The Town Council of the Town of Tiverton, County and State aforesaid held a Regular Council Meeting on

Monday, June 22, 2020 at 7:00 via a Virtual Meeting viewable at Tiverton Videos on YouTube.






Council President Hilton called the meeting to order with the pledge of allegiance to the flag.




Council President Hilton

Vice-President deMedeiros

Council Edwards

Councilor Clarke

Councilor Perry

Councilor Cook

Councilor Driggs

Town Administrator Cotta

Deputy Clerk Veegh

Solicitor Marcello






A. Approval of Town Council Minutes

     1. May 21, 2020 - Special Meeting

     2. May 21, 2020 - Executive Session

     3. May 29, 2020 - Regular Meeting

     4. June 16, 2020 - Special Meeting

B. Acknowledge Receipt of Minutes from Boards/Commissions/Committees
     1. Planning Board (3)   

C. Acknowledge Receipt of Reports

     1. Treasurer – Denise Saurette – May Budget and Revenue Reports

     2. Police and Fire Department overtime reports – May 2020

     3. Department Monthly Reports – May 2020

D. Acknowledge Receipt of Correspondence

     1. Hoffman Engineering – Report on Town playground and right of way (ROW) areas on Bay Street

     2. Town of Portsmouth Resolutions

         a. Condemning racist attacks and urging efforts to stop racism

         b. In support of funding the Categorical Fund for High Cost Special Education

         c. In support of the inclusion of transportation under ESSA in the categorical fund for

             non-public transportation

         d. Urging continued appropriation of State and local revenues to support public education

     3. Town of Warren – Resolution in support of ending racial injustice

     4. Erica DeMello and neighbors – Request for “No parking sign” at the bottom of Kaufman/Lepes

         Road – Referred to Chief Jones and DPW Director Rogers

     5. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding cancelation of previously approved

         Flood Plan Maps

E. Scheduled Public Hearing on July 13th regarding rescinding previously approved amendment to Code
     Ordinance Chapter 67-2 Flood Plan Management Program per FEMA requirement

F. Approval of National Grid/Verizon Joint Pole Petitions
    1. East Road and Crandall Road
    2. Crandall Road and Sandra Lee Lane

G. Authorization to Advertise for Fire Chief Position


Councilor Edwards removed Consent Agenda item D-4.

Councilor Driggs removed Consent Agenda items A-3 and A-4.  


Councilor Perry motioned to approve Consent Agenda items with the exception of D-4, A-3 and A-4.  Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.


Councilor Driggs reminded that under A-3, Item 8. G. from the May 29, 2020 meeting, Council President Hilton had suggested Council send a “strongly worded” resolution to the General Assembly in an effort to initiate reform of the Police Officers Bill of Rights. Councilor Hilton responded that she would work with the Solicitor on said resolution, asking Clerk Mello to add the agenda item to the next meeting.


Under Item A-4, Councilor Driggs queried that as Council had not received the full copy of H-8015 (which was read aloud by Assistant Solicitor DeCosta) should section B of said bill be included in the minutes. It was agreed that the full H-8015 legislation be attached to the minutes. She then requested clarification regarding holding virtual meetings for public hearings, to which Solicitor Marcello confirmed in the affirmative. She also wished to have the misspelled name of Senator James Seveney corrected in the last paragraph. 


With regard to D-4, Councilor Edwards noted that the photos in the backup were obscured and suggested the Police Chief receive a color copy. 


Councilor Edwards motioned to approve the pulled Consent Agenda items D-4, A-3 and A-4.  Councilor Perry seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.




The Public was encouraged to send written comments via email to or by regular mail to the Town Clerk at 343 Highland Road, Tiverton, RI 02878 or placing in the grey drop box located outside Town Hall by 12:00 noon on Monday, June 22, 2020.


Council President Hilton advised that a single comment was received that was related to a subsequent agenda item, therefore she chose to hold it until that item was addressed. 






       A. Resignations
Richard Rom, Library Board of Trustees


Councilor Edwards motioned to accept with regret the resignation of Library Board of Trustees member Richard Rom. Councilor deMedeiros seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.


            2. Laura Rom, Housing Authority


Councilor Edwards motioned to accept with regret the resignation of Housing Authority member Laura Rom. Councilor Driggs seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.


       B. Appointments
            1. Recreation Commission - (7) Member Board (3) Year Terms (1) Vacancy
                Rachel McGarty, 64 Cherry Lane - Requests re-appointment to expire 4/15/2023


Councilor deMedeiros motioned to waive policy and move to vote immediately on the board re-appointment. Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.


Councilor deMedeiros motioned to approve the relative appointments of Rachel McGarty to the Recreation Commission. Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.




       A. Groundswell Bakery & Café, LLC – 3883 Main Road– Request continuance for approval of BVL liquor
            license to July 27, 2020 meeting


Councilor deMedeiros motioned to continue the relative request until the June 27, 2020 meeting. Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.




      A. DPW Director Rogers - Request authorizations to:
           1. Amend existing FY20 Bituminous Concrete Crusher rental contract (A.J. Potter & Sons) to extend
               into FY21 or negotiate an agreement with the contractor to continue to supply the service


DPW Director Rogers explaining that no Bituminous Concrete Crusher bids had been received, requested guidance on either the extension of existing or negotiation of a new contract with the existing supplier. After brief discussion, Solicitor Marcello recommended a one year extension of the existing contract at the same price if current supplier was in agreement.

