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WORK SESSION

 

MARCH 22, 2021

 

At a WORK SESSION of the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown, County of Washington, in the State of Rhode Island held via video- and tele-conference, in and for said Town on the 22nd day of March 2021 at 6:00 PM.

 

            PRESENT:     Abel G. Collins, President

Rory H. McEntee, Vice President

                                    Deborah D. Bergner

                                    Deborah J. Kelso

                                    Jessica L. Rose

 

 

1.         A.        WORK SESSION Video

 

Discussion with the Planning Board regarding the Five Year Update to the Comprehensive Community Plan.

 

(Memo/Public Notice)

 

The following members of the Planning Board are present: F. Steven DiMasi, Chair, Maria Mack, Vice Chair, Paul Jordan and Peter DiStefano.

 

Also present: Robert Zarnetske, Town Manager, Jamie Rabbitt, Director of Planning, and Amy Goins, Assistant Town Solicitor.

 

Mr. Rabbitt presents a brief overview of the Draft 2021 Comprehensive Community Plan. The Comp Plan is a foundation for municipal zoning. The Planning Board has developed, refined, updated and improved the existing Comp Plan, adding two new elements on natural hazards and climate change, and energy. This has been a 24 month process. This has been developed with Planning Department staff, Planning Board members and a consultant. Adding consulting services to the Capital Improvement Program will be considered.

 

Mr. Zarnetske notes that this request is for 10 year approval by the State. Ms. Goins notes that the State now mandates a longer time frame.

 

Mr. Rabbitt provides an overview of what has substantially changed since the current Comp Plan was adopted in 2014. The primary focus was refinement of recommendations regarding affordable housing, they are now looking at the “middle section.” The Planning Board has made recommendations for changes in the land use map and zoning regulations. The housing element continues to focus on affordability with an emphasis on strategies to effect change. With regard to economic development they are keeping focused on villages, appropriate density and architecture. There are new sections related to natural hazards and climate change. Demographics are changing, we must keep pace with services and facilities. Energy is a new state requirement. They are broadening the focus on circulation. They address the university as it relates to land use in the vicinity. Implementation measures include setting actions plans, and determining who’s responsible for them.

 

The Town Manager notes that the Horsley Witten Group proposed changes around words, the focus is now changed to pictorial representations with words to describe them. Graphic standards are being developed, design standards, supporting a form-based regulatory scheme.

 

The Director of Planning notes that the Planning Board will review Cottage Zoning. Architectural design standards are being developed. They will look at the mixed use component next. Discussion ensues relative to the timeline for completion of these reviews.

 

Maria Mack, Planning Board Vice Chair comments there are other elements in the Town Council’s Goals and Objectives besides land use. The Comp Plan is the people’s document, an ordinance which was developed with community input.       

 

Steve DiMasi, Planning Board Chair notes there have been 3 new Planning Directors since the start of the Comp Plan Update. Cottage Zoning will be finished in the next few months. We need to make sure that the Zoning ordinance doesn’t conflict with the Comp Plan. 

 

Discussion ensues.

 

Amy Goins, Assistant Town Solicitor reviews the status of the Comp Plan. The current plan is still binding, once the new one is approved by the Town Council it will be effective for the purpose of being transmitted to the State Director of Administration, and will be effective for the purposes of guiding State agency actions when it has been approved by the State. Once adopted, the State Housing Authority Board would have to abide by our Affordable Housing Plan.

 

Mr. Rabbitt notes that the Comp Plan will re-establish the Town’s Affordable Housing Plan.    

 

1.         B.        INTERVIEWS Video

 

The Town Council interviews William R. Rosen relative to his interest in being promoted from Alternate #1 to full member of the Zoning Board of Review.

 

The Town Manager attempts to play a video recorded by Casey Charkowick relative to his interest in being promoted from Alternate #2 to full member of the Zoning Board of Review, but the sound cannot be heard properly, and the interview is deferred until the next meeting.

                  

1.         C.        WORK SESSION Video

 

Discussion ensues relative to License Items 6A and 6B for consideration of applications for new Victualling and Holiday Sales Licenses by Caf Bar, LLC and Buffalo Gill’s.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Public Hearing 7A regarding amendments to the Town Code for Veterans Exemptions.

 

Discussion ensues regarding Public Hearing 7B relative to extending the expiration date of the Town Code regulations governing temporary outdoor expansion of licensed premises for restaurants. 

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8A concerning the Recreation Commission’s review of a request to name the Senior Center in honor of Barbara Hackey.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8D from Susan Marcus concerning the Town Council’s Goals and Objectives.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Items 8G and 8J concerning resolutions from other towns regarding pending legislation in the General Assembly.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8H from Vin Murray advising of his intended resignation as an alternate subcommittee member for disputed applications at the Coastal Resources Management Council.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Items 8L and 8M regarding letters from the Economic Development Committee seeking approval for a sub-committee for park improvements and creation of a committee to organize the Town’s 300th anniversary celebration.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8O from Councilwoman Bergner concerning the utilization of properties that have been donated to the Town.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12A, adoption of the Town Council’s Preliminary Budget for FY2021-2022.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12B, adoption of the Town Council’s Goals and Objectives for the 2020-2022 Term.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12F authorizing the advertisement of a Public Hearing for adoption of the Comprehensive Community Plan.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12G authorizing the purchase of police vehicles.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12H authorizing an award of bid for upgrades to the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12I extending the Town’s Declaration of Emergency.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12J extending the Town’s Executive Order governing gathering limitations and travel restrictions.

 

Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12K extending the Town’s Executive Order providing COVID-19 related administrative leave to employees.

 

Convened to Regular Session.

 

 

Susan M. Flynn, CMC

Town Clerk

 

 

 

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

MARCH 22, 2021

 

At a REGULAR SESSION of the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown, County of Washington, in the State of Rhode Island, held via video- and tele-conference, in and for said Town on the 22nd day of March 2021 at 7:30 PM.

 

            PRESENT:     Abel G. Collins, President

Rory H. McEntee, Vice President

                                    Deborah D. Bergner

                                    Deborah J. Kelso

                                    Jessica L. Rose

 

 

1.         D.        REGULAR SESSION Video

 

2.         PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG Video

 

The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag is given.

 

3.         ROLL CALL Video

 

Roll Call is taken and all members are present.

 

Council President Collins reviews the access and call-in procedures for the public to view and/or participate in this evening’s virtual meeting.

 

4.         APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS Video

 

A.        Work Sessions:  UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that the minutes of the Work Sessions held on March 3, March 4, and March 8, 2021 are accepted, approved and placed on file.

 

B.        Regular Session: UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that the minutes of the Regular Session held on March 8, 2021 are accepted, approved and placed on file.

 

5.         CONSENT AGENDA Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to approve the Consent Agenda as indicated by (CA) on same.

 

(CA)    6C.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Victualling and Holiday Sales Licenses to the following; Renewals:

 

Del’s Mon, LLC d/b/a Del’s of South County, 49 Old Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879.  Application by Michael Cummings, Member. License No. 66426.

