EAST PROVIDENCE — In need of significant upgrades, the City Council at its meeting Tuesday night, March 4, cleared the way for the Carousel Commission to finalize a contract with Blount Seafood to repair and continue to operate the seasonal clam shack on the Looff Carousel grounds.
The renovations are necessary mainly for the structure to meet Rhode Island Health Department codes, City Manager Paul Lemont told the Council in his presentation before the vote. The Council, by a unanimous 5-0 count, eventually allowed for the process to continue having been told Blount would be responsible for fully funding the project.
The Carousel Commission ironed out the final details of the deal. In return for its investment, Blount is initially seeking a 10-year contract to continue to operate the clam shack on seasonal basis, April to Columbus Day in October annually.
The contract must also receive approval from the office of City Solicitor Tim Chapman and from Mr. Lemont before it must be returned to the Council for final ratification.
Besides meeting structural and health standards, the repairs will also make the building “function able and the grounds more appealing,” according to a written proposal presented to the manager and the Council by Carousel Park Commission Chairman Stephen Costa.
The estimated cost of the project is $50,000 and will be paid for entirely by Blount, which is headquartered on 335 Water St., Warren.
According to Mr. Costa’s proposal, the scope of the work to be completed includes the gutting of the existing shack, repainting of the interior and exterior of the structure, installation of new windows, the hanging of new Fiber-Reinforced Plastic walls, updating the drainage system, updating the fire system (if needed), updates to be approved by health department and the installation of all stainless steel shelving. In addition, if money remains, the covered seating area outside the shack will be updated and made larger.
Other aesthetic improvements include the installation of a portable fence in the rear of the shack and installation of a new sign at road side. The proposed lease would also allow Blount to maintain a portable full-service kitchen trailer on the grounds during the season of operation.