           2. Purchase Catch Basin blocks and related items as outlined in bid specifications, based on reviewing
               available MPA pricing or requesting prices from suppliers on an as needed basis


DPW Director Rogers, noting that as no bids were received this or last year, it should be assumed that the quantities needed by the Town are insufficient to warrant companies to send full bid packages.

           3. Re-advertise for bids for Tub Grinding Services based on a quantity basis instead of an hourly basis


DPW Director Rogers explained that due to some production dissatisfaction in FY20, it would be preferable to revise the bid accordingly.  

Councilor Edwards motioned to approve relative items 9-A (1-3). Councilor Perry seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.

       B. Councilors Cook and Driggs – Discussion and possible vote for consideration of a Town Council ordinance


Solicitor Marcello interjected with a recommendation that as the relative agenda item was “too broad”, Council should vote to amend item for discussion only and add to a future agenda with specific language relative to farmers markets. 


Councilor Hilton motioned to amend the agenda item to “Discussion of ordinance related to farmers markets as it relates to zoning.” Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-2, with Councilors Clarke and deMedeiros opposed.

Councilor Hilton opened discussion referencing the Solicitors’ memo that explains that in terms of zoning, a farmers market is allowed by right in the highway or general commercial, whereas village commercial requires a use permit by the Zoning board. She furthered that a separate ordinance, originally enacted to protect S. Tiverton farmers dependent on their own farm stands for additional income, specifies requirements from a business point of view. Her contention was that the Solicitor should not be doing redundant zoning research when the Planner had recently been tasked with reviewing farmer’s market ordinances.  


Councilor Cook expressed concern that without a specific timeframe, the item would be forgotten. It was decided that the Administrator would request the Planner expedite the relative ordinance review.     


C. Discussion and vote on Town Council’s options for continuation of FY20 appropriation and levy into
     FY21 per H-8015 and S-2864 and setting of public hearing date by Town Clerk at least ten days prior
     to final adoption of levy and appropriation to be advertised


Solicitor Marcello, noting that the relative bills were expected to be signed into law soon, reminded Council of their options of either continuing last year’s appropriation for a one year maximum or as a Council pass a budget as a body, bypassing an FTR. He noted the latter option would have little support. As there was a ten day notice and subsequent public hearing requirement, and due to the potential cash shortfall situation, he advised that the Council make the decision expediently.  


Administrator Cotta noted there was an issue with the tax bill preparer Vision and the preference was to extend for one year, noting logistical challenges and resulting workload for the tax department. He confirmed that the rolled over tax bill amount would be slightly under last year’s amount for that quarter.

Tax Collector McGowan explained that sending out a Q1 only bill is problematic as the software needs a full annual tax roll in order to accurately apply the funds. She offered that a mailer insert could be included with the bill asking tax payer to pay only the Q1 bill, then after a budget is established, a new revised bill could be issued with the Q1 credit.


Discussion continued with concerns about inaccurate annual tax bills potentially affecting mortgage escrows, creating confusion, as well as costs involved to mail out additional tax bills. Councilor Driggs opined on the necessity of public outreach to help people understand what is going on in these unusual times. Councilor Hilton agreed, adding that she would also like to see the software vendor step up to the plate with amiable solutions. 

Treasurer Saurette, noting the time involved with disclosure and public hearing requirements, advised that properly mapped out time frames was be critical so a similar predicament is not repeated in the fall.    


Councilor Driggs motioned to adopt the procedure as set forth under H-8015 (b) 1. (By continuing the city, town or fire district's prior annual fiscal year appropriation measure and aggregate tax levy not exceeding the total levy of the prior fiscal year to support such annual appropriation; provided, that the appropriation and levy shall not extend beyond a city, town, or fire district's fiscal year as defined by the city, town, or district charter; or fire district's fiscal year as defined by the city, town, or district charter) not to exceed 90 days. Councilor Clarke seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Councilor Clarke motioned to instruct Clerk Mello to advertise a Public Hearing under H-8015 for July 7, 2020 at 7pm as well as to allow Town Council President to sign public disclosure requirements as required under the Municipal Budget Disclosure Act. Councilor Edwards seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


       D. Councilor Hilton – Extension of Executive Order 2020-01 Declaration of State of Municipal Emergency
            to July 13, 2020

Solicitor Marcello explained that Executive Order 2020-01 originally passed with a March 13, 2020 expiration date. He furthered that at the March 17 meeting, Councilor Edwards made a motion (that passed unanimously) to allow the relative order to remain in full force and effect until amended or repealed by the Town Council President, with notice to the Town Council and Town Clerk, within 24 hours of any amendment or repeal. Hence, there was no need to extend as the Council President was acting within her full authority.



       A. Town Solicitor
Faulkner v. Tiverton -
Release of all claims

Solicitor Marcello updated Council that a signed release by Mr. Faulkner was received and the appropriated settlement monies have been paid by the Town.     


       B. Interim Town Administrator


       C. Town Clerk
            1. Process for Declaration and Nomination papers for November election


Town Clerk Mello informed that he declaration period for filing of candidacy began today and ends on Wednesday the 24th at 4pm. She noted as long forms were signed, anyone can deliver the paperwork. She added that the main door would be unlocked, and the Board of Canvassing clerk will be there with appropriate COVID protection to process the paperwork. She furthered that for anyone declaring for a local office, representative or senator, nomination papers will be available June 30, via the same process.  






Councilor Edwards motioned to adjourn the meeting. Councilor deMedeiros seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.



A True Copy.



                 Nancy L. Mello, Town Clerk


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