Barrington Town Council round-up: Energy, rowing, recreation and affordable housing


The Barrington Town Council covered a lot of ground at its monthly meeting Monday night, touching on everything from rowing to energy, recreation programs, affordable housing and senior tax programs among other topics.

Here are a few highlights from the meeting.

-The town council, sitting as trustees of the Amey Tucker Spencer Fund, approved a $5,000 allocation to the East Bay Community Action Program. The trust's EBCAP allocation for the year had run out and the additional funds should last until a new budget is approved in July.

-The town council approved the transfer of liquor and victualing licenses from Chiazza to Pizzico.

-The town council approved an aquathlon to be run by Ocean State Multisport at Barrington Town Beach on Sept. 7.

-State Reps. Jan Malik and Joy Hearn joined State Sen. David Bates for updates on several issues. The group said changes to the Bristol County Water Authority enabling legislation are making their way through the General Assembly though the final bill will likely not include term limits as proposed by the Barrington, Warren and Bristol Town Councils. The group also touched on legislation recently introduced that would allow senior housing to count towards a requirement that all communities maintain 10 percent of housing stock as affordable.

-The town council approved a two-year agreement with East Bay Rowing to utilize Walker Farm.

-The committee on renewable energy delivered an update on data collected over the last several years and plans to pursue a possible solar array in town. The group also wants to change its name to the energy committee.

-Director of recreation and leisure services Michele Geremia provided an update on the town's recreation program and future goals.

-Finance director Dean Huff provided an analysis of a possible senior tax deferment plan. The town council decided to discuss the issue along with the circuit breaker exemption at a special workshop on March 18.

-The town council agreed that an ad hoc committee on taxation should draft a request for proposals to seek a consultant to potentially help draft local valuation guidelines. The town council will review the RFP at its April meeting before deciding if it should be issued.

-The tax assessor will issue a request for proposals to find a firm for the full revaluation coming up next year.

-A proposal to create an economic development commission and an update on the Residences at the Preserve were continued to April.

-Town councilor Ann Strong said the Warren and Bristol Town Councils are set to talk about BCWA alternatives this month. She expects to have an update in April.

-The town needs to explore docks along Mathewson and New Meadow Roads. Town solicitor Michael Ursillo said the investigation will likely take several months. The issue centers on ownership of docks and land along both roads.

-The town council appointed Chris Needham to the board of assessors and Kate Johnson to the library board of trustees. The town council also appointed Carol Despirito as a member of the senior services advisory board and Robert Allen as an alternate. Michael O'Connell was named to the building board of review while Bob Dillon was named as a full member on the parks and recreation committee. Patrick Sullivan was named a parks and recreation committee alternate.

-An advertisement for a municipal court judge will be placed this month. A pre-screening committee consisting of Town Manager Peter DeAngelis, human resources director Mariann Oliveiria and town councilors Cynthia Coyne and Kate Weymouth will screen applicants and three to five individuals will be interviewed on May 13 with an appointment scheduled for June. Police Chief John LaCross will handle the bailiff position, recommending a single candidate to the town council.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.