 

Jools, LLC d/b/a Java Madness, 134 Salt Pond Road, Wakefield, RI 02879.  Application by Mark LaHoud, Member. License No. 59708.

 

(CA)    6D.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Holiday Sales Licenses to the following; Renewals:

 

Prime Communications Retail, LLC d/b/a AT&T Authorized Retailer, 3033 Tower Hill Road, Saunderstown, RI 02874. Application by Heather Krebs, Agent. License No. 68495.

 

Stone Cove Marina, Inc. d/b/a Stone Cove Marina, 134 Salt Pond Road, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Steve Wood, President.  License No. 59433.

 

(CA)    8B.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a resolution adopted March 2, 2021 by the East Providence City Council requesting the allocation of CARES Act funding to afterschool and summer programs is received and placed on file.

 

(CA)    8C.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that communications from Linda and Don Hazard, Marianne and Stephen Cwalina, and Clifford Dutrumble concerning a condo project proposed for Holden Road in Matunuck are received, placed on file and referred to the Director of Planning. 

 

(CA)    8E.       UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a resolution adopted March 8, 2021 by the Charlestown Town Council in support of the Civics Literacy Act (2021 – H 5028) is received and placed on file.

 

(CA)    8F.       UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a resolution adopted March 8, 2021 by the Portsmouth Town Council in support of House Bill 5113 relating to beverage container deposit and recycling is received and placed on file.

 

(CA)    8I.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that emails from Bridget Gonsalves and Margaret Hayden concerning the proposed School budget are received and placed on file.

 

(CA)    8K. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated March 14, 2021 from Fritz Benz, SKHS Instrumental Music Director providing a link to a virtual performance by the High School Orchestra is received and placed on file.

 

(CA)    8N.      UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated March 16, 2021 from Stephen Dahl concerning Tech Safe Schools is received and placed on file.

 

(CA)    8P.       UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that any communication added to the Agenda subsequent to this is hereby added by majority vote, in accordance with RIGL §42-46-6 (b) Notice --…  “Nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body, other than a school committee, from adding additional items to the agenda by majority vote of the members.  Such additional items shall be for informational purposes only and may not be voted on except where necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public or to refer the matter to an appropriate committee or to another body or official.”

 

(CA)    12C.    UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Town Clerk to advertise for Order of Notice a Public Hearing relative to an application for transfer of a license to keep and sell alcoholic beverages in South Kingstown in accordance with the General Laws of 1956, as amended, as follows:

 

CLASS B VICTUALLER LIQUOR LICENSE

 

Transfer of a Class B Victualler Liquor License from Mary Murphy’s, LLC d/b/a Mary Murphy’s, 333 Main Street, Wakefield, RI by Patrick Guidera, Member to Hannah’s Bistro, LLC d/b/a Duck Press by Mark D. Bryson, Member, 333 Main Street, Wakefield, RI for the first floor dining room and bar area in accordance with a Special Use Permit granted by the Zoning Board of Review on May 19, 2010; and as further defined in a site plan on file in the Town Clerk’s office.

           

(CA)    12D.    UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Town Clerk to advertise for Order of Notice a Public Hearing relative to an application for transfer of a license to keep and sell alcoholic beverages in South Kingstown in accordance with the General Laws of 1956, as amended, as follows:

 

CLASS B VICTUALLER LIQUOR LICENSE

 

Transfer of a Class B Victualler Liquor License from The Flatts, LLC d/b/a The Flatts, 501 High Street, Wakefield, RI by Jane LeBlanc, Member to Paliotti Family Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a The Flatts by Peter Paliotti, President, 501 High Street, Wakefield, RI for the first floor bar and dining areas; and as further defined in a site plan dated March 17, 2021 on file in the Town Clerk’s office.

 

(CA)    12E.     UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Tax Assessor to abate taxes in the total amount of $676.03, as shown on Tax Abatement Request No. 582.

 

(CA)    12L.     UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that any New Business added to the Agenda subsequent to this is hereby added by majority vote, in accordance with RIGL §42-46-6 (b) Notice --…  “Nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body, other than a school committee, from adding additional items to the agenda by majority vote of the members.  Such additional items shall be for informational purposes only and may not be voted on except where necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public or to refer the matter to an appropriate committee or to another body or official.”

 

6.         LICENSES

 

A.        Elias Boutros is present, and after testimony and discussion it is Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Victualling and Holiday Sales Licenses to Caf Bar, LLC d/b/a Caf Bar, 396 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879 subject to submission of updated Retail Sales Tax Permit and RI Department of Health approval. Application by Alexandra Boutros, Member, 654 Waites Corner Road, West Kingston, RI 02892; New. License No. 69352.

 

B.        Brandon Gilley is present and testifies that he is leasing the kitchen at Rose Hill Golf Club, and after discussion it is Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Victualling and Holiday Sales Licenses to Brandon C. Gilley d/b/a Buffalo Gill’s, 222 Rose Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879 subject to RI Department of Health approval.  Application by Brandon Gilley, 23B John Brown Lane, Narragansett, RI 02882; New. License No. 69989.

 


 

7.         PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

A.        Notice having been duly given, a Public Hearing is held to consider proposed amendments to the Town Code, Chapter 17, Taxation, Article I. In General, Section 17-1 Veterans exemptions, as follows: Video

 

Chapter 17 Taxation

Article I. In General

 

AMEND:

Section 17-1. Veterans exemptions.

 

Pursuant to G.L. 1956, § 44-3-5.1, as amended, the town council is authorized to exempt from taxation a specified dollar amount of real and/or personal property of qualified individuals, as defined in G.L. 1956, Chapter 3 of Title 44, who are residents of the Town of South Kingstown. The said individuals and the tax credits are as follows effective July 1, 2020 2021:

 

(a)        Veterans of war                                                                                 $185.00        $215.00

(b)        Unmarried spouse of veteran of war                                                 $185.00        $215.00

(c)        Veterans who are one hundred (100) percent totally

            disabled through service-connected disability                                   $305.00        $340.00

(d)        Gold star parent                                                                                                      $378.00

(e)        Veterans who were prisoners of war                                                 $550.00        $565.00

 

Jean Paul Bouchard, Town Assessor reviews the program, and indicates that increases are recommended to meet the statewide average. The annual cost of the program is in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.

 

Discussion ensues regarding the amount of credit given to Gold Star parents compared to Unmarried spouse of veteran of war. Of the 899 participants, only 3 are Gold Star parents.

 

Discussion ensues relative to obtaining more information, and it is

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to continue to April 12, 2021 a Public Hearing to consider proposed amendments to the Town Code, Chapter 17, Taxation, Article I. In General, Section 17-1 Veterans exemptions, as follows:

 

Chapter 17 Taxation

Article I. In General

 

AMEND:

Section 17-1. Veterans exemptions.

