From: Philip Hervey, Town Manager

To:      Barrington Town Council 

Subj:   Town Manager Memo for February 5, 2024, Council Meeting

Date:   February 5, 2024


AGENDA ITEMS #4 - #14: Consent Agenda 


AGENDA ITEM #5: Receive Updates and Events (Town Manager)

·       Update: Tree Planting & Removal:  1/1/23 – 12/31/23 – 109 trees removed/120 planted

·       Notices and Upcoming Events:

o   Monday, February 5th through Friday, February 9th – Metal Collection Week. Call the Department of Public Works (DPW) to schedule pickup, 247-1907.

o   Tuesday, February 6th – Barrington Land Conservation Trust (BLCT) Pollinator Pathway Meet Up, Barrington Public Library (Salem Family Auditorium, 2nd Floor), 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Free, registration required.

o   Wednesday, February 14th – Valentine's Day & Ash Wednesday

o   Thursday, February 15th – Summer Camp Registration Begins. Barrington Recreation Department will open registration for the following camps: "Cool Kids," "Super Heroes," Youth Tennis, Theater, and "Camp Endeavor."

o   Monday, February 19th – Presidents Day Holiday, Offices closed. Refuse and recycling normal collection day is moved to the next day for the week (Monday, February 19th through Saturday, February 24th).

o   Monday, Feb. 19th through Friday, Feb. 23rd –Public Schools Vacation Week, Schools closed.

o   Wednesday, Feb. 21st – Documentary Screening and Discussion: “Gather.” Join the Barrington Land Conservation Trust (BLCT) at Barrington Public Library (Salem Family Auditorium), 7:00 p.m. Free and open to all. Registration required; space is limited.

o   Sunday, February 25th, 1:00 p.m. & Wednesday, February 28th at 6:30 p.m. – DEI Film Screening and Discussion: “I Am Not Your Negro,” Barrington Public Library (Salem Family Auditorium). Join the Town of Barrington’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for the screening followed by a discussion led by committee members. Free and registration required.

o   Thursday, February 29th – Barrington Hazard Mitigation & Flood Management Plan Annual Review, Barrington Public Library (Salem Family Auditorium), 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Come learn what the Town is doing to make Barrington more resilient to coastal flooding and other natural hazards. Share your views, concerns, and ideas for how our community can work together to adapt and thrive in a changing climate. All are welcome, light refreshments provided.


AGENDA ITEM #15:  Discuss and Act: Interviews and Appointments

TM Comment: Interviews for boards and commissions are listed below along with motions.


·       Planning Board: (1 vacancy: 1st alternate with a term expiration date of May 31, 2026.) Interviews:  Heather Kilmartin and Nicholas Makris

Motion: To appoint ____ to the Planning Board to serve as a 1st Alternate, term expiring May 31, 2026.

AGENDA ITEM #16:  Discuss and Act on Ordinances

INTRODUCTION: (No Introductions this month)


·       2023-14 - Ordinance Amendment to Chapter 67 Animals; §67-11 Dogs Prohibited from Certain Places


TM Comment: Recreation Director Michele Geremia is requesting an amendment to Ordinance 67-11 that would change the effective date of the prohibition of dogs at Town Beach. Currently, the ordinance has the ban in place from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The proposed amendment would change the effective dates to the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. This would be consistent with the operation of Town Beach, as the beach opens on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, not on Memorial Day. 


Motion: To adopt Ordinance 2023-14 amending Chapter 67 Animals; §67-11 Dogs Prohibited from Certain Places, [as presented/amended].


·       2024-1 - Ordinance Amendment to Ch. 179 Vehicles and Traffic; §179-3 Stop intersections designated.

TM Comment: The Town is in receipt of a request from a resident on Hawthorne Avenue to add stop signs at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Hawthorne Avenue based on safety concerns.

Motion: To adopt Ordinance 2024-1 amending Chapter 179 Vehicles and Traffic; §179-3 Stop intersections designated, [as presented/amended].


