East Providence City Council steers proposed 2013-14 Budget towards public hearing

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence City Council, at its meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 15, tweaked the proposed Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget for the final time prior to presenting it to residents next week.

The Council rejected by a 4-1 tally a measure to consolidate the management of and to rename the Recreation Department. Councilman Chrissy Rossi voted for the proposal offered up by City Manager Peter Graczykowski as part of the $166 million-plus budget. Councilmen James Briden, Tracy Capobianco, Helder Cunha and Tommy Rose voted against the moves.

By the same vote count and representation, the Council agreed to return some $20,000 to a line item funding the East Bay Community Action Program. Over half of the expenditure will come from the $11,000 in savings from the Rec Department proposal, which would have raised the salary of the combined manager of it and the Senior Center by said number.

Other than those two items, the Council just reaffirmed decisions it made a week ago at a FY13-14 Budget workshop. The amendments included raising the property tax rate by .75 percent; freezing the Homestead Exemption decrease at 13 percent and the early pay tax incentive at 1.5 percent; maintaining a law department administrative assistant position; adding part positions in the Departments of Public Works and Buildings; and the hiring of a plumber for city-wide service.

In addition, the Council unanimously cast perfunctory votes allowing City Finance Director Malcolm Moore to acquire Tax Anticipatory Notes (TANs) and Revenue Bonds to help fund governmental activities.

The public hearing on the FY13-14 Budget takes place Wednesday evening, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Chamber.

Appointments/approvals

The Council, in concert, approved several appointments and license renewals Tuesday night.

Joanne Estrella was appointed to the Personnel Hearing Board, Angie Lovegrove to the Affirmative Action Committee and Richard Martin to the Juvenile Hearing Board.

A simple name change to the company that owns Cilantro Restaurant on Newport Avenue, requested by John Palmieri, and the transfer of full operational privileges of the Comedy Connection on Warren Avenue to Nulevel Entertainment, owned by Cory Brailsford, were approved pending the fulfillment of delinquent accounts.

Also, liquor license renewals for over 100 city package stores, restaurants and clubs were approved as well.

Waterfront update

Interim Waterfront Commission Chairman William Fazioli presented the Council with a brief update about the developments on the 300 acres of land along the Seekonk River and Narragansett Bay.

Mr. Fazioli said plans for the proposed Kettle Point Village are moving ahead as scheduled and that the Commission continues to work on opportunities to enhance Philipsdale Landing and the Watchemocket “Odd Fellows” building. Also, the Commission will shortly hold another meeting open to the public for input on future plans as the oversight board celebrates its 10th anniversary.

“We feel we’re a shining spot in Rhode Island,” Mr. Fazioli said of the waterfront district. “Unlike other communities who have had some stop and starts, we have a nice, sustained development project going on and we want to the continue with that.”

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