 

Pursuant to G.L. 1956, § 44-3-5.1, as amended, the town council is authorized to exempt from taxation a specified dollar amount of real and/or personal property of qualified individuals, as defined in G.L. 1956, Chapter 3 of Title 44, who are residents of the Town of South Kingstown. The said individuals and the tax credits are as follows effective July 1, 2020 2021:

 

(a)        Veterans of war                                                                                 $185.00        $215.00

(b)        Unmarried spouse of veteran of war                                                 $185.00        $215.00

(c)        Veterans who are one hundred (100) percent totally

            disabled through service-connected disability                                   $305.00        $340.00

(d)        Gold star parent                                                                                                      $378.00

(e)        Veterans who were prisoners of war                                                 $550.00        $565.00

 

B.        Notice having been duly given, a Public Hearing is held relative to a proposed amendment to the Town Code, Chapter 9 Licenses and Miscellaneous Business Regulations, Sec. 9-21. Temporary expansion of licensed premises for restaurants that would extend the expiration date. Video

 

The Town Manager reviews the background of this ordinance, which is set to expire on March 31, 2021. The temporary expansion for outdoor service has been allowed due to COVID restrictions. It is recommended that the ordinance be continued until September 8, 2021. There is legislation pending in the General Assembly, House Bill H 6119 that if passed, may override town ordinances.

 

Discussion ensues, and it is

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to close the Public Hearing.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to adopt an amendment to the Town Code, Chapter 9 Licenses and Miscellaneous Business Regulations, Sec. 9-21. Temporary expansion of licensed premises for restaurants that extends the expiration date to September 8, 2021, as follows:

 

TOWN CODE

CHAPTER 9

Licenses and Miscellaneous Business Regulations

 

* * *

Sec. 9-21.  Temporary Expansion of Licensed Premises for Restaurants.

 

1.        Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Code, restaurants located in Town are authorized to temporarily expand their service areas, subject to the following conditions:

a)    Expansion must be pursuant to and in accordance with any executive orders issued by Governor Gina Raimondo Daniel McKee, directives of the Rhode Island Dept. of Health, Dept. of Business Regulation, or any other state agency.

b)    Expansion shall be strictly temporary and shall be permitted only so long as any executive orders, directives, and/or guidelines related to COVID-19 and social distancing are in effect. The Town reserves the right to take enforcement action with respect to licensing and/or zoning against any establishment that fails to restore the conditions of the premises to what was permitted before social distancing measurers were required.

c)    Expansion must be administratively approved by the Town Manager, Building Official, and Town Engineer. Restaurants wishing to expand must apply for approval via the Town’s online permitting system available at

https://southkingstownri.viewpointcloud.com/

d)    All applicable life safety codes must be satisfied.

e)    Expansion shall not result in an increase in capacity beyond what is currently permitted.

f)     For restaurants wishing to temporarily convert a portion of off-street parking areas into service areas, a parking plan shall be required.

g)    Where expansion into an adjacent area not owned by the Town is proposed, the applicant shall provide written authorization from the landowner.

h)    Before temporary expansion into public property or a public right of way is authorized, the applicant shall provide proof of liability insurance from a company licensed to do business in the state and in a form satisfactory to the town solicitor, of no less than $1,000,000.00 protecting the town for all claims and causes of action for personal injury or property damage resulting from such temporary expansion.

i)      Fees for building permits, etc. set by the Town shall not be required.

j)      The applicant shall agree in writing that temporary authorization to expand shall not confer any vested rights to continue such expanded use after social distancing measures are no longer in effect.

2.        The provisions of this ordinance shall expire on March 31, 2021 September 8, 2021 unless renewed by the Town Council in the same manner as the enactment of a new ordinance.

 

This ordinance shall take effect upon passage.

 

8.         COMMUNICATIONS

 

A.        Discussion ensues regarding a recommendation from the Recreation Commission that the Town Council consider establishing a policy on naming Town properties before making a decision on a single request. The Town Solicitor will provide model policies for the Town Council’s review and potential adoption at the April 26th meeting. Should a policy be adopted, the Council can then consider the request. Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a memorandum from the Leisure Services Director to the Town Manager dated March 1, 2021 and entitled “Request to Name Senior Center in Honor of Barbara Hackey” providing the Recreation Commission’s recommendation that the Town Council consider establishing a policy on naming Town properties before making a decision on this single request is received, placed on file, and referred to the Town Solicitor for policy development. (3/11/2021 Interim, Item F.)

 

D.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated March 8, 2021 from Susan Marcus concerning the Goals and Objectives of the Town Council is received and placed on file. Video

 

G.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that resolutions adopted March 8, 2021 by the Portsmouth Town Council in support of the 2021 Act on Climate bills (S 0078 and H 5445), and in support of legislation (S 0115 and H 5407) that would amend RIGL §44-5 relative to municipal taxation of real estate are received and placed on file. Video

 

H.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated March 10, 2021 from L. Vincent “Vin” Murray advising that he will step down from serving as the alternate subcommittee member representing South Kingstown for disputed Coastal Resources Management Council applications upon completion of the Matunuck Oyster Farm application for an aquaculture site in Segar Cove, is received, placed on file, and the Town Council accepts the resignation and directs that a letter of thanks be sent. Video

 

J.         UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to reject resolutions adopted March 10, 2021 by the Burrillville Town Council in opposition to gun control legislation and tax sale legislation currently pending in the General Assembly. Video

 

L.         Discussion ensues and it is Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a letter dated March 12, 2021 from Larry Fish, Chair, Economic Development Committee requesting the creation of a sub-committee to study potential park improvements along the Saugatucket River in the vicinity of Saugatucket Park is received, placed on file, and the Town Council approves the sub-committee with recommendations to be provided in 6 months, and the EDC is urged to include the stakeholders. (3/18/2021 Miscellaneous, Item D.)

 

M.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a letter dated March 12, 2021 from Larry Fish, Chair, Economic Development Committee requesting the creation of a committee to organize the Town’s 300th anniversary celebration in 2023 is received, placed on file, and the Town Council directs staff to prepare a resolution with recommendations for the make-up of the committee. (3/18/2021 Miscellaneous, Item D.) Video

 

O.        Councilwoman Bergner discusses her request for adoption of a resolution concerning the utilization of donated properties. Video

 

Discussion ensues regarding changes in State law providing certain relief from deed restrictions. Properties purchased with federal or state funding are restricted.

 

Councilwoman Bergner moves for approval of her resolution; there is no second.

 

Discussion ensues relative to Town properties with restrictive covenants. The Town Manager will provide a list of Town properties known to have restrictions. The Town Solicitor reviews the status of deeds with covenants.

 

VOTED: to table a request dated March 17, 2021 from Councilwoman Deborah D. Bergner proposing adoption of a resolution concerning the utilization of properties that have been donated to the Town.

 

Councilwoman Bergner voted no.

 

9.         COMMENTS FROM INTERESTED CITIZENS Video

 

Council President Collins invites residents to come forward with comments.

 

Dorald Beasley is in attendance and comments on the budget adoption, school funding, historic cemeteries, and parking needs at South County Hospital.

 

Richard Youngken, Chair of the Historic District Commission is in attendance and comments on the Town Council’s Goal to preserve historic structures.

 

Joslin Leasca is in attendance and comments on Councilwoman Bergner’s proposed resolution, the Comprehensive Community Plan and the Matunuck condo project.

Jean Paul Bouchard, Town Assessor reports that a Gold Star Parent under State statute is different than veterans. The Town Solicitor and Town Manager will research the issue and report back at the next meeting.

