June 20, 2019

News Briefs

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BCWA Water Leaks Are Found - Work Continues
The Bristol County Water Authority (BCWA) has issued a statement as May ended in which they disclose that they have found two leaks in their water supply line. The leaks have caused the leakage of about a half million gallons of water on a daily basis and had caused an emergency tap in to the East Providence water line to assist the communities of Barrington, Warren and Bristol. However, the BCWA system has been switched back and is not presently tapping into the East Providence water supply as of this writing.

"We are presently back on our East Bay pipeline supply. It is our intention to remain on the supply through the summer. However, with the increase in the leak, we may need to return to the East Providence supply," said Pamela M. Marchand, BCWA Executive Director. "We are carefully monitoring the flows at this time, and have lifted the ban on outdoor watering," she added. The BCWA outside watering ban was lifted on May 28th.

"The BETA engineers are reviewing the information to determine how to repair the leak. But since there are leaks on 2 separate welds, I personally don’t believe a repair strategy will be economically feasible or reliable in the long term, even if possible. The best option may be to slip-line the pipe as soon as possible," said Marchand.

The inspection of the East Bay pipeline took place on Thursday afternoon, 5/23. The audio and visual internal inspection found a leak on each of the welds on a 40 foot length of steel pipe. The pipe is located about 1/3 of the distance under the river from Providence.

An outside water ban is still in effect in the BCWA communities but not in East Providence. "We are working with BETA engineers to determine our next steps, which may include the insertion of a new pipe inside the steel main," said Marchand. "Our office (401) 245-2022) and emergency hotline (401) 245-5071) numbers remain open to address customer concerns. Updates will continue to be posted as they become available."

Earlier the BCWA had said that in two excavation attempts, the leak was found to be further east of the trenches that were initially dug. "Unfortunately there was no way of knowing this beforehand. Our efforts were also slowed by tidal flow, the substantial amount of ground water, and meeting treated discharge requirements.

As of this update, the leak is beyond the area we have investigated. The existing trench is about 22 feet deep, which is the limit of where we can get to with the unstable soils. Therefore, we are discontinuing the excavation at the Port of Providence and the trenches are being filled in," said Marchand.

The BCWA eventually arranged for an instrument named Sahara to be used for internal inspection of the pipeline. The instrument has video and acoustic sensors to help locate the leak. The instrument and personnel to operate it were brought in from out of state. The tap to insert the instrument had been installed on the pipe away from the tidal influence. "Assuming the leak is inaccessible to repair (below the river), the Sahara will also be used to determine if another pipe could be pulled through the steel pipe," said engineers.

The City of East Providence has partnered with the BCWA to provide an emergency interconnection which will provide both systems with water service should a catastrophic event shut down the main water supply from the Scituate Reservoir. The cost of the close to $5 million project will be totally borne by the BCWA. East Providence will provide traffic safety details at the points of construction in East Providence.

Waterfront Commission State Funding Requested
The East Providence City Council unanimously sent a resolution to the Governor and state house delegation requesting funding for the East Providence Waterfront Commission. The request sponsored by councilman at large Bob Rodericks, asks that the "Rhode Island General Assembly, the Governor of Rhode Island and the Mayor of East Providence, or their authorized representatives, meet with the leadership of the Waterfront Commission, for the purpose of requesting appropriate State funding for the continued operation of the Commission."

The resolution further noted that the "Commission receives no funding from the City of East Providence or State of Rhode Island; and has been highly successful in advancing economic growth within the City of East Providence and the State of Rhode Island."

The East Providence Waterfront Special Development District Commission (Commission) was created by Rhode Island State Law Chapter 345 enacted on 7/17/2003. The Commission was created to oversee, plan, implement and administer the development of the areas within the District as outline in the charter established by the State of Rhode Island and the City of East Providence. The Commission functions and conducts its business and activities in a manner consistent with plans approved for the district by the City and the Commission, and as appropriate or necessary, by Commerce RI.

Commission Chairman William Fazioli had previously presented an update to the City Council on waterfront development activities and welcomed the resolution. "The Rhode Island environmental waterfront improvements from these developments will improve current site conditions while protecting and enhancing the natural environment. Public waterfront development will provide the public with improved access to the coastline. Economic Development will stimulate both short and long term economic opportunities in East Providence and Rhode Island. The fiscal impact will have a positive impact on local and state government.

Mixed-Use waterfront development will, in the aggregate, provide a self-sustaining mix of commercial, residential, institutional, light industrial, civic and recreational uses. Quality waterfront development projects are of high quality in terms of purpose, planning, architecture and materials," Fazioli has stated.

The council resolution mentioned that the potential for waterfront development in East Providence is very beneficial to the Rhode Island economy in terms of employment opportunities and tax base growth. It also noted that the Commission does not receive any City or State funding for its operation. All monies are obtained through the acceptance of project fees and permits, etc. It was also stated that there have been no tax credits of any kind, either requested, or given to any developer since the inception of the Commission.

East Providence Police Promotions Continue
The City of East Providence has named Christopher Francesconi as Deputy Chief of the East Providence Police Department. After a recommendation by a panel of law enforcement officials and interviewing multiple candidates, Mayor Robert L. DaSilva has appointed Francesconi to the lead the department under Chief William C. Nebus.

