October 24, 2021

East Providence News Briefs

Posted

City’s Administration calls on Council to release findings of an investigation
East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva is asking the City Council to release to the public the full report and findings of an investigation by the City’s Assistant Solicitor.  The request comes after allegations by the City Clerk against the Director of Administration and Equal Employment Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Officer were made during the August 17, 2021 City Council meeting.

“The Director of Administration was not afforded the opportunity to respond to those allegations during the meeting,” states the administration press release.  Since that time, the City Council instructed the Assistant City Solicitor Dylan Conley to conduct an investigation of the allegations levied by the City Clerk.  “The Administration categorically denies the allegations made by the City Clerk and takes great pride in being responsive and providing a safe, supportive, equal opportunity work environment,” Mayor Bob DaSilva wrote in his September 14, 2021 letter to the Council requesting the report of the findings to be released.  It is the City’s understanding that Assistant Solicitor Conley presented his findings in a written report in executive session on September 7, 2021, as noted on the City Council docket. 

The council voted to make the report part of the public record for anyone to request.  Councilors Ricardo Mourato and Anna Sousa voted against releasing the report while members Robert Britto, Bob Rodericks and Nate Cahoon voted to do so.  “Why would we (the council) request an investigative report and then not release its final results,” asked Rodericks.  Sousa and Mourato wanted to wait for additional investigations before releasing the just completed Deputy Solicitor’s report.  “To date, the City has not been made aware of any formal investigations by any agency,” replied solicitor Dylan Conley.

Former Union Primary School Finally Sold
In a resolution sponsored by Council President Robert Britto and Vice-President Bob Rodericks, the long vacant Union Primary school building on Pawtucket Avenue in Rumford has been sold.  Since closing as a primary school there have been several proposals for its use but none had staying power and the building was showing severe signs of deterioration.  At one point the City agreed to house the school district administration there and went as far as appropriating funds for a new heating system and roof.  That, too, never materialized.

The building is on the register of historic properties and its appearance will remain essentially the same.  It was purchased for $300,000 by Touchdown Realty Group from East Greenwich and will be designed by David Sisson Architecture of East Providence.   City Community Development Director David Bacharach handled the bidding and negotiations.  “The building will house 6 to 8 apartments with high ceilings, spacious units and plenty of land to work with,” said Bachrach.  “It will be a big improvement all around.”       

City shines light on savings with RISE Engineering streetlight conversion
The City of East Providence will be converting its 5,200 streetlights to LED lights, resulting in annual savings to taxpayers, according to the Mayor’s office and a City Council action.  Under the Municipal Streetlight Investment Act, municipalities are allowed to purchase and maintain streetlights. The City worked with National Grid and its consultant RPM, LLC to develop requests for proposals from qualified contractors for the streetlight conversion. “After reviewing proposals, the city selected Cranston-based RISE Engineering to replace existing streetlights with new, energy-efficient LED lights, which are less expensive to operate.

“The future shines bright for the city of East Providence,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said. “Reaching this agreement has been a priority of my administration since taking office – it not only provides savings to our residents, it enables us to reverse the red-capping of streetlights throughout the City and turn on the inactive lights.”

  • The conversion to LED streetlights provides many benefits including:
  • Increased public safety
  • Lower energy costs
  • Lower maintenance costs (LEDs last three to four times long that incumbent technology)
  • Better illumination of roads
  • Increased visibility
  • Decrease in overall light pollution

The program projects that, once complete, it will provide the city’s taxpayers approximately $501,612 in annual savings. In addition, East Providence’s LED project will receive generous National Grid and Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources incentives.

In addition to the new streetlights, the City will also install smart streetlight controls, which will enable remote management, scheduling and dimming of the new lights, which will ultimately lead to additional energy savings.  The City has also reached an agreement on the purchase of street lights from National Grid (The Narragansett Electric Company) in the amount of $285,956.77. The agreement comes after the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation reached an agreement to, once the conversion of the streetlights is complete, take over payment and maintenance of the streetlights on state roads in East Providence.

The agreement between the City of East Providence and National Grid include the following:

  • Late charges in the amount of $62,205 will be waived
  • A total of $458,479 in outstanding arrearage that the city was holding back to be paid to

TNEC (held in escrow). The City held the funds in escrow because it amounted to the portion of the electric bill for streetlights on state roads in East Providence.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards 26 U.S. Cities Grants
In a September 29, 2021, press release Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York announced that 26 U.S. cities, including East Providence, RI, will be awarded Asphalt Art Initiative grants, providing each up to $25,000.  The grants are for cities to install projects in 2022-23 that use art and design to improve street safety, revitalize public spaces, and engage residents of their communities. “This program is inspired by work done to improve pedestrian safety and revitalize New York City streets,” said Rebecca Carriero of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Asphalt art projects help cities reclaim public spaces, make them brighter and safer, and build community – all important goals, especially amid the continuing hardships of the pandemic,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Cities that tap into the power of public art bring new life and energy to city streets, inspiring residents and fostering a shared spirit of neighborhood pride. There can be real civic strength in public art, and this program helps cities capitalize on it.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative responds to the growing number of cities around the world embracing art as an effective and relatively low-cost strategy to enliven and improve safety in their streets through interventions on plazas, sidewalks, crosswalks, intersections, and other transportation infrastructure. 

