2008-06-19 / News

New boat yard partner to meet with Keiser

By Sam Bari

The new partner and financier of the Dutch Island Boat Yard, Lawrence Eichler, has requested a meeting with the Town Administrator Bruce Keiser to discuss the details of the lease.

Keiser told the Town Council Monday that "Eichler sounded enthusiastic and friendly and gave assurances that he looked forward to establishing a good relationship with the town." He is represented by Jamestown Attorney Mark Liberati, Keiser added.

On another matter, Keiser reported that the harbormaster's boat is back from Ribcraft of Marblehead Mass., the manufacturers of the vessel. Ribcraft finished the repairs caused by galvanic corrosion last year and returned the boat to its dock at East Ferry.

In his report to the council, the town administrator also asked the council to establish a bike path planning committee at the next meeting. The council agreed to make the matter an agenda item.

Keiser reported that he is sending a letter to owners of the property at 101 Gondola Ave. "We'll give them 60 days to demolish the condemned building on the property or we'll have to do it ourselves," he said.

The Shores house has not been inhabited for years, Keiser explained. The owners said they were going to renovate and re-build, but never did. The building is now beyond repair, he added.

Special meeting

of the council

Due to the cancellation of the June 9 council meeting, the Town Council held a special meeting Wednesday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m. to vote on Resolution 08-007.

The resolution called for authorizing the issuance of a $400,000 bond for improvements and expansion of the police station, and a $1,500,000 bond for the construction of the new highway garage. Councilman Michael White made the motion to approve the authorization. Council member Barbara Szepatowski seconded the motion that passed with a unanimous vote.

Legislative matters

Representative Bruce Long (R. - Jamestown, Middletown) highlighted several bills of interest at Monday's council meeting.

• A piece of legislation, previously supported by the Town Council, is now a budget article. The bill will prohibit any collective bargaining agreement from specifying the health insurance carrier. The Council requested legislative support on the matter and Rep. Long committed to vote for the legislation.

• After being level funded last year, school aid may see a boost from the state coffers. The state budget will commit the projected additional revenues from 24-hour weekend gambling at Twin River and send it to the 36 school districts. Jamestown's share could potentially be as much as $10,000. Rep. Long opposes any expanded gambling, and said, "This is an inappropriate way to balance our budgets and fund our schools." The additional school aid is not a guarantee, he added. It is dependent on profits generated from after-hours gambling at Twin River.

• Legislation co-sponsored by House Majority Leader Gordon Fox will be heard Tuesday, June 17. The bill would relieve the school districts from state-mandated requirements to provide bus transportation and textbooks for students attending private, nonpublic schools outside of their school district.

"This has been priority legislation, and unanimously supported for years by the Jamestown School Committee," Long said. Long has been a primary sponsor of similar legislation for the last six years. "The cost of school bus transportation for Jamestown exceeds total school state aid," he added.

• Local legislation, introduced by both Rep. Long and Sen. Teresa Paiva-Weed, and endorsed by the Town Council is inching closer to full passage. The bills will continue the deed restrictions on two developments, previously owned by the Commerce Oil Company. West Reach Estates and East Passage were approved by the Town Council over thirty years ago, with conditions that the ponds and dams be maintained by the respective associations in perpetuity. A glitch in the law was found that automatically ends deed restrictions after thirty years. These two residential developments fell into that glitch. "The legislation will correct that," Long said.

• Town officials met at the state house with state Department of Transportation officials June 4 regarding the North Main Road bike path project. The meeting was attended by Director Michael Lewis, Assistant to the Director Chuck Alves, acting Chief Engineer Kazem Farhoumand, and legislative liaison Bernard Frezza. Representing the Town were Town Administrator Bruce Keiser, Planner Lisa Bryer, and Council members Michael White and Robert Sutton.

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