 

10.       TOWN MANAGER’S REPORT Video

 

Robert Zarnetske, Town Manager notes that the COVID vaccination clinic at South Road School will close, and a State site is set to open in West Kingston, and comments on the tentative reopening of Town buildings, and the Federal grant monies anticipated from the American Rescue Plan. The Town Manager’s Interim Report dated March 11, 2021, and the Miscellaneous Report dated March 18, 2021 are accepted, approved and placed on file.

 

11.       APPOINTMENTS Video

 

A.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to appoint William Rosen as a full member of the Zoning Board of Review for a term to expire in March 2024.

 

12.       NEW BUSINESS

 

A.        The FY2021-2022 Town Council Preliminary Budget is considered. Video

 

Council Vice President McEntee reviews the federal grant monies coming, noting the schools should interpret the grant monies liberally. We must prepare for debt service costs if the school bond referendum is approved. He supports having no property tax increase, and the option for the School Department to make supplemental budget requests.

 

Council President Abel Collins comments that a 0% tax increase puts us in a difficult position, and on use of Undesignated Fund Balance. He states that the School’s budget request is justified and responsible.

 

Councilwoman Rose expresses agreement with Mr. Collins. Federal grant monies to the schools will be restricted. She supports the school budget request.

 

Councilwoman Kelso expresses agreement with Mr. McEntee. The Town should hold the line. The School can request supplemental increases if necessary. She supports Option #4 as proposed by the Town Manager.

 

The Town Manager clarifies that the schools can ask for supplemental appropriations once per quarter for the last 3 quarters of the fiscal year.

 

Councilwoman Kelso notes that the school has 10 COVID related positions in their budget, it is not known if they will be needed, there are many unknowns.

 

Councilwoman Bergner expresses agreement with Mr. McEntee. She notes that residents and small businesses have been impacted, the need to be sensitive to the senior population, and supports level funding for the community and the schools.

 

Council President Collins discusses the town-wide impact of taxes. He notes that funding for Human Service and Outside Agencies needs to be discussed, and changes to the municipal side of the budget.

 

The Town Manager presents the following proposed changes: eliminate the Animal Control Superintendent, reduce the OPEB contribution by $50,000, reduce the healthcare rate assumption, and potentially reduce the additional part-time Human Resource Support position.   

 

Council Vice President McEntee makes a motion to approve the Town Manager’s Proposed Option #4 as presented to the Town Council at the March 17, 2021 Work Session, and to fully fund all Human Service and Outside Agency requests, with an increase to Neighbors Helping Neighbors of $2,000 designated for assistance to South Kingstown residents.

 

Discussion ensues regarding stipends for members of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Review and Assessment Board of Review, and Mr. McEntee amends his motion to include increasing stipends for those board members to $40 per meeting from the Town Council contingency account.

 

Budget Option #4 provides for a 0% property tax increase, holding the tax rate to $14.45; a tax levy increase of 1.3% over the FY2021 budget; level funding the Property Tax Transfer to the Schools at $55,994,773; elimination of the Human Resource Support and Animal Welfare Superintendent; reduction of health insurance costs; reduction of OPEB contribution by $50,000; use of an additional $440,000 in unassigned fund balance; and allows the School Department to present a supplemental request in each of the last 3 quarters of the fiscal year. 

 

A vote is taken on Council Vice President McEntee’s amended motion, and it is

 

VOTED: to adopt the FY2021-2022 Town Council Preliminary Budget, as amended, as follows. 

 

Council President Collins and Councilwoman Rose voted no.

 

 

B.        Discussion ensues relative to the draft Town Council’s Goals and Objectives for the 2020-2022 Term. Video

 

Councilwoman Bergner requests changes to the Land Use Objectives, Housing Goals and Objectives, Cultural Priorities Goals, and Economic Structure Objectives.

 

Discussion ensues, and it is

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to adopt the Town Council’s Goals and Objectives for the 2020-2022 Term, as amended, as follows:

 


Town Council Mission Statement

The purpose of local government is to help create and maintain the conditions that make it possible for people to pursue their own interests and happiness while respecting the rights of others to do the same. Accordingly, the programs and operations of the government of the Town of South Kingstown are designed to promote equal justice, security, and the wellbeing of all town residents. The Town Council’s mission is to monitor the needs of the community and adjust local policies and practices when necessary to preserve peace and prosperity. The Town Council strives to provide high-quality municipal services while maintaining affordable fees and taxes.

 


Town Council Goals & Objectives

The Town Council’s Goals and Objectives for the 2020-2022 term are organized and detailed within fourteen priority areas as identified in the table below. These fourteen priority areas are referenced within Town documents using the acronyms listed in the right-hand column.

 

Town Council Goals & Objectives Main Topics

Acronym

Taxes, Budget, and Fiscal Management

TBF

Education and Training

ET

Facilities and Infrastructure

FI

Land Use

LU

Housing

H

Sustainability and Natural Resources

SNR

Cultural Priorities

CP

Economic Structure

ES

Transportation and Traffic Safety

TTS

Supporting Vulnerable and Underserved Residents

VUR

University of Rhode Island

URI

South County Hospital

SCH

Policing and Public Safety

PPS

Civic Engagement and Public Participation

CEPP

 

 

I.   
Taxes, Budget, and Fiscal Management

GOALS

§  Town fees and taxes should be affordable for all residents. The Town’s fee and tax structures should consider each resident’s ability to pay and should be designed to ensure equitable access to all town services and resources; no resident should be denied access to town services or public resources.

§  In order to maintain the quality of public services, property tax increases should reflect inflationary influences and should address needs as identified by the Town Council.

§  Public participation and the assessment of the public needs and interests should inform the Town’s budget at every phase of the process, from development to execution.

 

OBJECTIVES

§  Public participation and the assessment of the public needs and interests will inform the Town’s budget at every phase of the process, from development to execution.

§  The Recreation Department will an develop updated registration fee structure for all youth  programs based on household income to better serve all families in our community.

 

II. 
Education and Training

GOALS

§  All SK Schools should be rated as 5-Star Schools.

§  Zero Gap: there should be no statistical distinction subgroup members and the general student population. Those with special needs should get the services they require.

§  The District should exceed state and federal special education mandates. 

§  SK School should be truly equitable: So, for example, suspension practices should be nondiscriminatory and school officials should pay attention to high-risk students.

§  Bottom-up, student-centered, programming: Every student is different and the district’s approach to teaching must start from a recognition of individual needs.

§  Faculty- and staff-to-student ratios should be appropriate to ensure high-quality education services at a sustainable cost. While every community is different, decisions about South Kingstown’s ratios should be informed by comparisons to other similar communities.

§  School District and other municipal programs (the Guild, the Senior Center, and the Recreation Department) should provide residents with relevant and engaging opportunities for learning appropriate for residents of all ages.

§  To ensure competent and innovative municipal services, town employees should be provided with routine and meaningful opportunities for job-related training and professional development. 

OBJECTIVES

§  By January 1, 2022, the Town will institute an Individual Development Plan for every full-time municipal employee.

