February 17, 2020

Rehoboth News Notes


Rehoboth May Get First Marijuana Business
Last month the Board of Selectmen supported the application of Commonwealth Cannabis Co. to open a recreational marijuana business in town, according to a Sun Chronicle article. The business will be located off Barney Avenue, which is off Route 6 near the Seekonk line. The decision will allow the company to move forward in the process and negotiate a host community agreement which outlines the conditions under which the business will operate. Commonwealth Cannabis, also known as Commcann, operates a marijuana growing facility in Medway, a medical marijuana dispensary in Southboro and a facility in Millis. The company will also have to apply to the state Cannabis Commission and the town planning board.

School Officials and Rehoboth Selectmen Reach Agreement on Budget
School committee members and Superintendent Anthony Azar met with members of the Board of Selectmen and came to a compromise on this year’s budget. The town has identified reductions of more than $300,000 and the district also identified reductions and there is additional money from the state due to an unexpected increase in aid for education. The compromise means there will not be a need for a special election to decide a Proposition 2 ½ override to fund the $559,000 budget gap. A two-town so-called “tent” meeting will also not be needed. Voters will have to approve the revised budget at the fall special town meeting scheduled for Nov. 4. Fall sports and activities at the schools will be starting as planned and the district is working on reinstating several administrative positions that were cut: assistant superintendent, dean of athletics and activities, IT director and facilities director.

Mosquito Spraying Was Conducted in Rehoboth in August
The Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources conducted aerial spraying in areas of Bristol County including Rehoboth and Dighton last month due to the growing threat of the eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, according to a Sun Chronicle article. The state Dept. of Public Health raised the risk level for EEE in these communities, with both Rehoboth and Dighton considered at high risk. Officials recommend that residents apply insect repellent, wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors and eliminate standing water and install/repair screens. They also advise rescheduling outdoor events and activities to avoid the hours between dusk and dawn. EEE is a rare but serious disease that affects the brain. No human or animal cases of EEE have been reported this year.

Recreational Marijuana Businesses to Open in Seekonk
The Board of Selectmen has approved agreements with two companies that plan to open recreational marijuana businesses in town, according to a Sun Chronicle article. Both businesses will be located off Fall River Avenue (Route 6). One of the companies, Metro Harvest will be located at 1903 Fall River Ave., near Seekonk Speedway. The second business, Solar Therapeutics, plans to open at the site of the former Supreme Coffee at 1735 Fall River Ave. The agreement calls for both companies to pay a community impact fee of 3 percent of gross sales for the first five years and an annual donation of $50,000 to the town. There would also be a three percent sales tax on gross revenue. The businesses have to apply to the state Cannabis Commission for licenses and they must hold a public informational meeting.

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Seekonk
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Seekonk, according to an Aug. 20 press release. WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile Virus can infect people of all ages, but people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection. Suggested precautions to protect yourself and your family include being aware of peak mosquito hours from dusk to dawn, wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors, applying insect repellent and mosquito-proofing your home by draining standing water around your home and installing and/or repairing screens on windows and doors. To request your property to be sprayed, contact Bristol County Mosquito at 508-823-5253.

Friendly’s closes its Last Restaurant in Rhode Island
Friendly’s has closed its last restaurant in Rhode Island, located on Mineral Spring Ave. in North Providence, according to a WJAR news story. The reason for the closure was reportedly poor performance. Friendly’s, started in 1935, is based in Springfield, Massachusetts. The company still has locations in Swansea, Attleboro and Fall River.

All Avenue Stores Are Closing
Avenue, a women's clothing retailer featuring plus size clothing has announced that it will be closing all their retail stores, according to media reports. The Avenue store in Seekonk Square, off Route 6, closed on Aug. 29. Discounts are being offered at the 222 stores in 33 states that are closing. Avenue began as Sizes Unlimited in 1983.


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