Council urged to act on wildlife suggestions
Town Administrator Bruce Keiser encouraged the Town Council Monday night to schedule a work session, “the sooner the better,” to move forward on the Wildlife Committee’s deer management recommendations.
The recommendations include changing the town ordinance to allow rifled barrels on both shotguns and muzzleloaders.
Keiser noted at the Feb. 13 meeting that the committee’s recommendation to permit rifled barrels is designed to increase shooting accuracy only and that distance of bullet travel in not affected. He met with police Lt. Donovan and Town Solicitor Lauriston Parks and reviewed the recommendations relative to statutory and ordinance changes that are necessary to implement the proposed actions.
Keiser suggested that the council meet in work session as soon as possible to further review the committee’s report to determine which of the proposals are desirable. Town Clerk Arlene Petit said she will schedule the work session for some time in March if at all possible.
Keiser also reported that he met with the director and assistant director of public works and representatives of the National Grid power company. They discussed energy conservation and cost-saving programs available to cities and towns in Rhode Island. National Grid provides both technical assistance and financial incentives to reduce municipal energy consumption in public buildings and facilities. He said that an audit of current town consumption patterns in existing facilities will be conducted in the next several months to review options to reduce energy expenditures.
Keiser met with Parks and Recreation Director Matt Bolles as well as the Jamestown Baseball Association about getting the baseball fields ready for the start of the spring season. “The field improvement groups are looking at different options not only relating to short-term needs to get the baseball fields and the facilities in shape for the upcoming season, but we are also looking at the longer term,” he said. “There are some issues however, with the Melrose and Lawn Avenue school sites because they are burial grounds for the Narragansett Indians.” He said the town is cooperating with the Narragansetts and he is confident that any issues can be resolved.
Harbor Commission Chairman Michael de Angeli wrote a letter to the council recommending that it request a postponement or repeal from the legislative delegation concerning the enforcement of the state no-discharge inspection statute that is scheduled to be enforced beginning in June. He said that under the state ordinance the number of boats that must be inspected by Jamestown’s harbormaster could possibly be 1,000 or more, and that completing the inspections by that date is unrealistic. He suggested doing a rollout over several years to inspect a manageable number of vessels each year.
DeAngeli also said that the mandated ordinance is vague. He noted that Y-valves could not be eliminated because they are legal beyond 3 miles from shore. He does not believe legislation will reduce pollution. He also noted that the harbormaster should not be responsible for inspecting boats because it would take too much time from his regular duties and his ability to effectively patrol the bay.
In his report, Keiser said, “although the inspection program is an important state environmental initiative, the legislation was apparently achieved without notification to the affected cities and towns. We were, therefore, denied opportunity to address the fiscal impacts that the inspection workload will impose on our limited local resources. Due to this oversight, I would suggest that the town send correspondence to our legislators requesting amendment or repeal of this statute.”
Concerning the Narragansett Avenue streetscape improvements, the town staff was informed by the state Department of Transport maintenance division that full repaving will be required following the waterline replacement. This work may result in duplication of costs if the new paving is disturbed by the new curbing and crosswalk installation.
In a related issue, the town was informed this week that transportation enhancement funding for Phase Two streetscape improvements is intact but will not be available until fiscal year 2007-2008. The delay requires the town to request that the DOT approve a temporary patch for waterline work on Narragansett Avenue for a 15 to 18 month period. This issue will be discussed at the staff level and with the DOT in the next several weeks.
State Representative Bruce Long (R-Jamestown, Middletown) said that the LNG problem still exists and that the Weaver’s Cove request for smaller ships would increase the number of trips through the bay from 50 to 120 per year.
In other business, Martha Milot wrote to the council requesting a name change for Walnut Street because the town has two streets with the same name. Keiser recommended discussing the matter with the public works department, noting that a duplicate name could be significant if an emergency were to occur.
Holiday license applications were awarded and approved for:
• Debsbeads/The Purple Door
• East Ferry Market, Ltd. (SCorp.)
• Peking Garden • Conanicut Yacht Club • McQuade’s Laundrymat • McQuade’s supermarket • Del’s of Jamestown • Conanicut ships store • Slice of Heaven • Jamestown Xtra/Mart • Village Hearth Bakery • Baker’s Pharmacy
• AB Munroe Dairy
• Jamestown True Value Hardware
• Trattoria Simpatico
Also approved were private investigator’s license renewal applications with bond to Malcolm Brown, South Shore Investigative Agency, and Ronald F. Lewis.
Peddler’s license renewal applications were approved for Del’s of Jamestown, AB Munroe Dairy, and Freddie Bing’s Hotdog Thing.
A trash collector’s renewal application was also approved for Island Rubbish Service, Inc.
Charlotte Richardson was unanimously approved by the council as the republican alternate for the Board of Canvassers. Additionally, Gary A. Girard and Jean MacGregor-Brown were voted for reappointment to the Planning Commission and Michael White was approved for appointment as a new member.
Town Planner Lisa Breyer asked for council endorsement of a state grant application for handicapped access ramps to townowned Ft. Getty, as well as bathroom facilities near the proposed new pavilion. The cost for the project is estimated at $190,000. The maximum available grant money is $150,000. However, $40,000 is available from recreational funds for capitol improvements. The council unanimously approved endorsement of the application.
After listening to the state Department of Environmental Management recommendations and decisions for the highway barn, Councilor Barbara Szepatowski requested that the DEM be responsible for its decisions in the event that pollution of nearby wells should occur.
Acting Chairman Julio DiGiando agreed with Szepatowski, saying that he felt it was a reasonable request.