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Richmond to Ask Other Chariho Towns to Contribute to Building Fee Reimbursement

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Richmond to Ask Other Chariho Towns to Contribute to Building Fee Reimbursement


By Cynthia Drummond for BRVCA


RICHMOND — Town Council members decided at the Nov.16 meeting to ask Hopkinton and Charlestown to help offset the building permit fee for the Maddie Potts Memorial Field House.

Maddie Potts died suddenly on the Chariho soccer field in 2017. Her parents, Dan and Stephanie Potts, started the Maddie Potts Foundation to raise funds for a new field house at Chariho to honor Maddie’s legacy, and construction has already begun.

In a letter to council Vice President James Palmisciano, foundation Treasurer Melissa DeJoseph asked the town to consider reimbursing the foundation for a building permit fee of $5,120 that the foundation has paid to the town.

DeJoseph wrote, “…this is a nonprofit organization building something for the school, in this town, and it will be gifted to the town upon completion. With COVID, supply and demand, and building supply availability/cost issues, the Foundation could use all the assistance it can get to support the construction costs. In the spirit of community and togetherness, it would be an amazing gift if the town could grant some type of leniency with this fee.”

Council members said they supported the project, and councilor Richard Nassaney proposed that the town ask the other Chariho towns to each pay one third of the fee.

“$1,540 from each town,” he said. “Each town gives us $1,540. They’re all utilizing the building. They all utilize the sports fields. All three towns pitch in, sure, I don’t see a problem. Everybody wins.”

Council President Nell Carpenter said she supported both the project and the proposal to share the cost.

“I fully support this,” she said. “This is one of the most beautiful things that has happened in this community, from a tragedy.”

Carpenter asked Town Administrator Karen Pinch to draft a letter asking the towns of Hopkinton and Charlestown to each contribute one third of the building permit cost.


Medical Marijuana


The council agreed to continue the discussion of possible zoning amendments for medical marijuana growers. Town Solicitor Karen Ellsworth presented a draft of the proposed amendments following an Oct. 18 meeting of the Town Council and the Planning Board. Members of the two bodies agreed at the special joint meeting to consider a zoning amendment that would require development plan review for medical marijuana growers seeking to open in the town. Proposed by the Planning Board, the regulatory measure is an alternative to zoning ordinance amendments that would have prohibited any new medical marijuana growers from opening in town.

The biggest concern, expressed by neighboring business owners on Stilson Road where a new growing operation had been proposed, is odor emanating from the facility.

The town’s only grower, Coastal Farms, has taken odor mitigation measures required by state regulators that have prevented odors from escaping the facility.

Ellsworth read a section of the draft amendment that would require a buffer of shrubs or trees to enhance odor mitigation measures.

“In order to prevent exterior odor from reaching adjacent property to the greatest extent possible an evergreen, vegetative buffer shall be planted and maintained opposite any side of the building where an exterior outlet for the building’s interior ventilation and filtration system is located, and on each side, perpendicular to that side,” she said.

Ellsworth added that Town Planner Shaun Lacey had requested a copy of Coastal Farm’s odor mitigation plan, and was hoping to receive it soon.

Palmisciano asked whether there was scientific data documenting the efficacy of vegetative buffers in removing odors. Ellsworth said she would look for data, but both she and Chief of Police Elwood Johnson confirmed that there had been no complaints regarding odors from Coastal Farms.

The council continued the discussion to the December meeting, by which time both Coastal Farms’ mitigation report and the data on evergreens preventing odors will have been received.


Grant applications


In other business, there was a brief discussion of grant opportunities, an Outdoor Recreation grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, a T-Mobile “Hometown Grant” and a third, legislative grant facilitated by U.S. Congressman James Langevin.

The DEM grant would pay for the installation of fencing at the new dog park, next to the Heritage Trail. The T-Mobile grant of up to $50,000 would fund upgrades to the Beaver River playground.

The legislative grant of approximately $600,000 would be for the construction of a pavilion at 4 Richmond Townhouse Road that would include rest rooms, a playground and a basketball court.


Wellness Committee


The town’s new Wellness Committee is now complete, with two members, Chief of Police Johnson and Finance Director Laura Kenyon, appointed, and nine others applying. All nine applicants were approved by the council and sworn in immediately.

With expertise in areas such as physical and mental health, law enforcement, education and domestic violence, members of the new committee will make recommendations to the council for wellness services in the community.


Beaver River Valley Community Association

P.O. Box 10, Shannock, RI 02875



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