·       2024-2 An Ordinance Amendment to Chapter 33 Personnel Policies; §33-27-2 Sick Leave/family leave for eligible part time employees


TM Comment: The attached ordinance would provide certain part-time employees with 10 hours of sick leave/family leave per year. To qualify, a part-time employee must have worked for the Town for at least 12 consecutive months, and average at least 12 hours of work per week.


Motion: To adopt Ordinance 2024-2 amending Chapter 33 Personnel Policies; Article V Attendance and Leave; §33-33 Establishment of sick leave credit, [as presented/amended].


AGENDA ITEM #17: Discuss and Act on Resolutions

TM Comment:  No Resolutions.


AGENDA ITEM #18: Discuss and Act on Bid(s):

·       Police Department:

o   Purchase of 2 Motorola APX 8000 portable radios and required accessories.  Motorola Solutions Inc, 1303 Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, IL 60196 (Police Capital Equipment), $17,156.68

o   Purchase of 2 Motorola APX 6500 vehicle radios and required accessories.  Motorola Solutions Inc, 1303 Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, IL 60196 (Police Capital Auto Account), $11,453.18

o   Purchase 2024 Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE SUV, Bristol Toyota, 2283 Grand Army of the Republic Highway, Swansea, MA 0277, (Police Asset Forfeiture Account), $45,049.50

o   Telephone and Dispatch Audio recording system to include hardware, software and professional services. intlx Solutions, 780 Dedham Street, Canton, MA 02021, $28,676.50 (Pricing includes Massachusetts State Contract discount.)

TM Comment:  Police Chief Michael Correia is requesting Council approval of several purchases. For information on each item, please see his memorandum dated February 1, 2024.

Motion 1: To approve the purchase of two (2) Motorola APX 8000 portable radios and required accessories from Motorola Solutions Inc, 1303 Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, IL, for $17,156.68, using funding from the Police Equipment Capital Reserve Account.

Motion 2: To approve the purchase of two (2) Motorola APX 6500 vehicle radios and required accessories from Motorola Solutions Inc, 1303 Algonquin Road, Schaumburg, IL, for $11,453.18, using funding from the Police Automobile Capital Reserve Account.


Motion 3: To approve the purchase of one (1) 2024 Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE SUV, from Bristol Toyota, 2283 Grand Army of the Republic Highway, Swansea, MA, for $45,049.50, using funding from the Police Asset Forfeiture Account.


Motion 4: To approve the purchase and installation of Telephone and Dispatch Audio recording system, to include hardware, software, and professional services, from intlx Solutions, 780 Dedham Street, Canton, MA, for $28,676.50, using funding from the Police Equipment Capital Reserve Account.


AGENDA ITEM #19: Discuss and Act:  Town Council Minutes from January 25, 2024.

TM Comment: This was not included in the Consent Agenda, as not all Council members were able to attend the Goal-Setting Workshop on Jan. 25th.

Motion: To approve the Town Council Minutes from January 25, 2024, as presented.

AGENDA ITEM #20: Discuss and Act: Nayatt 5k Race

TM Comment: Jamie Gilman, Nayatt 5k Race Committee Co-Chair, has submitted a request for Town Council approval of the 5k race scheduled for April 6, 2024. The course is shown below.

Motion: To approve the 2024 Nayatt 5k Race scheduled for April 6, 2024, as presented, subject to the issuance of all necessary approvals from the Town.


AGENDA ITEM #21: Discuss and Act: Opioid Funding: Purchase Off-Road Rescue Vehicle (Chief Bessette and BAY Team D. Alves)

TM Comment: The Fire Department is proposing the purchase of a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV), trailer, and equipment, for use in rescues in difficult to reach locations, such as in the woods, at a remote section of beach, off a trail, etc. The total cost comes to $40,878.28. The proposed funding source is revenue the Town has received from national opioid litigation settlement agreements (current balance is approximately $241,000).

The Town will be receiving additional annual payments from various settlement agreements through at least 2038, totaling between $23,000 to $32,000 each year. We are working on a plan for spending this funding to present to the Council at a future meeting.

