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E.P. Council talks trash matters as city readies new automated collection system

Authorizes ownership of Kettle Point pier, joining Blackstone Valley tourism group

By Mike Rego
Posted 7/13/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — Fittingly, since East Providence is about to embark on a new collection scheme, the City Council at its July 7 meeting gave first passage to several amended ordinances …

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E.P. Council talks trash matters as city readies new automated collection system

Authorizes ownership of Kettle Point pier, joining Blackstone Valley tourism group

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Fittingly, since East Providence is about to embark on a new collection scheme, the City Council at its July 7 meeting gave first passage to several amended ordinances pertaining to rubbish and associated sanitary issues.

The ordinances need to gain second and final approval before taking effect, a process that includes a public hearing on each. Those acts are likely to take place at the body’s next meeting set for August 4.

The changes proposed put the onus on residents and property owners to properly store and remove trash at their premises.

If rodent infestation occurs, in one amended ordinance, it requires owners to “take immediate measures to remedy the condition by rat eradication, rat proofing or such other action as may be necessary.”

Another change sets up a schedule of fines for those who do not abide by the laws in place and one more imposes community service penalties for the rule breaker.

The amendments were sponsored by Ward 2 Councilor Anna Sousa.

New bins
The ordinance adjustments coincide with the city’s change from manual to automated trash collection at the beginning of next month, similar to what took place several years ago for recycling.

The Department of Public Works is in the process of provided each residence in East Providence with at least one 95-gallon bin to be used for rubbish only. Trash, unlike recycling, will continue to be picked up on a weekly basis. The new bins come into use the week of August 2.

DPW Director Steve Coutu described the new system as a “very effective means of reducing rodent population,” since all garbage must be placed in the new bins.

The 95-gallon container, he added, is akin to having three regular size bins residents commonly use currently. The new containers, he continued, can hold more than seven, 14-gallon trash bags, the size most homeowners use for their household bins.

The city is urging residents to reuse their existing trash barrels, newer ones potentially for storage or those still viable for yard waste. Green stickers denoting the bins as used for yard scraps can be obtained free at the DPW headquarters on Commercial Way.

Unwanted garbage cans can be disposed of by bringing them to Commercial Way as well. If unable to do so, residents can call DPW at 435-7701 to schedule a pick-up. Mr. Coutu cautioned not to put unwanted trash cans in the new bins or in recycling bins.

Those residents who desire additional automated bins can purchase one or more for $45 each. If residents have previously purchased what they feel is a bin that meets automated standards, they can contact DPW to have an inspection. If certified by the city, a sticker will be placed on the bin to signify its usefulness.

Of note as well, a limited number of smaller, 65-gallon automated containers will be available to those residents, for health reasons or do to limited amounts of trash, who desire one. Again, residents must contact DPW to set up a swap of the containers.

Collection of a single, large item, such as a piece of furniture, will also be picked up, but residents, likewise, must call DPW to arrange pick-ups.

Mr. Coutu reminded residents there are no changes to the city’s recycling or yard waste programs during the introduction of the new automated trash collection system.

Resolutions
The council, in addition, approved several resolutions last week, including one which formally gives the city possession of a a 2.9 acre parcel and 600 foot fishing pier at Kettle Point to the city from the current owners, Kettle Point, LLC/Churchill and Banks.

According to City Planning Director Bill Fazioli, who also doubles as the Waterfront Commission chair, only modest maintenance costs are associated with the transaction. Previously, he said the city will be responsible for annual environmental monitoring, a $2,500 per year expense. In anticipation of future costs, the city has established a $15,000 escrow fund specific to maintenance and monitoring.

The council as well authorized the Planning Department to formally become a member of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

As earlier described by Mr. Fazioli and Laura A. McNamara, executive director of the East Providence Area Chamber of Commerce, since 2009 when the former East Bay Tourism Council disbanded the city has not been an active member of a tourism bureau.

Each year, however, the Rhode Island Department of Revenue has set aside monies in escrow, now totaling some $430,000, earmarked for the city’s tourism efforts from the state hotel tax revenue.

A caveat to the money being utilized is it must go through one of the six approved bureaus, included in that group is the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.

Mr. Fazioli and Ms. McNamara explained the money can’t be used to support city operations, nor does it come directly to the city.

They also stressed as a Blackstone Valley Tourism Council member, it will be up to East Providence officials to determine how the money is allocated, adding it can only be used for activities in the city and nowhere else.

Lastly, the council authorized the mayor’s office through resolution to enter into a contract with Calson Construction Corporation to install a new emergency generator at the Kent Height water facility.

The cost of the project, $157,465, will come out the water department’s revolving fund.

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.