§  By August 1, 2022, the Town Manager will publish a town wide policy on conference participation that encourages employee to attend conferences only when they are presenting or when specific training that meets their IDP will be provided. 

§  In its collective bargaining agreements, the Town will established the procedures for temporary job swaps or rotations to promote cross-training of employees, which will increase the acquisition of skills and increase job mobility.

§  By January 2022, Parks and Recreation Department employees will participate in a minimum of two professional or safety related courses or trainings to expand professional skillset for ensuring and/or improving job performance.

§  The library will conduct a minimum 12 informational, cultural or educational programs per year.

§  The library will offer at least 5 yearly education opportunities to library staff related to library services.

 

III.
 Facilities and Infrastructure

GOALS

§  The Town government will provide uninterrupted essential municipal services, including:

       elementary and secondary public education,

       police, fire and emergency medical services,

       road, bridge, harbor and waterway safety enforcement,

       water, refuse, recycling and wastewater management,

§  The Town government will provide uninterrupted  beneficial public access to municipal facilities, including:

       school buildings,

       libraries,

       public parks, beaches, walking trails and playing fields,

       indoor recreational facilities (Neighborhood Guild and Recreation Center) and

       civic spaces (Senior Center, Public Safety Complex, Town Hall).

§  The Town government will ensure the serviceable condition of critical infrastructure, including:

       public roads, bridges, piers, docks and boat launches, 

       water, wastewater and solid waste/recycling facilities, 

       police, fire, emergency medical and public works buildings,

       public communication towers and equipment.

 

OBJECTIVES

§  Complete construction of the Phase 2 Matunuck Beach Road sheet pile wall protection system from its current terminus, westerly toward the Matunuck Trailer Park property in order to further protect infrastructure from ongoing coastal erosion

§  Determine the future need and feasibility of extending this protective system easterly along Matunuck Beach Road toward Matunuck Point

§  Continue working with all stakeholders including local businesses regarding the Mary Carpenter ‘relic wall’ construction efforts

§  Planned infrastructure improvements to the Neighborhood Guild will begin by March 2022.

§  Marina Park Ramp reconstruction will be completed by December 31, 2021

§  By June 2022 Recycling receptacles will be expanded to all 17 municipal parks

§  In 2022 a comprehensive master plan for Old Mountain Field will be completed; it will include a tree management and replacement plan

§  Development of a new trail network at the Noyes Farm property will begin in Spring 2022

§  The Town Beach pavilion and gate entrance will be equipped with internet access for scanning of parking passes and credit card payment capability in 2022; for customer convenience and overall efficiency in revenue management.

§  Saugatucket Park Improvements including replacement of walking path, sport court and fencing, will be completed by August 2022.

§  Complete implementation of the Fire Alarm Radio Box conversion project, and coordinate with local business owners regarding the transition to the new platform; decommission old copper wire system. Full conversion to be completed over the next five years.

§  On or before January 1, 2022, the Town Facilities Division will prepare a Town-wide facilities condition report documenting the current deficiencies in Town-owned buildings.

§  On or before September 1, 2021, the Town Engineer will presents a preliminary town-wide report on the condition and performance of Town roads, including an assessment of bicycle and pedestrian safety concerns.

§  By May 2021 the library will provide socially distance outdoor programming.

§  By July 2021 the library will resume normal hours of operation at all three locations.

 

 

IV.          
Land Use

GOALS

§  The people of South Kingstown recognize that the Town is one of the few places along the New England shoreline that has been able to maintain a rural, small-town, character; the Town’s abundant open spaces, uncluttered beachfront, and well-preserved villages are valued resources, not only for local residents, but for all Rhode Islanders and visitors from through the Northeastern United States. The Town is committed to a pattern of careful, measured and purposeful land-use development that preserves the cherished qualities of the community, acknowledges the Town’s historic villages, promotes environmental stewardship, preserves open space and agricultural land, sustains a vibrant tourism sector and enhances the wellbeing of our residents and visitors.

§  The Town will continue to be home to working farms and appropriately scaled aquaculture facilities.

§  Each village will have plentiful public open spaces available to all town residents.

§  Public points of access to the coast and recreational waterways for a wide variety of activities will be abundant.

 

OBJECTIVES

§  The Comprehensive Community Plan will be presented to the Town Council for its review on or before March 1, 2021.

§  The Route 1 Scenic Roadway Committee will develop and recommend to the Town Council a Stewardship Plan for the Route 1 corridor in South Kingstown.

§  The Planning Board will make recommendations to the Town Council relative to reevaluating the zoning in the Route 108 Special Management District and along Old Tower Hill Road to include a mixed use model at village scale supported by green infrastructure.

§  In 2021 the municipal inventory of Public shoreline Access points will be inspected, assessed, and recommendations for improvements issued; and to be incorporated as reference appendix in the updated Harbor Management Plan.

§  By March 2023, a community-wide survey will be undertaken, seeking input for future development/redevelopment of park and recreation programs and facilities to meet the current and future recreational needs of the community.

§  Revise the subdivision and land use regulations concerning landscaping requirements to utilize native plants and species to provide shade and tree canopy, avian and pollinator habitats.

 

V.
Housing

GOALS

§  The Town Council believes that clean, safe and affordable housing is a human right. Responsibility for protection of this right is shared by individuals, the community and municipal, state and federal government agencies. Consistent with its purposeful-growth land use model, South Kingstown will maintain an adequate inventory of low- and moderate-income housing. 

§  The Town will meet the state statutory requirement for year-round housing stock that will be deed restricted as low- or moderate-income housing. This effort will be made in the context of appropriately scaled density that will be supported by environmentally controlled standards.

§  Housing types should be varied, aesthetically pleasing and suitable to the villages and neighborhoods where they are located. 

 

OBJECTIVES

§  The Planning Department will present a draft “Cottage Zoning” regulation to the Town Council for its review on or before March 8, 2021.

§  The Town will update its affordable housing plan.

§  The Town Council will meet at least annually with the South Kingstown Public Housing Authority.  

§  The Town Manager will present a draft tax abatement ordinance to support the development of Accessory Dwelling Units on or before March 22, 2021.

§  A comprehensive draft proposal for amendments and changes to the Zoning Ordinance to support the development of affordable and mixed-use housing types at appropriate scale will be presented to the Town on or about August 23, 2021. The proposal will be developed by the Planning Department in collaboration with a consultant, Horsley Witten Group. 

§  On or before February 1, 2022, the Finance Director will publish a request for qualifications (RFQ) to identify nonprofit organizations capable of developing or rehabbing housing for low- moderate-income households.

§  On or before April 15, 2022, an ordinance establishing a “fee in lieu of construction” regulation will be presented to the Town Council to support the recapitalization of the Town Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The Planning Department and the Finance Director will develop the proposal.

§  On or before November 15, 2021, the Finance Director and Town Manager will meet with at least two local banks to discuss the possibility of developing a “shared-appreciation” loan program.    

 

VI.          
Sustainability and Natural Resources

GOALS

§  The Town of South Kingstown will maintain the density of tree canopy throughout town; when trees must be removed in one place, they will be replaced in another.

