Report on Town Council Meeting – Citizen Forum on Monday

Shooting Stars!!
Friday night is forecast to be clear so be sure to try to see the remaining Perseid meteor shower. The peak was last night, but there will still be meteor’s tonight. Check Frosty Drew’s Facebook page for details and updates on this event. There are more weekend events at our Bulletin Board

The Town Council will hold a Citizen Forum this Monday,
August 15, at 7PM, at Town Hall
On the agenda:
Whatever you, the citizens, want to say

Results of August 10 Town Council meeting:

  • Larry LeBlanc’s attorney Nick Gorham made a presentation to the Town Council. He explained that Mr. LeBlanc is willing to sell his 81 acres on Rt. 1. for $3 million. The Town has an appraisal for $825,000 and an earlier appraisal for $1.4 million. Tom Gentz spoke about the importance of the land to Charlestown’s character and repeated some of the points made by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Planning Commission on the conservation values of the land. Dan Slattery suggested that he would like to see the price closer to $1.5 million before it went to the voters. No decision was made and the parties will continue to talk. If the Town Council makes a decision, it is a decision to hold a referendum on the issue. At this point, a majority of the Town Council seemed to feel the price was still too high to take to the voters. The Town Council asked that citizen comments and ideas on the purchase of the land be sent to the Town Clerk, Amy Weinreich at: ARWeinreich@charlestownri.org
  • The Wastewater Management Commission withdrew their proposed ordinance because they felt it was too complex to implement. They were trying to find a less expensive nitrogen reducing system, but there were objections from a local developer at the hearing and other objectors. They asked that Charlestown meet with other local towns, and the Town Council passed a resolution and will contact Westerly, South Kingstown and Narragansett to pressure DEM to pursue less expensive systems to reduce nitrogen entering the Coastal Ponds.
  • The Town Council hired Johnson Controls to do an in depth analysis that is projected to save the town $34,000 per year in reduced energy usage.
  • Three of the Town Council members, Tom Gentz, Dan Slattery and Lisa DiBello voted to give the Planning Commission the go ahead to write an ordinance to permit homeowner scale wind energy devices. Ruth Platner, the PC Chair said she thought there was very little opposition to wind turbines at this scale and that they should be able to get this done in a short time. She said the public discussion has been so dominated by the 410 foot tall turbines that were proposed earlier, that it is hard to get the public to consider small turbines. She said the Commission believes that small turbines are different enough, that they need to have separate and different rules from the very large turbines. Meanwhile, the Town continues to gather data from the MET Tower in Ninigret Park. The MET Tower will be available to the Town until March of 2012. Zoning language to regulate a Municipal Wind Generator at Ninigret Park does not need to be developed immediately. A municipal turbine at Ninigret Park would only be approved after a full vetting process with citizens.
  • The Town’s attorney has advised that the current moratorium on applications for wind turbines should not be extended. Instead he advised that the current ordinance should be repealed and replaced with language prohibiting turbines. This would be a temporary legal measure until new language permitting turbines is completed. The Town Council will hold a hearing on the language change proposed by the Town’s attorney in September.
  • Two affordable housing projects received funding for initial engineering work. One is 11 units of mostly 2 bedroom rentals in Shannock Village. The other is about 24 units of all one bedroom elderly rentals on land owned by the Episcopal Church across from the Washington Trust Bank in Cross’ Mills.

Thanks for sending us your neighbors’, friends’, relatives’ emails–our CCA list continues to grow. Know of anyone else to add to our list–send us an email with their email address.