of spring means many things – warmer temepratures, more rain, budding crocuses and the return of road construction. In anticipation of the season of road work, the North Kingstown Department of Public Works has been evaluating the state of roads throughout town. According to Public Works Director Phil Bergeron, more than 40 roads in town are considered failing or in very poor condition. Seven roads are listed as "failed" for a total of 0.75 miles while another 34 are categorized as "very poor," totaling 3.25 miles. Bergeron is proposing that the North Kingstown Town Council allot $150,000 in fiscal 2014's budget to repave and repair 1.1 miles of roads – including portions of Sauga Avenue, Fowler Street and Earle Drive as …
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Here are a few ways to voice your concerns and speak out for/against the town's budget.
With the North Kingstown Town Council's approval of a preliminary $98 million budget, we are in the thick of budget season – and with it the start of the inevitable discussions of what should be cut and what should not be cut. The preliminary budget for 2014 funds the school department's request, increasing it by $1.6 million from last year's allotment. Overall, the town's budget will jump by about $2.5 million – resulting in a tax levy increase of about 2.95 percent. For the average homeowner in town (with a home valued around $310,000), this averages out to about a $171 tax increase. Click here for a breakdown of the preliminary budget. Both the North Kingstown Town Council and School Committee will be addressing the budget issue for …