Portsmouth Town Council Supports Fight Against Bridge Tolls
The Portsmouth Town Council met Tuesday night.
The Portsmouth Town Council met Tuesday night to discuss a few controversial issues, including the wind turbine generator and state plan to place tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge.
Featured here is a report of actions taken during the meeting.
7 p.m. — Council votes 7-0 to advertise a hearing, in which Custom House Coffee will seek approval for a liquor license.
7:11 — Town Solicitor D.A. D'Andrea and council publicly discuss unknown issue. D'Andrea says if someone has a complaint, "they should file it." The exact complaint or issue is unknown.
Residents, council unite in protest against bridge tolls
7:15 — Council President Joe Robicheau says "bridge toll" item will be moved to top of tonight's agenda.
7:17 — Jeanne Smith says she has "thousands and thousands of signatures" on the petitions. Smith urges everyone to mail a letter, "not an e-mail" to the governor. "If you need his address, I have it," she says.
7:19 — Smith also said the governor will be in town on Aug. 23. She urges everyone to come and meet the governor. "Don't let him roll over us again," she said.
7:22 — Gov. Lincoln Chafee will visit Portsmouth Town Hall on Aug. 23 at 8:30 a.m.
7:29 — Smith urges all to attend. "We'll leave the light on for him," Smith says followed by a round of applause.
7:34 — Council votes 7-0 to approve a resolution opposing bridge tolls. The resolution states the town "opposes the state's decision to place tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge." Council will send the resolution to all surrounding communities and the governor. Audience applauds.
Town administrator reads report, gives 3 options to fix wind turbine
7:39 — Town Administrator John Klimm says he met with CRMC and Carnegie about the Willow Lane parking issue. "We need clarity on this issue," he said. Klimm says the town will search for a legal opinion on issue.
7:45 — A group is organizing a year-long series of events honoring Portsmouth's 375th founding, Klimm said. To view the group's Web site, click here.
7:50 — Klimm says the town has three options to fix the wind turbine: replace gearbox with all costs, bring in outside experts or, thirdly, pursue a private sector initiative.
7:55 — The town recieved 62 applications for the open position of fire chief, with only 13 applications from Rhode Island.
Council doesn't bite on mosquito discussion
8 — Klimm and David Kehew spoke out about the mosquito issue.
"We should at least have enough of a discussion so the citizens understand we are trying to do as much as we can do," Jim Seveney says. "I understand the EEE mosquito they found is not a EEE mosquito that people get infected with," Liz Pedro said. "I don't want people to start panicking."
Judi Staven said the council was "off the agenda." Keith Hamilton motioned to put the item on the next meeting agenda.
Council hears options to fix wind turbine
8:17 — Finance Director David Faucher says rotor and blades have to be removed for two options to fix gearbox. The town has the option to purchase two gearboxes to save costs.
8:18 — Hamilton motions to table issue until the next meeting. Council votes to table.
Council approves funds for Lower Glen Farm project
8:22 — David Gleason asks council for $250,000 for Lower Glen Farm project.
8:35 — Hamilton motions to approve the $250,000 and an additional $50,000 for the roof. "This project is long overdue," Pedro said. "This is from a bond the voters voted for." Council votes 7-0 to approve motion.
8:45 — Paul Kesson motions to have town solicitor draft an ordinance about lighting in residential areas. The ordinance would prevent "nuisance" lighting from businesses on residential houses at night.
8:49 — Klimm says he met with Clements' Market owner and attorney today about a complaint about an alleged "deviation from approval plans."
9:03 — Council approves Torrey Equine Services, LLC, lease at Glen Farm.
9:06 — Council approves contract with the Cardi Corp. for 2012 paving services.
9:23 — Faucher proposes two changes to the town's pension plan. Hamilton motions to approve changes, excluding those to the civilian dispatchers and town administrator's plan. Council votes 7-0 to approve.
9:35 — Council votes 7-0 to approve separate pension plan for town administrator.
Council hears proposal for new fire academy
9:36 — Council hears plan for fire academy. Interim Fire Chief Michael Cranson spoke about creating a night "fire academy" in order to train new hires after retirements. Cranson says it will cost $15,000 to train eight people. Seveney motions to approve request. Cranson says the academy would become a prerequisite for hire. Staven questions the proposal.
9:50 — Cranson explained how this would train the new firefighters before they were hired, saving the town money.
10 p.m. — Council votes to place item on the next meeting agenda.