Water treatment plant progress-
Things may finally move forward on the purchase of a site for . According to Public Works Director Sheila McGauvran, the Rhode Island Department of Health sent a letter to the EPA last week recommending that the city move forward on the project. DOH officials initially indicated that the city was purchasing more land than needed for the facility.
The City Council voted last night to extend Woonsocket's contract for trash removal with Waste Management of Rhode Island for one year. The five year contract, signed in 2007, was set to expire in June of this year, but Superintendent of Solid Waste/Engineering Division Mike Debroisse told the council he believes the city will save money by continuing the services. The contract was intially approved with the option for two one year extensions.
A resolution authorizing creation of a Financial Audit Committee received unanimous second passage by the council. The group, which is expected to report to the City Council on a monthly basis on Woonsocket's financial reporting processes, consists of Council President John Ward, Councilmen Albert Brien and Daniel Gendron, School Committee Chair Anita McGuire-Forcier and School Committee member Christopher Roberts. Two members of public will also be asked to join the committee and Ward indicated that five or six residents have applied for seats. The committee is currently expected to meet twice monthly on Mondays at 5 p.m., although Ward emphasized that the date and time of the meetings may change.
Negotiations of for the use of Woonsocket's wastewater facility were put on hold Monday night after Public Works Director Sheila McGauvran indicated that she needed guidance from the City Council regarding the city's demands. The agreements govern the cost for use of the facility for the towns of Bellingham, North Smithfield and Blackstone. McGauvran initially recommended that the city maintain the current cost structure in which Woonsocket covers 80% of the fees, but Councilmen Daniel Gendron and Albert Brien have indicated that they feel the city should receive host fees and that the cost split should be more like 70/30. The council is expected to draft legislation giving McGauvran specific instructions for negotiation.
Waste to Energy-
Several residents spoke against a resolution in support of House Bill 2012 H 7049 to facilitate creation of a in the City of Woonsocket Monday night, including a representative from Clean Water Action. The legislation, if passed at the General Assembly, would end a twenty year ban on such facilities in the state. Council members Ward and Robert Moreau indicated that although they would likely vote against a resolution to create such a trash burning incinerator in the city if it came before them right now, they want to explore all possible options to raise revenue. According to council members, until the bill is passed, Woonsocket will not be able to fairly consider the option by ordering a feasibility study. The resolution was passed by a six to one vote with all members except Roger Jalette voting in favor of supporting the bill.