Despite high surplus, North Kingstown Tory with first budget plan | News

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NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI – North Kingstown City Manager Ralph Mollis presented the preliminary budget report and said the city’s surplus was higher than ever at Monday’s city council meeting.

The proposed budget can be found on the city council’s website, and Mollis encouraged citizens to read the four-page budget message beginning on page two of the report as it summarizes the overall report. He also said there will be a public hearing on the budget on April 13 where citizens with comments or concerns can raise them.

A few items highlighted in the budget include funding for a full year of the 4 platoon system for the fire department, continuation of the $750,000 annual appropriation for road paving, electric vehicle charging stations and Improvements to the McGinn Park Playground, Wilson Park Courts and Wilson Park Walking Path.

“This budget continues to build on our success over the past few years,” Mollis said. “While this is a conservative budget, which maintains our strong balance of funds, which is very important, it is also a budget which provides services that our residents deserve and expect while adding new initiatives.”

City Council also heard a presentation from Conservation Engineer Jillian Thompson of RI’s Department of Environmental Management on the proposed work at Silver Spring Lake Dam.

“We have our financing in place, we have our permits in place and we have a contractor on board, JH Lynch of Cumerland RI,” Thompson said. “In terms of funding, this project is around $1.2 million. We have a green economy bond, a FEMA grant for high risk dams and we also have RI investment funds to support the project.

Repairs to Silver Spring Lake Dam are expected to begin in the spring, according to a statement released by the DEM along with the presentation. The press release indicates that the DEM will make every effort to minimize the impact on the public during this project. Access to fishing near the dam will be limited since the work will include the closure of part of the parking lot closest to the dam. The north end of the parking lot and the small craft boat launch will remain open to the public.

The dam was not the only water-related issue discussed at the meeting. After delaying a decision at its last meeting to amend the modification of certain definitions and regulations regarding the definitions and management practices of groundwater recharge and wellhead protection districts at its last meeting, the City Council voted to accept the proposed changes.

“We are currently the go-to community for groundwater protection,” said Water Director Tim Cranston. “Taking this prescription into the 21st century, basing it solely on the science and recommendations of the RI DEM, prepares us to be the go-to community in the future.”

When it came time for council to address its consent agenda, a series of routine votes often approved in a single motion, Councilors Mary Brimer and Kerry McKay requested that two items be removed from the agenda to be discussed and voted on separately.

These two motions both revolved around a “Rally and Book Fair Your Vote Matters” hosted by TANK (Towards a North Kingstown Anti-Racist) at the North Kingstown High School baseball field on March 26, 2022. A Once removed from the consent agenda, both McKay and Brimer chose to recuse themselves from voting on the motions.

“I have a conscientious objection to this and I’m going to abstain from voting on this, so I’m going to walk away from the table,” Brimer said.

“I’m going to do the same,” McKay said. “I’m not in favor of that, so I’m also going to step back from the table.”

“We’re just here endorsing the First Amendment of someone’s right to free speech, to be able to gather and express their opinion,” Councilwoman Dr. Kimberly Ann Page said. “It’s a show license so they’re going to give people information. I think that’s democracy. »

After McKay and Brimer pulled out of the vote, it went 3-0 to allow the rally.

The next City Council business meeting will be March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Beechwood Senior Center.

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