§  All fresh water bodies in South Kingstown will be clean and safe for swimming.

§  All saltwater bodies will be clean and safe for the production of shellfish suitable for human consumption.

§  All ground water sources will be clean and free from anthropogenic contaminants. 

§  All of the Town’s municipal building and transportation energy will come from renewable sources.

§  The Town’s carbon footprint will be “net zero.”

 

OBJECTIVES

§  By March 2022 – assess and identify all compromised trees in municipal park settings and develop a prioritized plan for selective pruning, removal and replacement within a two year period.

§  By December 2021, 25% of all gas-powered park maintenance handheld equipment will be replaced with rechargeable battery-operated equipment.

 

VII.        
Cultural Priorities

GOALS

§  South Kingstown will continue to be home to thriving communities of performing, visual and musical artists.

§  South Kingstown will embrace and celebrate its indigenous people and Native American history and traditions.

§  South Kingstown will preserve and celebrate its New England farming, fishing and maritime customs.

§  The current inventory of historic structures will be preserved for future generations.

§  South Kingstown will embrace and celebrate its diversity and with feel inviting and inclusive to everyone.

§  South Kingstown will embrace its “whole history,” recognizing all who have lived here and acknowledging the errors of the past. , espousing the merits of those to be emulated, and carefully assessing the flaws of those who should not.

§  While honoring the Town’s history, the municipal government will be guided by the principle that the world belongs in trust to the living; it is the living who must decide how best to use and preserve our limited resources.

§  The Town will be guided by the principle that we will always honor our past but govern for the living.

§  Racism will not be tolerated in South Kingstown.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

§  Each year, on or before May 1, the Town, through the Town Manager, shall invite the Narraganset Tribal Council to attend a joint meeting at a time and place convenient to the Tribal Council.

§   In 2022 the Recreation Department will develop a program series focused on South Kingstown’s unique history, tapping community members with knowledge and generational connection in South Kingstown, to present and facilitate various sessions.

§  The library will support equity, diversity and inclusion by having at least 1 staff member participate in any EDI opportunities provided by Ocean State Libraries and the Office of Library and Information Services.

§  The library will continue to add content to its local history page that represents a true reflection of our past.

§  The library will conduct a minimum 12 informational, cultural or educational programs per year.

 

VIII.      
Economic Structure

GOALS

§  South Kingstown’s economy will continue to be broad and diversified.

§  Our economy will support the development of research-oriented firms associated with the University of Rhode Island.

§  South Kingstown will be regarded as a desirable “college community” and will be a place where URI students want to stay after earning their degrees.

§  Our economy will support tourism and hospitality.

§  Our economy will support a vibrant arts and crafts sector.

§  Our economy will support skilled tradespeople and knowledge workers.

§  The Town’s proximity to Providence will ensure that a significant number of our residents will continue to commute to offices and operations in the Providence area.

§  The Town will support working farms and aquaculture.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

§            Child daycare

§  Agricultural supply

§  Food cooperatives

§  Strengthen small-scale retail

§  A comprehensive draft proposal for amendments and changes to the Zoning Ordinance to support the development of mixed-use housing and retail at village scale will be presented to the Town on or about August 23, 2021. The proposal will be developed by the Planning Department and the Planning Board in collaboration with a consultant, Horsley Witten Group. 

§  On or before December 1, 2022 a long term master plan for Saugatucket Park will be established to support Main Street economy by linking attractive green space along the Saugatucket River and outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities, with downtown Wakefield.

 

IX.           
Transportation and Traffic Safety

GOALS

§  Public transit services should be frequent enough and conveniently located so residents and visitors can access essential services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices and central business districts.

§  All roads in South Kingstown should be free from unsafe conditions, including poor pavement qualities, road design and geometry deficiencies, speeding and travel-mode conflicts to the greatest extent possible and as funding permits.

§  All roads should be safe, inviting, and attractive for users of all modes of transportation to the greatest extent possible and as funding permits.

§  The URI campus will be the southern hub of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority network and intraregional bus service will be abundant.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

§  By January 2022 Senior Services will resume Transportation services to residents 60 years or older, to the Senior Center and to local stores, Monday through Friday, throughout the year. A fee of $1 per trip will be charged for locations other than the Center.  Inability to pay will not keep anyone from using the transportation program.

 

X.        Supporting Vulnerable and Underserviced Residents

 


GOALS

§  To ensure the effective provision of needed services, the South Kingstown Town government will know the names and address of the Town vulnerable residents and will know what type of assistance each resident needs.

§  The Town government will foster familiarity and a sense of belonging by regularly and consistently engaging our most vulnerable residents

§  The Town will provide relevant services tailored to the specific needs of our veterans, seniors, children in poverty, and historically-underserved residents.

                                                                                                         

OBJECTIVES

 

§  In March 2020, the Town Council will adjust the elderly tax abatement program by increasing the income eligibility brackets by five percent to begin accounting for inflationary impacts since 2007.

§  In March 2021, the Town Council will again adjust the elderly tax abatement program by increasing the income eligibility brackets by another five percent to further account for inflationary impacts since 2007.

§  Prior to the tax roll being certified in June of each year, the Tax Assessor will conduct a state-wide survey to determine if South Kingstown’s Veterans tax credits meet the State-wide average.

§  In FY 2021-2022 Senior Services will identify and assist Veterans in accessing services and benefits through monthly appointments.

§  In FY 2021-2022 Senior Services will expand outreach to senior housing, church groups, civic organizations and other groups to help identify residents whose basic needs are unmet.

§  By December 2021, the Town will partner with a licensed third party care provider to re-open the Adult Day Services Center in Wakefield and resume this community-based care program for frail elders in the community

§  In FY 2021-2022, the Senior Center will provide a minimum of one remote/virtual program offering a month, for homebound seniors or those unable to attend the senior center in person.

§  Each month the Police Department Traffic Division will convene and chair a meeting with the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee to address public safety concerns and discuss ideas to improve road infrastructure.

§  The police department will partner with the RI Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office to establish grant funding opportunities that will promote safe roadways through DUI/Impaired Driving Enforcement, Speed Enforcement, Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Programs, Seat Belt Safety, Distracted Driving and Child Car Seat Safety.

§  The library will conduct a minimum of 12 pop-up libraries at locations specific to vulnerable residents.

 

XI.           
University of Rhode Island

 

GOALS

§  The Town and the University will enjoy strong institutional relationships at every level of operations, including public safety, public works, policy-making and strategic planning

§  The Town and University will maintain seamless linkages between on-campus and off-campus transportation, traffic, and public safety systems.

§  The housing and business development policies and programs of the Town and University will be well integrated and complementary.

§  Maintain a strong working relationship between the University and the South Kingstown School District

 

OBJECTIVES

§  On or before April 15 of each year, the Town Council and town department heads will meet with the University of Rhode Island President and administrative leadership.

§  On or before July 2021, Senior Services will coordinate with URI Departments of Pharmacy, Nursing, Gerontology and Nutrition to provide experiential opportunities for students and intergenerational programs to benefit older adults.

