Items mentioned as needed by Mayor Dale Archer included street paving, lights for the local soccer and baseball fields, a dump truck, three taser guns for the East Greenwich Police Department, and equipment for one police vehicle.
Archer described his list of projects as must haves. “Everything on this list will be for 20-plus years,” said the mayor.
East Greenwich Soccer Association President Martin Webb listed 700 players as registered in the fall, and about 620 for the spring. Little League President Ben Casella had 450 to 500 kids signed for the spring season. “The lights are essential to our children,” Archer maintained. “These projects are things that have to be done.”
The original estimate for the Capital Improvement work was about $1,015,000, but the Committee pared it down to $876,000. Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri noted that while there is $100,000 set aside in the budget to pay about 10 percent, “I don’t think that going on a spending spree at this point would be a wise decision.”
“Borrowing $1 million could have a negative effect on our credit rating,” Bottiglieri added.
Archer said that the final figure of $876,000 goes to the Bond Council. “We will introduce the bond on our next agenda, and then it goes to a public hearing,” the mayor explained. “This is just the beginning stage.”
In resolutions, the Committee authorized the insertion of two grants in their budget, the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Grant and Clean Communities Grant. They also approved the appointment of Nelson Wiest as Second Deputy to the Office of Emergency Management.
Another resolution authorized an Interlocal Services agreement with the Kingsway Regional Board of Education for information technology management services.
Earlier in the evening, the Committee passed a resolution honoring K9 Deuce on his retirement. Deuce and Patrolman Philip Owens graduated from the K9 Patrol Academy in Atlantic County in 2009. Deuce served with the East Greenwich Police Department for eight years, from May 2009 to June 2017.
The canine was responsible for numerous narcotics/weapon seizures and locating numerous suspects and lost persons during his time of service. “K9s are such a valuable tool in law enforcement,” observed Deputy Mayor Jim Philbin. “He has performed valuable service to this community.”
Bottiglieri was impressed with the impact a canine can have on the community. Archer gave special praise to Owens for being the canine’s handler, saying, “It’s a reflection on your dedication and commitment.”
East Greenwich Police Chief Chris Everwine pointed out that Owens and Deuce always represented the local force well at community events. He described Deuce as Owens’ dog.
“He’s like you,” said Everwine. “He’s dedicated, a hard worker, and a little crazy.”
Owens mentioned that every time he considered giving up during their training, he just looked into Deuce’s eyes and saw his determination.
“Being a canine officer has made me a better officer and a better person,” Owens concluded.
by Robert Holt