2010-05-20 / Editorial

Proposed town budget in this issue of the Jamestown Press

• EDITORIAL •

Hot off the presses, the proposed town budget is now complete and ready for the consideration of Jamestown voters.

The much-discussed proposed town budget for the upcoming fiscal year can be found inside this week’s issues of the Jamestown Press that are delivered to the island’s postal patrons. This publication is required reading prior to the annual Financial Town Meeting, scheduled for Monday, June 7, at the Lawn Avenue School.

The annual budget is published jointly by the Town and the Jamestown School Department. Town officials ask that people save their copy of the proposed budget and bring it with them to the financial town meeting.

This has been a tough year to formulate the budget, given the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis. Town officials still do not know what – if any – funding will come from the state. The proposed budget reflects the town’s expectations.

The Town Council and the School Committee should be commended for a job well done. Unlike last year, we do not have a zero percent tax increase. This is due in large part to the expectation of no funding from the state and a decrease in property tax values from the recent revaluation.

A page-one story in this issue reports that five warrants have been filed for voters to decide at the financial town meeting. All five warrants, if approved, would have an impact on the budget and the property tax rate. Details of those warrants will be published in the Press prior to the FTM.

The town is also currently negotiating three union contracts, which could affect the bottom line on the budget.

Take time to read the budget and mark June 7 on your calendar. You will want to attend this year’s FTM, as its outcome will be reflected in your property taxes.

LNG terminal not scenic, says National Park Service

This week, the National Park Service said the proposal to build a liquified natural gas terminal in Fall River at Weaver’s Cove is not consistent with the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The Associated Press called this ruling a “major blow” to the Weaver’s Cover Energy LLC project.

AP says that “A provision introduced in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by Massachusetts lawmakers requires the National Park Service to determine whether the Weaver’s Cove project or any other development proposal requiring federal funding or permits is consistent with the law.”

Indeed, this is good news to those of us who believe the Weaver’s Cove project would seriously impact the safety and well-being of our community. We must remain vigilant in opposing this project. One only has to look to the Gulf of Mexico to see the world’s largest environmental disaster unfolding.

Like shipping LNG up Narragansett Bay, the residents along the Gulf were told offshore drilling would be safe and harmless. A LNG disaster here would have serious and lasting ramifications.

Remember the Titanic?

Grab your gloves and get ready to plant at the farm!

The weather forecast is beautiful for this Saturday, May 22, which is planting day at the Jamestown Community Farm.

This is the 10th year for the Jamestown volunteer agricultural effort. In the past nine years, more than 114,000 pounds of fresh vegetables have been donated to soup kitchens and food pantries around the state. That would be a huge pile of tomatoes, beans, beets, corn, squash, eggplant, kale and potatoes.

Would you like to help? Just show up anytime Saturday morning between 9 a.m. and noon. Volunteers also work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 6 to 8 p.m. Be sure to wear work clothes and bring along a pair of work gloves. Bring the kids! All are welcome.

— Jeff McDonough

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