Council meets tonight with school panel
The Town Council last week set or reviewed dates for several upcoming meetings and issues. They also approved permits for two events.
The council will meet jointly with the School Committee tonight Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Melrose Avenue School. Last week the councilors reviewed some topics they will discuss with the committee. They delegated Councilman William Kelly to gather specific data such as classroom size and daily teaching activities after he suggested those for the agenda next week.
School officials plan to talk about shared services, mostly maintenance, with town workers, as well as to report on talks about shared services with nearby school systems. They also want to talk about shared use of school buildings for town offices, a concept considered by former Town Administrator Mark Haddad, but not brought before the council for consideration.
As part of its ongoing program of holding community-wide dialogues on the first Thursday of each month, the School Committee expects to discuss possibilities for restructuring the school administration at its Dec. 1 meeting.
For the council’s next regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the councilors will continue its public hearing on a new outdoor burning ordinance to enable fire officials to more fully review recent revisions. The councilors will also continue their talks about charging fees to organizers of public events to cover costs of town staff and services provided for such events. The continuation means that such fees will not be in effect for some events in October, the councilors noted.
On Tuesday, Oct. 11, the councilors also expects to name the new Wildlife Committee, and its the first goal will be to advise how to cull the island’s overpopulated deer herd. The council has been accumulating data from various sources about culling options.
The latest report received from the state details a New Jersey program that allows various hunting techniques that would require law revisions in Rhode Island, and two non-hunting options.
Sitting Oct. 17 as the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners, the council plans to hear a report on town water department activities, especially those involving plans for a new water treatment plant and a second water tower on town-owned property on Howland Avenue, where there is currently just one water tower.
Bill Munger, the owner of Conanicut Marine Services, has been lobbying for such a session, but reported this week that he will not be able to attend the Oct. 17 session. He asked that it be rescheduled for Nov. 21. Council Vice President Julio DiGiando said members would decide on Oct. 17 whether to receive and discuss the report, continue some of the talks, or postpone the discussion completely. He indicated it would be listed as an agenda item for that meeting.
Munger also suggested that town staff prepare printed data on costs versus benefits of water system improvements. “I’m kind of in the dark. I’ve been paying attention, but I’m not up to speed,” he said.