Bristol town update: Food programs, online meetings and more

Posted

Over the past month, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every part of our daily lives. As we continue to monitor and respond to developments associated with this crisis, here are a few steps that have been implemented by the Town of Bristol to help keep our community safe:

Lunch and dinner program

During this difficult time, we understand that many of our homebound residents are worried about going out to get the food and prescriptions they need.

Homebound seniors, and those with an underlying medical condition, may call our local COVID-19 hotline and sign up for Bristol’s Dinner Program. Each day, program volunteers will collect meals from Bristol’s distribution center (provided at Quinta-Gamelin) and deliver them directly to the doorsteps of residents who sign up. These meals are no cost to residents. For more information, please call Bristol’s COVID-19 hotline at 401-253-2310 or visit the town website at www.bristolri.gov/738/covid-19.

I would like to give a special thank you to all of our volunteers. The town has received dozens of volunteer applications. These program volunteers have undergone background checks and have been serving our community over the past several weeks.

If you are interested in being a grocery runner or assisting with meal delivery, please complete the Volunteer Application at this link: http://bristolri.gov/FormCenter/Town-Administrator-7/COVID19-Volunteer-Application-105.

The Bristol-Warren Regional School District has established a Grab-and-Go Lunch Program for all students in town. Meals can be picked up at no cost Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. at Colt Andrews Elementary School. I encourage that all parents take advantage of this lunch program for their students.

Town business and meetings

The Governor’s Executive Order 20-14 restricts gatherings to five people or less. On March 30, the Town of Bristol conducted its first virtual Town Council meeting through the website Zoom. Over the next month, the Town of Bristol will continue to utilize the Zoom platform for Town Council, Board, and Commission meetings.

To find meeting agendas and Zoom access information, please visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State website at https://opengov.sos.ri.gov/OpenMeetings or refer to the notices in the Bristol Phoenix. For a tutorial on how to join a Zoom meeting, please follow the link here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting.

To ensure the health and safety of Bristol’s municipal staff as well as preserve continuity of operations, most Town Hall staff have been instructed to work remotely. The Town is asking residents to conduct business with the Town through its website www.bristolri.gov, by email, or by U.S. mail. Staff are available for assistance by telephone (253-7000).

Many Town of Bristol services can be completed online, including tax payments, filing of police reports, and applying for building permits.

All Town critical services are continuing ahead and we are pleased that our first week of Public Works automated trash and recycling collections has been a success.

Public safety operations

On March 25, the Bristol Police restructured its department into two separate divisions to help ensure that law enforcement services will continue uninterrupted during this unprecedented time. Our Police, Fire and Rescue personnel have been working collaboratively to ensure that they know the latest safety guidelines/protocols associated with COVID-19.

The safety of each and every Bristol resident is my top priority. I ask that residents be patient, flexible and cooperative with the changing emergency orders. The Town of Bristol will continue to manage and respond to the developments associated with COVID-19 to ensure the well-being of our community.  As the Town begins to look ahead to the summer months, we will evaluate and adapt our plans to safely commemorate our patriotic exercises and demonstrate our appreciation for the many blessings that we have. Thank you, and we look forward to the many good days that we have ahead.

Steven Contente
Bristol Town Administrator

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