The Town Council of the Town of Tiverton, County and State aforesaid held a Special Council Meeting on Thursday the 23rd day of July 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Tiverton Town Hall, 343 Highland Rd via a Virtual Meeting viewable at Tiverton Videos on YouTube.




Council President Hilton, Vice-President deMedeiros, Councilor Clarke, Councilor Cook, Councilor Driggs, Councilor Edwards and Councilor Perry.


Town Administrator, Solicitor Marcello, Town Clerk Mello, Deputy Clerk Veegh were also present


Council President Hilton called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.




Discussion and Possible Votes on Recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget


Council President informed purpose of special meeting was to review the FY21 municipal budget.  Even with level funding schools and significant cuts made to date by T/C and B/C, current budget is 1.3 million above the 4% cap.  Direct result of decision to use casino revenue in operating budget in last budget cycle.


Council could leave for Budget Committee to make some critical further cuts or could make recommendations since it is Town Council that would have to manage the budget approved next year.


Discussion on casino revenue contract being poorly written.  Council President responded contract was written in State law, legal language existed before people voted for casino.  There were people concerned about the guarantee of 3 million even before the referendum on the casino.


Councilor Driggs commented under Charter the B/C sets budget and Town Council must deal with it.  Doesn’t understand why Council involved.


Solicitor confirmed in the Charter the Budget Committee has the right to set the budget subject to voter approval. Trying to be a good partner, looking for guidance.  Town needs to live within the budget, but nothing prevents Council advice or recommendations to B/C. Current numbers in budget were from February or March, pre COVID.


Administrator began discussion on possible cuts.  Cotta has been attending all B/C meetings and has met with the department heads.  All capital has been stripped from the budget with the exception of time payments totaling 229k and recycling that was 656k then was reduced to 450k.  Paving was reduced to 200k.


Administrator relayed at this time B/C was considering not filling vacancies of 4 police officers and one DPW position.  Administrator would like to keep those positions. B/C also considering cuts to Planner, Town Sergeant, firefighter training, streetlights, insurance and a few other smaller cuts. Still woefully short. Also considers taking 1 million from unrestricted general fund.


Administrator is seeking advice from Council on some recommendations

a.       100k from OPEB – Possibly look to add additional funds in future years

b.      May have good news from DEM on landfill closure. Could renegotiate or go to bid on trash pickup and may be able to use the top part of the landfill for recycling until July 2021

c.       Defer recycling center for short time.  Believe they would give some relief, but Town would need to continue to show good faith effort with engineering, etc.

d.      Use the IP improvement funds to help offset road expense in IP; currently only has binder coat and topcoat needed with heavy trucks


Discussion pursued on additional funds needed to haul trash to Johnston and tipping fees.


Council Vice President deMedeiros motioned to reduce recycling center account to 200k.  Seconded by Council President Hilton, motion passed 5 to 2 by roll call vote.  Councilors Driggs and Cook opposed.


Discussion followed on general fund reserve, vacant positions, Deputy Chief position, and SRO officer contractual requirements. Consensus of Council not recommending cutting positions and no new positions.


Councilor Edwards motioned to restore 2 police officers and DPW position cut by B/C with intent that Council will fill those positions.  Seconded by Councilor Perry, motion passed 5-2 by roll call vote.  Councilors Cook and Driggs abstained.


Councilor Edwards motioned to reduce the paving account to zero and rely on the 25% resolution.  Seconded by Councilor Clarke, motion passed on 5-2 roll call vote.  Councilors Hilton and deMedeiros opposed.


Discussion on Library budget. Consensus was to have Administrator check into obtaining a waiver of maintenance of effort from State. Administrator stated the League of Cities and Towns is looking into maintaining of effort waiving for both Schools and Libraries.  Have not heard back yet.


Councilor Edwards reluctantly motioned to reduce OPEB to zero and for Administrator to investigate police and fire contracts to see if a contribution is required.  Seconded by Councilor Cook, motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.


Discussion on trash contract. Administrator to call Mega Trash to get ballpark figure to extend contract and possibly go out to bid.  Contract ends in December.


Councilor Hilton motioned to recommend B/C fund 738k and not 1.1 million for trash.  Seconded by Councilor Edwards, motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.


Discussion on Senior Center and civic appropriations.  Administrator will refer to B/C to focus on those efforts.  Administrator will meet with unions to try and achieve some savings.  AFSCME recently increased hours, could possibly roll back to 32.5.  Cutting to bear bones.  Budget still over 4% cap with level funding Schools.  Administrator will relay recommendations to B/C.




Councilor Edwards motioned to adjourn, seconded by Councilor Driggs.  Motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned 9:15 p.m.


A True Copy.


ATTEST:   _______________________________

Nancy L. Mello, Town Clerk


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