§  On or before August 15th of each year, the South Kingstown Police and EMS will meet with representatives from the University of Rhode Island Public Safety Administration to discuss any public safety concerns prior to the upcoming calendar school year. 

§  Develop a mentorship between URI and the School District.

§  The library will continue to develop a community partnership with URI Graduate Library program by offering 1 Professional Field Experience opportunity for library students per year.

 

XII.         
Healthcare

GOALS

§  A wide range of high-quality healthcare services will continue to be readily available in town through a network of hospital-affiliated medical professionals.

§  The local hospital (South County Hospital) will continue as the center of our community healthcare delivery model.

§  Mental health services will available in town and will be accessible to all residents.

 

OBJECTIVES

§  To support the South County Hospital’s continued viability, the Town will complete its application for a land swap with the hospital. 

           

XIII.       
Policing and Public Safety

GOALS

§  The Town’s police and public safety personnel will maintain the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and service-commitment.

§  The Town’s police and public safety personnel will be approachable and trusted

§  Mental Health will be a core element of all the town’s public safety programs and initiatives

§  The Town will maintain a robust volunteer fire service

 

OBJECTIVES

§  The Town will work with Narragansett and the Union Fire District to address the inequity associated with tax-free provision of fire services to the Jerusalem section of Narragansett.

§  In an online public survey of South Kingstown residents, at least 95% of respondents will agree or strongly agree with the statement “I feel safe and comfortable when being approached by South Kingstown police officers.”  

§  In a drop box survey of South Kingstown Public Housing residents, at least 95% of respondents will agree or strongly agree with the statement “I feel safe and comfortable when being approached by South Kingstown police officers.” 

§            On a weekly basis the police department will work directly with a certified police mental health clinician and offer assistance to residents that have been experiencing a mental health crisis. 

§            On an annual basis all police officers will receive and participate in Implicit Bias Training and Mental Health/Crisis Intervention Training. 

§  The Police Department will maintain its accreditation.

§  Before December 31, 2021, the Police Department will develop and initiate no fewer than three community-based programs that offer community members the opportunity to regularly engage police officers and departmental leaders. 

§  The Town and Union Fire District will work cooperatively to incorporate a section about the UFD /recruitment on the Town’s smart phone application

§  Maintain South Kingstown Firefighter Scholarship program as a joint effort between the Town and the fire districts to improve retention of members

§  On or before May 1, 2021, The Recreation Department in cooperation with the Finance Department will develop a proposal to a limited number of free beach passes to be available to firefighters as an incentive to retain volunteers. The Proposal will be reviewed by the Recreation Commission and potentially adopted by the Town Council.  

§  Implement town-wide radio system to ensure seamless communication between all departments, including police, fire, ems, highway, schools

 

 

XIV.      
Civic Engagement and Public Participation

GOALS

§  The Town’s municipal leaders and employees set the tone for civic engagement. Municipal officials and employees will be honest, helpful and courteous.

§  All voices should be heard and respected.

§  South Kingstown will appreciate and celebrate its volunteers.

§  The Town will be a model of modern E-government principles, practices and tools.

§  South Kingstown will be regarded as a community with a strong volunteer spirit.

§  Maintain extraordinary community participation through the Town’s network of boards and committees.

 

OBJECTIVES

§  Recognize and celebrate the 300th anniversary of the incorporation of the town.

§  Promote increased registration by residents and businesses in the Town’s Emergency Notification System CodeRED as a communication tool for sending emergency notifications (storms, etc.)

§  At least one public service announcement will be published by each department each week. 

§  On or before January 1, 2022, the Town smart phone app will have been installed on at least 2,500 (approximately 10% of the adult population) phones.

§  For every meeting of the Town Council or any Town board or commission, the Town Clerk’s office will provide paper copies of meeting agendas and notices to the public at points outside of Town buildings where public access is restricted

§  On or before December 31, 2021, the Town Clerk, Information Technology Department and Town Manager will implement an online Boards and Commissions volunteers recruitment program to make information and applications more readily available to the public.

§  On or before January 1, 2022, the library smart phone app will have been installed on at least 2,500 (approximately 10% of the adult population) phones.

§  The library will create and post new digital content on a bi-weekly basis.

 

 

F.         UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Town Clerk to advertise for Order of Notice a Public Hearing to be held on April 12, 2021 relative to adoption of the Town of South Kingstown 2021 Comprehensive Community Plan. Video

 

Councilwomen Bergner and Rose indicated their wish to invite the Planning Board to attend.

 

G.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award of bid to Tasca Ford, 250 Webster Square Road, Berlin, CT 06037 for four (4) 2021 Ford Utility Police Interceptor vehicles in an amount not to exceed $146,000, including contingency, equipment transfer/ installation, and trade-in allowance; and as further described in a memorandum from the Police Chief to the Town Manager dated March 15, 2021 and entitled “Bid Recommendation – Police Vehicles – SK0048PD.” Video

 

H.        Discussion ensues, and it is Video

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award of bid to Hart Engineering Corporation, 800 Scenic View Drive, Cumberland, RI 02860 for various improvements to the regional wastewater treatment facility in an amount not to exceed $3,035,000, including a $200,000 contingency, with authorization that $3,035,000 (and any applicable contingency funds that may be used) be advanced from the Wastewater Fund’s unrestricted net assets for the subject improvements, with partial funding of $1,745,793 to be reimbursed by the regional partners (Narragansett = $1,262,709; URI = $483,084, in addition to any contingency funds that may be used); and as further described in a memorandum from the Public Services Director to the Town Manager dated March 11, 2021 and entitled “Bid Recommendation – Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Upgrades.”

 

I.          Discussion ensues, and it is Video

 

VOTED: to extend the Town’s Declaration of Emergency adopted at an Emergency Session on March 15, 2020 and subsequently renewed on April 13, 2020, May 11, 2020, June 8, 2020, July 13, 2020, August 11, 2020, September 14, 2020, October 13, 2020, November 9, 2020, December 14, 2020, January 11, 2021, January 25, 2021 and February 22, 2021 as follows:

 

Councilwoman Bergner voted no.

 

Town of South Kingstown

Renewed Declaration of Emergency

 

On March 15, 2020, pursuant to Sec. 3214 of the South Kingstown Home Rule Charter, the Town Council declared the existence of an emergency. The basis for the Council’s emergency declaration was the danger to health and life posed by the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, as set forth in Governor Gina Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-02 dated March 9, 2020 declaring a state of emergency, and Executive Order 20-03 dated March 13, 2020 containing a supplemental emergency declaration.  Governor Raimondo extended the state of emergency as set forth in Executive Order 20-23 on April 10, 2020, and it was further extended on May 7, June 4, July 3, July 31, September 2, October 2, November 2, December 2, December 22, 2020, January 19, and February 16, 2021. Governor Daniel McKee further extended the state of emergency on March 16, 2021.  The Town Council voted to extend the date of the local emergency declaration on April 13, 2020, and it was further extended on May 11, June 8, July 13, August 11, September 14, October 13, November 9, December 14, 2020, January 11, January 25, and February 22, 2021.