East Providence, RI will be in the category of  Intersection and crosswalk murals. Other awards are Billings, MT; Chicago, IL; Huntington, WV; Kodiak, AK; New Brunswick, NJ; Niagara Falls, NY; Starkville, MS and Tallahassee, FL.

Police arrest three individuals on animal cruelty, other charges
Three people were arrested and charged on Monday on a number of charges involving an animal. Kayla Card and William Pagliarini of Johnston, and Scott Corbin of Providence, were arrested and charged with:

  • Mistreatment of animals,
  • Unnecessary cruelty to animals,
  • Dog outside when the ambient temperature too hot/too cold, and
  • Owner/keeper fails to provide dog adequate veterinary care

Kayla Card and William Pagliarini, the owners of the dog, are accused of not providing adequate veterinary care and allowing their dog, “Primo” a black, tan and white Bully/Pit mix, to suffer from a severe skin infection without proper treatment and veterinary care.

The two left the dog at Sunset Auto Spa at 360 Taunton Ave. in East Providence in the care of one of their employees, Scott Corbin, while Pagliarini was out of town.  On August 25, 2021, East Providence Animal Control was contacted with a report of a dog being left outside in a kennel at the Auto Spa and “not doing well.”  Upon arrival, Animal Control found that the dog was coughing and appeared to be having difficulty breathing. The temperature at that time was 90 degrees. The dog also appeared to be a severe skin infection.

East Providence Animal Control seized Primo and immediately brought the dog to the veterinarian for assessment and treatment. Primo has been at the East Providence Animal Control

Center, under the care of a veterinarian since that time.  Since that time, Animal Control has checked in on Primo. He was found to have improved by about 50 percent. He receives medicated baths, but still may need several more weeks of treatment.

City councilman-at-large Bob Rodericks has requested a council inquiry into the business operation and possible link with the arrests.

Recreation Dept. announces recreation center reopening
The City of East Providence Recreation Department has reopened the recreation center to members last month.  Participants must obtain a one-year center membership.  Membership prices are determined by age.

  • Ages 6-17 & Age 55+ - $25
  • Age 18 -54 - $50

The recreation center offers a safe and friendly environment for members to create, innovate and play. We offer a variety of programs for all ages. The center is also home to a fitness facility and game room.  To ensure the health and safety of members and staff we are following all Rhode Island Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Please note, if state guidelines change, adjustments to the program will be made as needed. While in the recreation center and during recreation center programs, members and staff are required to wear face coverings. Masks may be removed for outdoor programs where social distancing is possible.  East Providence recreation center weekday hours:

  • Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Adults)
  • Monday – Friday 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Ages 15-17)

East Providence recreation center weekend hours:

  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (18 plus ONLY)
  • Sunday: Closed

Youth Programs

After School Fun:
Ages 6-14 Mon – Fri. 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. (included with membership) Our “After school at the Rec” program features a fun atmosphere for youth. Activities include sport competitions, games, crafts, computers, homework help, community service projects and more!

Teen Weight Training:
Co-ed Ages 13-15 Mon., Wed. & Fri, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Program begins October 4, 2021

Kids Night Out:
Ages 6-12 Friday 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. $6 per night out

  • October 15, 2021
  • November 19, 2021
  • December 17, 2021

Parents can enjoy a night out while East Providence recreation staff provide a safe, supervised and fun environment for your children. The program provides the opportunity to be active, make friends and have fun! Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

School Vacation Day Camp:
Ages 6-12: Day camps are offered at the recreation center from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. during school vacation (excludes holidays) Activities include games, sports, arts & crafts and special themed events. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Fee: $12 per day, per child.

  • December Day Camp dates:
  • December 28, 2021
  • December 29, 2021 &
  • December 30, 2021

For more information, please call the Recreation Center at 401-433-6360.

City Boys & Girls Club presents: 2021 Halloween Parade
The boys and girls club of EP invite all to join the Halloween fun while also helping to give the children of East Providence a fun-filled Halloween.  When: Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. 

Where: Lineup of cars for motorcade parade is Riverside Middle School (179 Forbes St. Riverside, RI).  Time: Line up at 2:30 p.m. in costume and with your decorated vehicle. Kick-off is at 3 p.m. Parade End: Pierce Field, where local residents and organizations will be awaiting your arrival and providing tricks and treats.=

Candy and goodies will be distributed to kids who participate in the parade.  We are asking local businesses, organizations and residents to help create a fun and spooky atmosphere by creating a Halloween display at Pierce Field and/or being a sponsor (for a nominal amount).  All sponsors are also invited to participate in the  motorcade parade.  If you have any questions, please contact: City of East Providence Recreation Staff Members: Dir. Diane Sullivan dsullivan@eastprovidenceri.gov  or Rec Center Supervisor Rebecca Chace rchace@eastprovidenceri.gov   or by calling 401-435-7511.

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