“Christopher Francesconi has spent nearly 20 years serving the city’s police department with the mentality that wearing the badge is more than just having a job, it’s a sworn dedication to protect public safety with pride and professionalism,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “Francesconi has shown that professionalism having served in multiple units over his police career including patrol and vice/narcotics.”

“It’s a true honor to be selected as a leader of such a fine and dedicated group of professionals,” Deputy Chief Francesconi said. “I look forward to working closely with Chief Nebus to continue
the proud tradition of the East Providence Police Department and exceptional service to the citizens of East Providence.”

“Captain Francseconi’s promotion to Deputy Chief is a good step for the future of the East Providence Police Department,” Chief William Nebus said. “I have worked with Chris for 19 years and I have observed his persistent work ethic and dedication to this job firsthand. “We share the same vision and values for the department and for the citizens of East Providence.”

Francesconi, who has served as Captain since 2016 both in the Services and Patrol Division, has been a member of the East Providence Police Dept. since 2000 when he first joined the force as a patrol officer. While rising through the ranks from officer to deputy chief, Francesconi spent 15 years as a member of the Special Reaction Team, became a FBI-Certified firearms instructor and for some time stepped into the role of supervisor of the Field Training and Evaluation Program, among many accomplishments.

Francesconi earned his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saint Anselm College. He is currently enrolled in the administration of justice program at Salve Regina University and anticipates earning his master’s degree in the fall 2019.

The East Providence Police Department has also promoted Lt. Thomas Rush to the rank of captain. Capt. Rush will be assigned to the Patrol Division, which was made vacant due to the recent promotion of Major Christopher Francesconi to Deputy Chief.

“Thomas Rush has spent decades of his life proudly wearing the East Providence Police badge and his dedication to public service has not gone unnoticed,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “I am honored to have sworn him in as captain before his family and fellow members of the EPPD and I look forward to seeing his continued success in protecting and serving our community.”

“Captain Rush is a seasoned veteran with 32 years of service and dedication to the City of East Providence and we are happy to have him join the command staff,” Chief Nebus said.

Rush rose through the ranks from patrol officer to captain. He joined the East Providence Police Dept. in June 1987. After joining the department, Rush was assigned to the Patrol Division and later went on to become a major crimes detective in the Detective Division. Rush also served as an investigator in the Vice Unit working on many cases in an undercover capacity.

In addition, Rush was a member and team leader of the Special Response Team (SRT).  After being promoted to sergeant, Rush worked as a patrol sergeant and commander of the Vice Unit. Once he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, he served as lieutenant of the Patrol Division. Rush has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Bryant College, is married and has an 8-year-old daughter.

Police Investigate City Bank Robbery
The East Providence Police Department is investigating a bank robbery that occurred on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at approximately 5 p.m. at the Citizens Bank branch, 622 Taunton Ave. No weapons were shown during the robbery. If anyone has information regarding the identity of the suspect please contact the East Providence Police at 401-435-7600.

Free Pre-Kindergarten Program Continues
The East Providence School Department reminds parents of the Rhode Island Prekindergarten Program, which is entering its 11th year. The program provides free, high-quality prekindergarten classes to children selected in a lottery held in early July. To be eligible, children must be 4 years old by September 1, and be residents of one of the 11 cities or towns that have a state prekindergarten classroom. http://www.r2lp.org/applications-are-available-now-for-state-funded-prek-classrooms.

The deadline for online applications is July 7. The deadline for paper applications is July 5.
What you need to apply:
An active email address, current phone number, child’s legal name, child’s date of birth (must be 4 by 9/1/2019), child’s address and monthly household income (lottery is not income dependent).

East Providence has the following available: Martin Middle School (111 Brown Street) - 5 classrooms; Oldham School (60 Bart Drive) - 2 classrooms (Note: Applications for Oldham are available at the East Providence Administration Offices, 145 Taunton Ave.) and the East Bay Community Action Program (70 Turner Ave.) - 1 classroom. For further assistance, email RIDE or call RIDE Pre-K information line at (401) 222-8184.

New EPHS Groundbreaking Ceremony
The East Providence School Committee, East Providence Building Committee, and Superintendent Kathryn Crowley will have a public Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New East Providence High School. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 5 at 12 noon at the current East Providence High School & Career & Technical Center at 1998 Pawtucket Ave. State and local officials will join students, parents, teachers, administrators, and members of the community for a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction on the new state-of-the-art, comprehensive high school that will open in 2021. In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place indoors.

Carousel Opens For Season
The City of East Providence announced that the historic Crescent Park Looff Carousel in Riverside, Rhode Island has opened for the season. It opened on Saturday May 25, 2019. The ride will operate Saturday and Sunday from 12-6 p.m. Please be advised that the Carousel organ is undergoing repairs and will not be playing.

The world famous Crescent Park Clam Shack Clam shack will be open Wed. – Sun. from 11 a.m.– 8 p.m. beginning today, May 22. For more information and/or for the Carousel’s 2019 event schedule please call the Carousel office at 401-435-7518 or visit the Carousel page on the City of East Providence’s website at www.eastprovidenceri.net

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