 

Since the Council’s declaration of emergency, the Governor of the State of Rhode Island has issued 130 further supplemental emergency declarations (as of March 17, 2021) relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and circumstances have continued to be dire both locally, statewide, and nationwide.  On March 16, 2021, Governor McKee issued Executive Order 21-25 further extending the state of emergency to April 14, 2021.  Therefore, the Town Council deems it prudent to declare that a state of emergency continues to exist in Town, and hereby extends the end date of its emergency declaration from March 22, 2021 to April 26, 2021.  The substance of the Council’s declaration of emergency remains in full force and effect, except to the extent that it has been superseded by an Executive Order of the Governor of the State of Rhode Island.

 

The Council hereby delegates the authority to the Town Manager to take any and all actions deemed necessary to address the ongoing emergency. The Town Manager shall report actions taken pursuant to this emergency declaration to the Council and to the public as soon as practicable, including ongoing updates on the Town’s website.

 

This Ordinance shall take effect immediately and remain in full force and effect until April 26, 2021 unless renewed, modified, or terminated by a subsequent ordinance. Provided, however, that if the statewide state of emergency is not extended by executive order of the Governor of the State of Rhode Island on or before April 14, 2021, this Ordinance shall expire on that date.

 

J.         UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to adopt Executive Order 2020-09 (Eleventh Amendment) relative to gathering limitations and travel restrictions, as follows: Video

 

Emergency Management Director

Executive Order 2020-09 (Eleventh Amendment)

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the State of Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-02 declaring a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19; and the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown declared a state of emergency through an emergency ordinance enacted on March 15, 2020, and extended through April 26, 2021 to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic; and

 

WHEREAS, social distancing is the most effective and important tool available to combat the spread of the pandemic;

 

NOW THEREFORE, the following emergency measures are hereby enacted:

 

  1. Gathering limitations must be pursuant to and in accordance with any current or future executive order(s) issued by the Governor of the State of Rhode Island (“the Governor”).  At the time of this Executive Order issuance, such limitations are as detailed in the Governor’s Executive Order 21-22, and as amended by Executive Order 21-24.

 

  1. Resident, Non-Resident, and Seasonal Resident travel, travel restrictions, and self-quarantine requirements must be pursuant to and in accordance with any current or future executive order(s) issued by the Governor.  At the time of this Executive Order issuance, such restrictions and requirements are as detailed in the Governor’s Executive Order 21-22, and as amended by Executive Order 21-24.

 

  1. All Short-Term Lodging owners and operators shall inform their guests when making reservations and upon guest arrival of the aforementioned travel restrictions and self-quarantine requirements, and that if self-quarantine requirements are applicable, guests must remain on the Short-Term Lodging property for the duration of their stay, or for the duration of their required self-quarantine timeframe, whichever timeframe is shorter. All owners and operators of Short-Term Lodging facilities must arrange delivery service for their self-quarantined guests during the effective period, so that guests are not required to leave the Short-Term Lodging for food or other essentials.  For purposes of this emergency ordinance, “Short-Term Lodging” is lodging of thirty (30) days or fewer, including, but not limited to, lodging in hotels, inns, and motels, and owners and operations taking reservations through online rental platforms such as Airbnb.

 

  1. Any violation of any provision of this executive order is punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), with every day a violation continues considered a separate violation. 

 

The South Kingstown Police Department is authorized to enforce these regulations in accordance with state directives and the Emergency Management statute.

 

To the extent that any provision in this order is inconsistent with any executive order issued by the Governor of the State of Rhode Island for dealing with COVID-19, the executive order of the Governor shall supersede this order and govern in its stead.

 

This executive order 2020-09 shall remain in effect until April 26, 2021 or the expiration of the State declaration of emergency, whichever is sooner.  This executive order 2020-09 may be further extended if necessary by a subsequent executive order.

 

K.        UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to adopt Executive Order 2020-14 (First Amendment) extending COVID-19 related Administrative Leave to employees, as follows: Video

 

Emergency Management Director

Executive Order 2020-14 (Amended)

 

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the State of Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-03 declaring a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19; and the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown declared a state of emergency through an emergency ordinance enacted on March 15, 2020 to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic; and

 

WHEREAS, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), enacted in March 2020, required certain employers, including the Town of South Kingstown, to provide their employees with paid sick leave benefits for specified reasons related to COVID-19; and

 

WHEREAS, the FFCRA benefits were available between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020; and

 

WHEREAS, the FFCRA benefits were not extended as part of the recent Federal coronavirus relief and spending package; and

 

WHEREAS, the Town recognizes significant local impacts related to COVID-19 will continue to exist after December 31, 2020; and

 

WHEREAS, the Town recognizes that quarantine and isolation are critical and effective methods to combat the spread of COVID-19 within our community and within our workforce;

 

NOW THEREFORE, the following emergency measures are hereby enacted:

 

  1. Beginning January 1, 2021, the Town of South Kingstown will provide COVID-19 related Administrative Leave to its Full Time and Part Time employees.

 

  1. Said COVID-19 Administrative Leave will be provided to employees who are unable to work, or unable to telework, due to the following reasons:

 

    1. The employee is subject to Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
    2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or
    3. The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis

 

  1. Said COVID-19 Administrative Leave is available for up to two weeks of the employee’s regular schedule, and will mirror the FFCRA Sick Leave benefits the Town provided employees between April 1 and December 31, 2020. 

 

  1. Said COVID-19 Administrative Leave, when combined with FFCRA Sick Leave benefits previously used, shall not exceed two weeks of an employee’s regular schedule. 

 

a.    If an employee has previously exhausted the two weeks of FFCRA Sick Leave benefits, the employee will not be eligible for COVID-19 Administrative Leave.

b.    If an employee has previously exhausted a portion of the two weeks of FFCRA Sick Leave benefits, the employee will only be eligible for COVID-19 Administrative Leave for the difference.

 

  1. Employees who are subject to travel-related quarantine requirements are not eligible for said COVID-19 Administrative Leave.

 

This executive order 2020-14 shall remain in effect until April 30, 2021 or the expiration of the State declaration of emergency, whichever is sooner.  This executive order 2020-14 may be further extended if necessary by a subsequent executive order.

 

13.       CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION Video

 

A.         UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to add Aimee Reiner, Director of Administrative Services to the discussion of personnel under this evening’s Closed Executive Session.

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to recess to Closed Executive Session at 10:44 PM pursuant to RIGL §42-46-5(a)(1) to discuss matters pertaining to personnel re: Robert C. Zarnetske, Town Manager, and Aimee Reiner, Director of Administrative Services.

 

It is noted that the individuals who are the subject of this Closed Executive Session have been notified of their right to have this discussion in open session.

 

Regular Session is reconvened at 11:55 PM, and it is

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to seal the minutes of the Closed Executive Session held pursuant to RIGL §42-46-5(a)(1) to discuss matters pertaining to personnel re: Robert C. Zarnetske, Town Manager, and Aimee Reiner, Director of Administrative Services.

 

It is noted that no votes were taken during the Closed Executive Session.  

 

UNANIMOUSLY VOTED:  to adjourn at 11:56 PM.

 

Susan M. Flynn, CMC

Town Clerk

 

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