EAST PROVIDENCE — Less than 24 hours after the lingering TLA-Pond View/Kenlin Properties saga took another turn, East Providence Councilman At-Large Tracy Capobianco seemed set on her opposition to the city appealing a recent Superior Court ruling in favor of the owners of the controversial recycling plant located on Dexter Road in Rumford.
Mrs. Capobianco discussed the matter Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 14, following a groundbreaking ceremony for the new solar electric farm being built at the former landfill site off Forbes Street in Riverside.
Three votes were taken by the City Council in executive session of special session called for the previous evening, Aug. 13.
The first was an up-or-down decision to support an appeal to the State Supreme Court of the decision rendered 10 days prior by Judge Sarah Taft-Carter against the city’s Zoning Board and in favor of TLA, which is currently under the auspices of a bankruptcy executor, and Kenlin, the Ken Foley company that owns the 1 Dexter Road land. Mrs. Capobianco voted in a 3-2 majority along with Ward 3 Councilman Thomas Rose and Ward 4’s Chrissy Rossi against an appeal.
The second vote was actually a revision of the first with Mrs. Capobiano apparently thinking the better of her first tally by joining Council President and Ward 1 rep James Briden, in whose district the Pond View site sits, and Ward 2’s Helder Cunha in a 3-2 result.
The third vote, with Mrs. Capobianco along with Messrs. Briden and Cunha voting in the affirmative, tabled all TLA-Pond View/Kenlin Properties matters to the next Council meeting set for Tuesday night, Aug. 20.
“I do not support the appeal. I didn’t change my mind,” Mrs. Capobianco said Wednesday of her Tuesday votes. “However, I felt it was in the best interest of the residents to confirm my decision.”
She went on to explain she only found out about the latest twist in the case when Mr. Briden called for the special session on Aug. 9 and felt she did not have enough time to fully digest all the information.
“I only had a few days to review the material. I met with people. I talked with people. I met with residents. I was just hopeful and thankful a majority of the rest of the Council agreed with me and decided to delay a decision until next Tuesday (Aug. 20),” Mrs. Capobianco said.
In response to phone calls and emails she’s already received from concerned residents of the neighborhood, Mrs. Capobianco said she plans to either meet with them in person or discuss the situation over the phone during the next few days.
Mrs. Capobianco, though intimated she was concerned with the protracted legal process and attorney bills the city could accrue if the appeals were to linger.
“I understand and sympathize with the (Pond View area) residents. I understand it’s a very big deal to them,” Mrs. Capobianco said. “But I’m not sure residents of Ward 2 or Ward 3 or Ward 4 want to spend more money on legal bills. Remember, I represent the entire city, so I have to do what’s best for everyone in the city.”