HOPKINTONâ€”A public hearing was held Monday night on an ordinance amendment meant to help taxpayers, and will come up for a vote at the town councilâ€™s next meeting.
The amendment, introduced by Hopkinton Town Council President Frank Landolfi, is one of the â€śsmall things we can do to helpâ€ť the taxpayersâ€”without affecting the town financiallyâ€”that he said he is always looking for.
He summed up the amendment as a change to the taxation section of the Code of Ordinances giving the town a place if a taxpayer misses one payment to waive the interest.
He said it would be â€śnot a lot of money,â€ť comparing it to banks giving grace if one payment is missed.
The council was unanimously in favor of the amendment with only slight language changes and a date of March 18, the town councilâ€™s next regularly scheduled meeting, was set to consider adoption of the amended ordinance. There were no comments from the public during the hearing.
The consent agenda that came before the town council on Monday night was approved with no discussion.
Town Manager William McGarry briefly updated the council on the recent meeting he had with town officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) concerning reimbursement for funds spent on blizzard recovery.
He said they had given FEMA the preliminary estimate of $75,000 and that 75 percent of that would be reimbursed if federal officials declare a state of emergency. They were waiting to see if they would do that, McGarry said.
He and Landolfi also met with National Grid on the substation to be built on Ashaway Road (Route 216). McGarry said they anticipated engineering to be done by the end of the year and construction to start in 2014 with the substation in use by 2015.
Council Member David Husband asked why they needed 17 acres to build the substation, noting the size of the property being purchased.
Council Vice President Sylvia Thompson said from what she remembered that â€śjust happened to be the size of the property.â€ť
McGarry also told the council that bids for the upcoming revaluation were being reviewed and the staff would make a recommendation to the town council at a later date.
The council discussed and approved with only slight revisions the Hopkinton Emergency Operations Plan presented by Emergency Management Director Ron MacDonald.
Dori Boardman, regional planner for Washington County for the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) was also present to answer any of the councilâ€™s questions on the plan.
MacDonald explained that the plan was for â€śa large scale disasterâ€ť and didnâ€™t affect the daily operations of the town departments. The plan outlined responsibilities should they open an emergency operations center, he said.
Council Member Barbara Capalbo called it â€śquite a planâ€ť and it was unanimously approved.
The town council thanked Raymond Vincent Delaney for the donation of a painting of the old Hopkinton Post Office. The painting, which was present at the meeting, was acrylic done on hardboard and will be displayed in the break room at town hall.
Delaney, who said he is now showing in New York City, said he had wanted to do the painting for 15 years after seeing the spot. He took photos about 13 years ago, he said, of the site what is now an ice cream shop.
The council commented that it was â€śmagnificentâ€ť and said it looked like a â€śphotograph.â€ť
Council Member Scott Bill Hirst adjourned the meeting on Monday night in honor of three individuals with Hopkinton connections who recently passed away. Glenna A. Crowell, 88, of Hope Valley, died on Feb. 25 in Westerly and was very active in Hopkinton town government for many years, according to Hirst. He also mentioned Alton Perry, 2, and Ashton Perry, 6 months, the victims of what is being reported as a murder-suicide in Connecticut. The grandfather of the two boys grew up in Ashaway, according to Hirst, and their great-grandfather served on the Hopkinton Police Commission.