Town Council Update for May 16, 2022
The May Town Council meeting was very short, as it was only 30 minutes long. No one came forward to present public comment. The public hearings for a liquor license for Jiggers, and the expanded outdoor seating for West Passage Brewing Company, were uncontested. The most talked about item was the contract extension for the expanded scope of the Wickford Waterfront Improvement project. This project will examine if the town should raise the sea wall and improve the parking lot grade as the area has frequently flooded. Kerry McKay requested a totem pole in the harbor to give a visual on how much the water has risen over the years. He was assured by the Nicole LaFontaine, that the Department of Environmental Management was monitoring the water levels in the harbor.
The Council also approved various items requested by the police department; these included four new police cars, 16 conducted energy weapons, 12 portable radios, and radio equipment. The Town Manager noted the new restrooms in Wickford were open, and there are new trash receptacles that were installed in Wickford and Wilson Park. He also requested approval to hire Aharonian and Associates to provide a schematic conceptual design for improvements to North Kingstown’s Municipal Office Building. These improvements were approved during the ARPA process. The Town Manager stated most of the town offices will be at 100 Fairway Drive for the near future, thus it seemed “important that improvements be made for residents, employees and for the perception of the Town.”
The Town Council also approved changes to Ordinance 21-16 which clarifies the Homestead Exemption. For the 2022-2023 fiscal year the exemption will be five percent (5%). Town Hall will not take requests for 2023 tax exemptions until the new tax bills are mailed to residents.
Wickford was nominated by USA Today for their 2022 Best Historic Small Town Travel Award. Residents can vote for Wickford online at www.10best.com/awards. Voting ends Monday June 6th and winners will be announced on Friday, June 17th. All residents are allowed to vote once each day, so President Mancini encouraged people to vote on multiple devices.