From: Philip Hervey, Town Manager 

To:      Barrington Town Council  

Subj:    Town Manager Memo for April 1, 2024, Council Meeting

Date:   April 1, 2024



Executive Session of the Town Council (6:30 p.m.)

1. Call to Order

2. Executive Session (closed) in Accordance with RI General Laws:

·       §42-46-5 (a) (5) Disposition of Property:  25 Watson Avenue – Carmelite Monastery

·       §42-46-5 (a) (2):  Litigation:  PC-2024-00422, Beausoleil Bros., Inc., v. Town of Barrington 

3. Adjourn


Spencer Board of Trustees Meeting (immediately following Executive Session)


ST AGENDA ITEM #1: Call to Order


ST AGENDA ITEM #2: Approve Minutes from the Spencer Trust meeting

held on March 4, 2024.

Motion: To approve the minutes of the Spencer Trust meeting held on March 4, 2024, as [presented/amended].


ST AGENDA ITEM #3: Discuss and Act: Adjunct Proposal for Senior Aid/Senior Tax Relief Program (A. Klepper)

TM Comment: Allan Klepper has provided updated information on his proposal to provide tax relief for longtime Barrington homeowners, which he describes “as an Annual Micro Reverse Mortgage.” It is based on a program in British Columbia, “whereby the tax savings resulting from local town home exemptions are covered by the Provence to the Town, then recovered by the Provence via annual liens on the taxpayers home; collected upon their moving or death.” The Spencer Trust would serve as the “bank” for funding the program.


Assistant Solicitor Peter Skwirz has provided a memorandum evaluating legal issues related to the proposal. He concludes Barrington would need enabling legislation to enact the program, which is what was required for similar programs in Johnston and Burrillville. He adds that the use of the Spencer Trust to fund the program “may not comply with the restrictions on these funds and may be vulnerable to a legal challenge.”


This appears to be an issue for the Town Council, not the Spencer Trust. I recommend evaluating the programs in Johnston and Burrillville to determine how to move forward, as well as the example from the Province of British Columbia.


Motion: No motion provided. Direction from the Trustees is needed.


ST AGENDA ITEM #4: Public Comment


ST AGENDA ITEM #5: Adjourn


Town Council Meeting (immediately following the Spencer Trust Meeting)


AGENDA ITEMS #1-3: Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance, Land Acknowledgement


AGENDA ITEMS #4 - #13: Consent Agenda 


AGENDA ITEM #5: Receive Updates and Events (Town Manager)

·       Update: Tree Planting & Removal:  3/1/23 to 2/29/24 – 94 trees removed/120 trees planted

·       Notices and Upcoming Events: For a more comprehensive list, see the Town Newsletter

o   Barrington AfterProm’s upcoming events to support this year’s After Prom:

o   Closet Cleanout fundraiser, donation drop-off in the High School parking lot, Saturday, April 6th, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

o   An online auction, ending April 8th at 9 p.m.

o   “Spring Mingle” at the Guild in Warren, April 8th, 6-9 p.m.

o   Monday, April 29th, 7 p.m. at the Library – “Let’s Keep All 3:  Our Elders, Open Space and Our Residents with Special Needs”


o   Monday, 4/1 - Early voting at Town Hall Ends (Council Chamber, 2nd floor) at 4:00 p.m.

o   Tuesday, 4/2 – Presidential Preference Primary (see polling locations), polls open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Town Clerk's Office closed to all business other than Board of Canvassers.

o   Wednesday, 4/3, 2-7 p.m. - Blood Drive, Public Library (Collis Family Gallery, 2nd Floor). Donations by appointment, use sponsor code 2512 (Walk-ins will be welcomed if availability permits at time of arrival).

o   Thursday, 4/4, 6-8 p.m. – Stop the Bleed®, Public Library’s Collis Family Gallery and Salem Family Auditorium. This campaign is a national initiative aimed at empowering bystanders to take action during bleeding emergencies before professional help arrives.

o   Saturday, 4/6 – Nayatt Annual 5K & 1 Mile Run, Nayatt Elementary School, 1-Mile Run/Walk at 9 a.m., Kids 50 Yard Dash at 9:35 a.m., and 5K Run/Walk at 10 a.m.

o   Saturday, 4/6, 1-2:30 p.m. – A Celebration of Nature Through Music and Poetry, Barrington Public Library (Salem Family Auditorium, 2nd Floor).

