2008-11-06 / News

Town to review delivery of Emergency Medical Services to community

By Sam Bari

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser said at the Oct. 27 Town Council meeting that one of the adopted Town Council goals is to conduct a review of the delivery of emergency medical services to the community.

Consistent with this directive, the police chief, fire and EMS offi cials and the town administrator had several recent meetings to discuss local emergency medical services. Based on their discussions, Keiser said, "I am proposing that the Town Council establish an adhoc EMS Planning Committee to evaluate the level of EMS licensure appropriate to Jamestown needs." He said the committee will also examine the current approach to service delivery and make recommendations to enhance coordination, communications, training, and response-time capability.

Keiser said that members of the planning committee should include the police chief or a designee, the JEMS director, one JEMS member, the fire chief or designee, a town resident, one Town Council member and the town administrator.

Landfill closure

Engineers from GZA Geo Environmental of Providence, the firm contracted to handle the closure of the landfill on North Main Road, fielded questions from concerned residents living near the facility.

Town Engineer Michael Gray, with the help of GZA engineers, gave a detailed slide presentation of the Landfill Closure Plan prepared by GZA for the town. GZA engineers Todd Greene, Ed Summerly, and Anthony Gomez then took the floor to respond to residents during the open forum.

Town Council President Julio DiGiando said that he wanted to give everyone the time needed to voice their concerns directly with the people who are handling the landfill closure, so he did not set a three-minute time limit.

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser said that the GZA representatives did a remarkable job, giving satisfactory answers and responses to all but a few of the questions that required statistics or information that was not readily available.

Electricity supplier

Keiser said that the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns re-solicited bids for bulk purchase of electricity on Monday, Oct. 20. He said that 11 suppliers submitted proposals. The league negotiated with the two most competitive bidders and was able to secure a 3-year fixed price commitment at $.0041 per kwh. This rate is 24.1 percent lower than the standard offer price of $.124 per kwh, Keiser said.

Keiser said that the RI Department of Environmental Management is prepared to meet with the council to discuss the development of cumulative impact regulations. If the council agrees, the town will make this an agenda item for the Dec. 8 council meeting.

Licenses and permits

Special Olympics RI, Inc. applied for an exhibition license with a vendors application to hold the annual Penguin Plunge at the town beach at Mackerel Cove Jan. 1, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The council voted unanimously to approve the event after the town administrator negotiated a fee for town expenses with the host organization.

In another matter, State Representative Bruce Long (R-Jamestown/ Middletown) wrote a letter to the Town Council voicing his concerns about the handling of the landfill closure.

The letter warned of closed landfills in other parts of the state that met DEM requirements and still polluted land and water years later. He also mentioned that only well water is available in the north end of the island where the landfill is located.

He asked the council to "err on the side of caution" concerning fractured bedrock that allows water to travel in many directions for many miles.

Long said that the landfill must be constantly monitored and repaired to prevent cracking that can lead to rain water infiltration and the spreading of pollutants. He urged the council to develop a closure plan that would consider the aforementioned issues.

Legislative update

The Jamestown Wind Energy Committee's grant request was successful and $30,000 will be awarded to the town to complete the wind study that is currently underway.

Representative Long, Senator Teresa Paiva-Weed (D-Jamestown/ Newport) and Wind Committee Chairman Don Wineberg met with the Office of Energy Resources, as well as the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) to secure the grant.

Legislation passed last year that authorized RIEDC to administer the Energy Grant/loan program. The $30,000 check will be available to Jamestown in the next several days.

E-ZPass applications are now available for individuals. The Turnpike and Bridge office will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon to handle applications during the month of November. On-line sign up will also be available in December.

E-ZPass lanes are expected to be working by mid-to-late December. Long and Paiva-Weed asked for local lanes to be installed in the early phase of the project.

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