Voters Approve Debt Exclusion for Aitken School Repairs
Voters at the special election on July 16 approved a temporary tax increase, or debt exclusion, for approximately $1.37 million to pay the costs of the Aitken Elementary School Accelerated Repairs Project. The vote was 244 in favor and 178 opposed. The turnout was very low, with 421, or 4 percent of the town’s 10,000 (approx.) registered voters going to the polls. The Aitken School project includes replacing windows and doors and associated work. The project was accepted under the Massachusetts School Building Authority program and is eligible for a 52 percent reimbursement, or approx. $620,000, according to an article in the Sun Chronicle. Also according to the article, an average homeowner’s tax bill will increase approx. $12 annually as a result of the debt exclusion. Voters at the annual town meeting on May 14 voted to put the question on the ballot.
Residents Warned About Algae at Turner Reservoir
The Seekonk Board of Health and Rhode Island Dept. of Public Health have issued an advisory on the Turner Reservoir, Ten Mile River and Omega Pond. Residents should avoid recreational activities such as boating, swimming and fishing on the Turner Reservoir until further notice due to recent algae growth which could be harmful. Both people and pets should avoid drinking the water or eating fish from the reservoir or the Ten Mile River, which flows in and out of the reservoir. The blue-green colored algae called Microcystis, has been found and has the potential to form an algal toxin. Exposure to the toxin may cause health problems such as stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Other symptoms of exposure include muscle and joint pain and skin, eye and throat irritation. As the weather gets cooler, the algae and any toxins in the water are expected to dissipate.
Retired Seekonk Police K-9 Has Died
The Seekonk Police Dept. announced that retired K-9 Kilo died in mid-July. Kilo, who joined the department in 2014, reportedly developed a sudden medical condition and died peacefully, according to a Sun Chronicle article. Kilo worked with K-9 Officer Adam Laprade and continued to live with him after the K-9 retired in 2017. Kilo participated in many drug seizures and helped apprehend a hit-and-run suspect who fled the scene, during his time with the department. Kilo’s success paved the way for two new K-9’s to join the department.
Police K-9 Zuzo Helps Apprehend Robbery Suspects
Seekonk Police Dept. K-9 Zuzo returned to duty after emergency surgery for an infection last month and after a week back on the job, helped apprehend two suspects. Zuzo and his handler Officer Steven Fundakowski were dispatched to the Herb Chambers dealership on Rt. 44 after a call to police about an unknown truck on the property, according to a Sun Chronicle article. The dealership had been the target of recent thefts of auto parts. Zuzo helped officers locate and apprehend two suspects. Zuzo, a three year-old German shepherd, joined the department last September.
Bill Would Allow Neighborhoods to Raise Money for Improvements
The Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a bill allowing cities and towns to create “community benefit districts” where property owners in a neighborhood could form a district and impose taxes to pay for additional services, improvements, events and project within the district. The districts would be run by a non-profit board that would raise money through fees. Supporters believe the program will help build local economies and provide funding for neighborhood improvements. Opponents say local government should handle these issues and it is an unnecessary additional tax on local businesses. The bill has passed in both the House and Senate and now goes to Gov. Charlie Baker for approval, according to a Sun Chronicle article. The Governor vetoed a similar bill last year.
Car Crashes into Chick-Fil-A Restaurant
A car crashed into the Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Rt. 6 one afternoon last month. Most of the damage was external and no one was hurt. The restaurant remained open throughout the incident. No further information was available on the cause.
County Street to Close for Culvert Work
County Street between Warren Avenue and Fall River Avenue will be closed for 30 days effective Monday, July 30 for a culvert project at the Runnins River, the East Providence Department of Public Works recently announced. Workers will be installing a culvert under the road at the Runnins River crossing, according to an article in the Sun Chronicle. The culvert is being installed to reduce flooding in the State Street area in East Providence. Officials recommend that drivers avoid the area and seek alternate routes.