o   Monday, 4/8, 2-4 p.m. – Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, Town Hall Lawn and the Library’s Salem Family Auditorium for live stream of total eclipse. Free eclipse glasses (first come, first served)

o   Thursday, April 11th – “Stronger Together” Workshop, Sponsored by The BAY Team and East Bay Regional Coalition, Public Library’s Residential Properties Meeting Room. Free & open to adults.

o   Saturday, 4/13, starting at 10 a.m. – Earth Month Rain Barrel Workshop, outside Barrington Town Hall/Library, sponsored by Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District. Learn how to prep and install a rain barrel. Sign up/registration required. Rain date is Sunday, 4/14.

o   Sunday, 4/14, 1 p.m. & Wednesday, 4/17, 6:30 p.m.DEI Film Screening and Discussion: “Swim Team,” Barrington Public Library (Salem Family Auditorium). Free and open to adults. In-person registration.

o   Sunday, 4/21, from 1 to 3 p.m. – “Earth Day Eve” Clean Up at Allin’s Cove. Free. Location: Allin’s Cove Conservation Area. Sponsored by Barrington Land Conservation Trust. Register here:

o   Sunday, 5/5, from 1-3 p.m. – Barrington Town Beach Cleanup, Bay Road. For more go to:

o   Saturday, 5/11, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. – Barrington Garden Club’s 2024 Plant Sale and Spring Fundraiser, , St. John's Episcopal Church, 191 County Road.

AGENDA ITEM #14:  Town Council Minutes from March 11, 2024

Motion: To approve the March 11, 2024, Council meeting minutes, as [presented/amended].


AGENDA ITEM #15:  Discuss and Act: Interviews and Appointments

TM Comment: Interviews for boards and commissions are listed below along with motions.


Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee: (3 vacancies:  2 full members with a term expiration date of March 31, 2027, and 1 alternate with a with a term expiration of March 31, 2027.)  Interviews: Frank Castello and Ellen Dessloch.

Motion: To appoint ____ to the Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee to serve as a full member, term expiring March 31, 2027.

Motion: To appoint ____ to the Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Committee to serve as a full member, term expiring March 31, 2027.


AGENDA ITEM #16: Discuss and Act on Resolutions

TM Comment: The following resolutions are on the agenda:


·                 Proclamation:  Arbor Day


TM Comment: Resolution would proclaim Monday, April 22, 2024, as Arbor Day in Barrington.


Motion: To adopt the Resolution proclaiming Monday, April 22, 2024, as Arbor Day in the Town of Barrington.


·                 Resolution In Support of Fully Funding State Aid to Libraries to the Full 25 Percent


TM Comment: The Resolution, requested by the Library Board of Trustees, is in support of legislation restoring funding for State Aid to Libraries to the full 25 percent level required in RIGL 29-6-2(a).


Motion: To approve the Resolution, at the request of the Barrington Public Library Board of Trustees, in support of legislation which restoring funding for State Aid to Libraries to the full 25 percent level required in RI General Laws Section 29-6-2 (a) and urging the General Assembly to work diligently for its passage.


·                 Resolution of the Town of Barrington Extinguishing the Town’s Authority to Issue Bonds Pursuant to Chapters 290 and 296 of the Public Laws of 2016 to Finance of the Acquisition, Construction, Furnishing and Equipping of a New Middle School and All Expenses Incident Thereto, Including but not Limited to Costs of Design, Demolition, Athletic Fields, Landscaping and Parking.


TM Comment: The Resolution, provided by bond counsel, would extinguish the Town’s authority to issue additional bonds or notes under the authority provided in 2017 by Council resolution for financing the Middle School building project. The Town ended up borrowing a total of $63,480,000, which was sufficient to complete the project, while the authorized not-to-exceed amount came to $68,400,000, almost $5 million more than the borrowed amount.


Motion: To adopt the Resolution Extinguishing the Town’s Authority to Issue Bonds Pursuant to Chapters 290 and 296 of the Public Laws of 2016 to Finance of the Acquisition, Construction, Furnishing and Equipping of a New Middle School, as presented.


·                 Resolution - Keep Rhody Litter Free


TM Comment: With adoption of the Resolution, Barrington resolves to do the following:


Formally pledge to Keep Rhody Litter Free by supporting Governor Daniel J. McKee’s Litter Free Rhode Island campaign; and

Encourage each of the residents of the Town of Barrington to join us in taking this pledge by visiting; and

Commit to fulfil the pledge through coordinating various events such as community cleanups.