Motion: To approve the Fire Department’s proposal to purchase a Polaris Utility Terrain Vehicle, trailer, and related equipment, at a cost not to exceed $41,000, utilizing funding received by the Town from national opioid litigation settlement agreements.


AGENDA ITEM #22:          Discuss and Act:  ARPA Funds – Human Resources

TM Comment: Human Resources Director MariAnn Oliveira is requesting approval for the purchase of a new ergonomic workstation for her workspace. All the furniture in the HR office has been donated to the Town, but the desk does not provide the necessary support and comfort for long hours of work. An ergonomic desk would greatly benefit her work environment by providing adjustable height options, comfortable armrests, and proper support for my back, neck, and wrists. Based on research of options available, she has identified a suitable ergonomic workstation for approximately $2,000 that meets her requirements. Recommend paying for the workstation using some of the remaining balance, totaling $$4,302.77, from the $35,000 allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funding approved by the Council for renovations to the Lower Level at Town Hall. Since the Council previously designated the funding specifically for the Lower Level, we’re seeking approval to utilize this money for Town Hall furnishings and fixtures, to include the workstation for Human Resources.

Motion: To approve the use of $4,302.77 of American Rescue Plan Act funds previously budgeted for Town Hall Lower-Level renovations for the purchase and installation of Town Hall Furnishings and Fixtures.


AGENDA ITEM #23:          Discuss and Act:  Authorize $15,000 Municipal Contribution to Supplement a RI Housing Municipal Technical Assistance Grant Award to Complete the Housing Element of the Comprehensive Plan Update. (T.Crean)

TM Comment: RI Housing has approved the Town’s request for $100,000 from the Municipality Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) for updating the Housing Element of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. MTAP is a program funded through the Housing Production Fund established by the RI General Assembly. The Program is administered by RI Housing. State approval of Barrington’s 2015 Comprehensive Community Plan expires in 2025. The Town has set aside capital funding over the years to pay for the Plan update, with work to start this year. The MTAP funding is an excellent opportunity to complete the Housing chapter, which from previous experience is one of the most time-consuming and challenging parts of the Plan to complete, and it must reflect new state legislation effective January 1, 2024, that removes barriers to housing development. For example, it contains the Town’s goals, policies, and actions to comply with the State’s 10% affordable housing goal and requires completion of a build-out analysis. The MTAP funding will cover $100,000 of the Town’s $115,000 request. I recommend approval of $15,000 from the Town’s Comprehensive Plan/Zoning Update capital reserve account. This funding will cover the inclusion of an infrastructure capacity analysis in the scope. To complete the update, the Town will be contracting with Stantec Consulting Services Inc., one of the vendors on RI Housing’s list of approved consultants.

Motion: To approve $15,000 from the Comprehensive Plan/Zoning Update capital reserve account, to supplement $100,000 in Municipality Technical Assistance Program funding approved by RI Housing for the completion of the update to the Town’s Housing chapter of the Comprehensive Plan.


AGENDA ITEM #24:          Discuss and Act:  Recreation Fields and Facilities (Standing Agenda Item):  Proposal to Improve Town Recreational Fields (VP Humm)

TM Comment: Vice President Humm will be presenting his proposal to improve Town recreation fields (to be distributed to the Council and posted to ClerkBase prior to the meeting).

In addition, I have pulled together a spreadsheet summarizing the recommendation in the Traverse Landscape Architects report on Town and School Athletic Fields, with input from Art Eddy of Traverse.

At the January meeting, the Town Council referred the Traverse report to the Park and Recreation Commission, Resilience and Energy Committee, and the Conservation Commission for recommendations.

The Conservation Commission will discuss the report at its February 13th meeting. Resilience and Energy submitted its comments on Thursday, 2/1 (included as an attachment in ClerkBase).

