2006-07-07 / News

Jamestown has a good year legislatively

State Senator Teresa Pavia Weed (D-Jamestown, Newport) and State Rep. Bruce Long (RJamestown, Middletown) last week gave the Town Council a review of legislative actions taken in the just completed General Assembly session that will effect the town.

They also heaped praise on Cathy Kaiser, chairwoman of the local School Committee, for her leadership on several items of local and statewide importance, especially school busing costs.

The councilors acknowledged Kaiser's work by extending their appreciation, and the audience applauded her.

Paiva Weed and Long told the council that Jamestown had a good year legislatively. They said one of the most significant achievements was the approval of $10,000 to fund a state study that has provided the mechanism for co-ordinating buses for specialeducation students.

Paiva Weed and Long said the study was triggered by Kaiser three years ago when she made "an incredible" presentation to the legislature about how Jamestown and other communities "criss cross the entire state to bus children to destinations for education."

Communities throughout the state will save on busing costs as a result of Kaiser's advocacy and work," Pavia Weed said.

The senator also explained how Jamestown's eligibility for "met schools" will result in the savings of tens of thousands of dollars as students opt for getting state-paid vocational education, and dozen are expected to be doing so within a few years.

Long outlined his special efforts for the town, "even getting on my knees to beg" for the cumulative impact on groundwater in determining the risks of pollution from septic systems as they are now permitted by the state. The impact of septic systems has previously been limited to impact on individual lots.

The program is being started with Jamestown only, but Long reported other communities are preparing to adapt the legislation also. The representative noted that Jamestown is "miles ahead of most communities" in its related wastewater programs, Long said.

Paiva Weed also noted that they arranged legislation to give the town the option to form a municipal court.

In addition, Paiva Weed and Long supported a small grant to the Conservation Agency for its coyote study, which will have important implications for the island and other East Coast communities as well.

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