Motion: To adopt the Keep Rhody Litter Free Resolution, as presented.


AGENDA ITEM #17:  Discuss and Act on Ordinances

INTRODUCTION/PUBLIC HEARING: No Introductions or Public Hearings this month.


AGENDA ITEM #18: Discuss and Act on Bid(s):

·                 BAY Team:

o   Purchase of 1,000 medication safety lock bags from Promotional Gifts USA of Winter Haven, FL, not to exceed $15,000

o   Needs Assessment by JSI of Providence, not to exceed $16,000

TM Comment:  The BAY Team is requesting Council approval of two bids.

Motion 1: To approve the purchase of 1,000 medication safety lock bags from Promotional Gifts USA of Winter Haven, FL, not to exceed $15,000.


Motion 2: To approve the bid from JSI of Providence to complete a Needs Assessment, not to exceed $16,000.


·       Town Manager:

o   Chianese Courts Improvement Project

TM Comment:  The proposed court improvement project at Chianese includes a renovated tennis court, basketball court, and four dedicated pickleball courts.  Associated with these renovations are installation of new chain-link fencing sections and concrete flat work for future benches and all work necessary to complete the project to the acceptance of the Town. These will be the first permanent pickleball courts in Barrington. Funding sources: a RIDEM Recreation Improvement grant in the amount of $80,000, with the remainder from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The Council previously approved $250,000 in ARPA funding for court resurfacing projects at Chianese and Kent Street.

Motion: To accept the bid from Hinding Tennis, LLC, of Branford, CT, in the amount of $249,750, to include an additional 10 percent project contingency.


AGENDA ITEM #19: Discuss and Act:  Recreation Fields and Facilities

·       A Proposal for a Synthetic Turf Field to be Presented to the Town Voters at a November 2024 Referendum

·       Chianese Field Feasibility Study

TM Comment: The Proposed FY2025 Town Budget approved by the Town Council includes a $5 million bond, of which up to $500,000 would be for replacing culverts underneath Bay Spring Avenue at Annawamscutt Brook, with the remainder for field improvements. At the March 6, 2024, meeting, the Council discussed field projects to be included in the resolution to be presented for a vote at the Financial Town Meeting. The largest bond-funded project would be the conversion of a natural turf field or fields at the Middle School to synthetic turf, which is a question that the Council voted 3-2 to place on a ballot for voters to decide at the General Election in November. If the bond passes at the FTM but the November ballot question fails, the Town would utilize the funding for other field improvement projects.

The Council discussion at the March 4th meeting was on Option 1 for BMS in the Athletic Fields Condition and Needs Analysis (options for BMS fields are described on pages 93-97 of the report). Option 1 includes the installation of synthetic turf fields covering one full-sized standalone multipurpose rectangular field near the Middle School building, and one shared baseball field/multipurpose field, totaling about 220,000 square feet. The total estimated cost, per the report, is $4.84 million. The report has two other potential options to install synthetic turf at BMS. Option 2 includes the baseball and overlapping rectangular field ($3.38 million estimate); Option 3 is the field closest to the building ($2.36 million estimate).

School Committee approval of a synthetic field project at BMS will be required. The School Committee has the issue on its Thursday, March 28th, agenda. Issues to be discussed include potential conditions such as access to the synthetic field by the school athletics programs and non-school groups, and responsible parties for covering the cost of maintenance and replacement. If the School Committee agrees to the synthetic field proposal for BMS, Council action is needed to approve the proposed terms and to include BMS as the site of the artificial turf field for a Townwide vote in November.

In addition, the Town has requested and received a proposal from one of our on-call engineers, Pare Corp., to complete a detailed feasibility study of the fields at Chianese, including options for upgrading the natural grass fields that are on top of the landfill while meeting DEM requirements. Cost: $16,300. Proposed funding source: American Rescue Plan Act funding. There is a balance of approximately $25,500 in ARPA funds not yet approved for a specific use.

The study would identify opportunities to add and improve parking, add or upgrade irrigation, etc., along with cost estimates. This information can help the Town plan future capital expenditures at Chianese as part of the overall program to upgrade fields. Pare is very familiar with the landfill sites in Barrington. The firm monitors the Chianese landfill sites (Landfills 1 and 2) on behalf of the Town and designed and oversaw the capping of Landfills 3 and 4.

