2005-08-25 / News

North Kingstown ordinance will be modified for new island regulations

By Sam Bari

Town Councilman Bill Kelly holds a check in the amount of $11,145 in grant funds from the RI Resource Recovery Corporation, received for having a successful recycling program in Jamestown. With Kelly are Michael Gray (left) and Steve Goslee (right), both of the town’s highway department, and Sherry A. Mulhearn, RIRRC’s executive director. Town Councilman Bill Kelly holds a check in the amount of $11,145 in grant funds from the RI Resource Recovery Corporation, received for having a successful recycling program in Jamestown. With Kelly are Michael Gray (left) and Steve Goslee (right), both of the town’s highway department, and Sherry A. Mulhearn, RIRRC’s executive director. Town Solicitor Larry Parks’ proposal to use a North Kingstown ordinance as a template for writing Jamestown construction regulations was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission at its Aug. 17 meeting.

Parks suggested modifying the North Kingstown ordinance as needed to write the Jamestown regulations concerning construction and excavation on town streets and in town street right-ofways.

With Commissioners Betty Hubbard and Andrew Kallfelz absent, the meeting did not have a quorum until 7:50 p.m., when Commissioner Jean Brown arrived. She had arranged in advance to be 20 minutes late. Despite the late start, the commission covered the agenda.

In old business, the proposed new ordinances from the unfunded state mandate concerning Phase II storm-water requirements were reviewed and discussed.

Consulting engineer Dean Audet from the firm of Fuss & O’Neill of Providence was invited by Town Engineer Mike Gray to explain the ordinance guidelines to the commissioners. Funds had been set aside to cover the expenses of Audet’s time to give the commissioners in-depth advice concerning the writing of the ordinances required to uphold the state’s mandate.

At the Aug. 3 Planning Commission meeting, Chairman Gary Girard asked the commissioners to compile a list of questions concerning potential illegal discharges that may enter Jamestown’s stormdrainage system.

Some of the questions concerned the scraping and painting of boat bottoms and anti-fouling dusts, as well as the power washing of boats that may impact the storm-drainage system from the island’s boat yards. Detergents from the car wash on Narragansett Avenue that may find their way into the storm-water system, and whether or not the storm-water discharges from the town transfer station pass muster were additional issues.

Parks questioned Audet about the extent of Jamestown’s responsibility to enforce the non-funded state-mandated ordinances.

Audet said that Jamestown was responsible for finding the source and imposing penalties on all illicit discharges entering the town storm-water system.

Additionally, the town is required to test runoff from the town drainage systems into the bay. “Violators are the town’s responsibility,” Audet said.

“If problems continue without compliance to the ordinances, the town could be fined as much as $25,000 a day until the required standards are met,” he noted.

“Enforcing these ordinances could cost the town a lot of money,” commissioner Vic Calabretta warned after Audet covered the three major sections of the model for illicit discharge. The sections entailed illicit discharge, post construction storm-water control, and soil erosion and sediment control.

After Audet finished his review of the storm-water ordinances, Town Planner Lisa Bryer discussed a memorandum she had sent to the commission concerning the review of high groundwater table applications.

Bryer offered her years of experience and expertise in assisting the commission in doing a better job of defining “minimum impact” for applicants who are sometimes confused when leaving commission meetings with limited guidance.

Bryer’s memo said that as a regulatory ordinance, satisfaction should be achievable on appropriate lots with guidance. She cited that over the last three years the commission had improved, but she felt that by working together to achieve clarity, the applicants could be better served.

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