Motion 1: To approve placing the proposal to install a synthetic turf field or fields at the [Middle School] for a Townwide vote at the November General Election, [and to approve the following conditions to include in an agreement with the Schools]:



Motion 2: To authorize the Town to contract with Pare Corp., of Lincoln, RI, in the amount of $16,300, to include an additional 10% contingency, to complete a feasibility study for improving natural grass fields, parking and other facilities at Chianese, utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funding.


AGENDA ITEM #20: Discuss and Act: Barrington United Veterans Council/Veterans Issues Including the 2024 Memorial Day Parade, Maintaining the Town Hall Veterans Memorial Consistent with Proper Federal Practice, and How to Execute the Past Duties of the BUVC Going Forward

TM Comment:  This agenda item covers issues related to the Barrington United Veterans Council’s March 14th letter to the Town Council stating that the United Veterans Council “will cease to exist as an official Town of Barrington government entity, and all its current members hereby resign in protest from their volunteer duties and obligations.”

At the request of Council President Kustell, I’ve attached photo illustrations I developed last year when the question of a new location for Town flagpoles at Town Hall was on the Council agenda (a motion to pursue the concept of new flagpole(s) was made but not seconded.)

If there is interest in revisiting the idea, please note that RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission will need to approve the location of any new flagpole or flagpoles, as the Town Hall/Library complex is within a National Historic Register District and the State holds a preservation easement requiring RIHPHC review. Also, providing opportunities for public input on potential locations and designs is recommended.

Motion: No motion provided (need Council direction)


AGENDA ITEM #21: Discuss and Act: School Construction Project: Resolution

of the Town Council Approving the Issuance of Not to Exceed $250,000,000 Bonds and Notes for the Construction, Improvement, Renovation, alteration, Furnishing and Equipping of Public Schools and School Facilities

TM Comment: This Resolution would approve the issuance of not to exceed $250,000,000 of bonds and notes for the construction, improvement, renovation, alteration, furnishing and equipping of public schools and school facilities. This would allow for the issuance of bond anticipation notes to begin funding school construction projects. Since the borrowing will not impact the budget until FY2026, the Council will not have to approve a resolution to exceed the 4% tax levy cap until early 2025.

At the March 4th meeting, the Chair of the Resilience and Energy Committee and several high school students questioned the degree to which renewable energy and resilience objectives are addressed in the school construction program. President Kustell said he would invite the School Committee to discuss these issues at tonight’s meeting.

A motion is provided below for the approval of the Resolution for the bonds.

Motion: To adopt the Resolution of the Town Council Approving the Issuance of Not to Exceed $250,000,000 Bonds and Notes for the Construction, Improvement, Renovation, Alteration, Furnishing and Equipping of Public Schools and School Facilities, as presented.


AGENDA ITEM #22: Discuss and Act: Conceptual Plans for Bay Spring Community Center Renovation Project (Presentation by Brewster-Thornton)

TM Comment: The Town has moved ahead with the development of conceptual plans for improving the Bay Spring Community Center utilizing grant funding awarded for the project. The architect, Brewster-Thornton Group, will be presenting the concepts that have taken shape with input from the Town and Friends of the Bay Spring Community Center, as well as a public meeting held at the center on March 14th.  If the Council approves a motion to endorse the concept, the Town will be requesting authorization at the May 6th Council meeting to contract with Brewster-Thornton to complete the design development phase, construction drawings, and construction management. Our goal is for all construction and design costs to be covered by the grant.

Motion: To endorse the conceptual plan developed by Brewster Thornton Group with stakeholder and public input for renovating the Bay Spring Community Center, as presented.

AGENDA ITEM #23: Discuss and Act:  Conservation/Climate Resiliency (Standing Agenda Item)

TM Comment: This is a standing agenda item.

Motion: No motion provided.

AGENDA ITEM #24: Public Comment (Maximum 3-minute statement)

To the public:  This agenda item is for members of the public to speak regarding a topic that is not already on the agenda.  Please indicate that you would like to speak by raising your hand.  When you are recognized, please state your name and residency for the record.


AGENDA ITEM #25: Set Agenda for the Monday, May 6, 2024, Council Meeting

·       Swearing-in of Firefighters

·       Discuss and Act:  Charter Review Commission Ballot Questions (Solicitor)

·       Discuss and Act:  Spencer Trust:  Housing Board of Trustees - alternative support for affordable housing investments


AGENDA ITEM #26: Adjourn



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