On January 25th, the Park and Recreation Commission approved a motion with the following comments:

1.      Hire a Full time Park and Recreation Director to manage, direct, supervise, and coordinate various recreation programs and special events for the Community including the maintenance & scheduling of parks and related facilities; Manage Department Budget

2.      Implement registration and scheduling software. Four software companies will be offered an opportunity to present their solutions to the Recreation Director, BHS athletic Director, DPW representatives, members of the Town administration, and P & R commission members, during the month of January for review.

3.      Create a framework for the development of a budget for athletic field maintenance.

4.      Implement as much of the long-range field maintenance plan as stated on page 126 of the field report, as is feasible.

5.      Rotating at least 2 fields to rest at least once every ten years per field. This process depends on installation of new synthetic/natural turf fields (see below).

6.      Irrigation audit of Sowams School (well and possible expansion) and Chianese.

7.      Consider improvements for parking at St. Andrews Farm & Chianese fields.

8.      Hire two DPW workers to be dedicated to the care and maintenance of fields.

9.      Develop a system of record keeping for athletic field maintenance.

10.   Consider adding storage at High School, Middle School, Chianese and St. Andrews.

11.   Convert Sowams School field to skinned softball field to increase gender access. $25,000 - $35,000

The Park and Recreation Commission supports the installation of at least one new field with Synthetic turf, ideally two synthetic turf fields at the following locations in order of preference:

1.      Rebuild the grass field on the north end of the Middle School field area to be a multi-use synthetic turf field (89,000 square feet) with lights included at $2,360,000. This is option one because it is the only field space other than the high school where lights can be installed with minimal impact on residential neighbors. Lights will increase the usage of such a field considerably.

2.      New multi-use synthetic turf field at Hampden Meadows (93,000 square feet) including irrigation AND lights. This assumes that the Hampden Meadows school is demolished.

3.      Rebuild High School library grass field to be a multi-use synthetic turf field (80,000 square feet) with lights at $2,010,000.

Motion: To refer Vice President Humm’s proposal to improve Town recreation fields to the Town administration for consideration in development of the municipal budget for Fiscal Year 2025 [including the following priorities:

·          ____________ (list)

·          ________________

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AGENDA ITEM #25: Discuss and Act:  Conservation/Climate Resiliency (Standing Agenda Item)


TM Comment: This is a standing agenda item.


Motion: No motion provided.


AGENDA ITEM #26. Discuss and Act:  Recommendation Regarding Concrete Pad at Latham Park

TM Comment: According to Park and Recreation Commission Chair Mike Seward, the Commission voted at the December 21st meeting as follows:

Motion: Mr. Rimoshytus moves that Town Council investigate the removal of the concrete pad at Latham Park and to use a portable stage for summer concerts as part of a capital improvement.  Mr. Arico seconded the motion. The Yeas were: Mr. Merrill, Ms. Horn, Mr. Rimoshytus, Mr. Turner, and Mr. Arico; the Nays were: Mr. Seward, with no abstentions. The motion carried.

The Town has installed a concrete pad for the stage at Latham Park near the volleyball court with a new electrical service. The stage had to shift closer to Shore Drive for the electrical system to work properly.

The old location, at the edge of the water, required running wires through an underground conduit a long distance, from the corner of Shore Drive and Latham Avenue. With this setup, the Town was unable to provide sufficient, reliable power for concerts over the past two summers. Several times, performances had to pause after the power failed. The electrical outlets located near the water, and set close to the ground, have become flooded several times due to storm surge (see photos below) and had to be cleaned after becoming clogged with debris, dirt and bugs. We moved the concerts to the beach this past summer due to problems with the electrical setup. In addition, the concert stage has become damaged over time.

This photo shows the new location set back from the water:

The impacts from the Dec. 18th storm shows how susceptible the old location near the water was to significant storm damage, including failure of the electrical service. Here’s a photo I took of water overtopping the stone revetment at the shoreline. This level of flooding wasn’t as bad as what occurred on Dec. 23, 2022 (second photo below).

Latham Park, 12/18/23 Storm

Latham Park, 12/23/22 Storm

I recommend leaving the cement pad intact. We can revisit the issue after the summer concerts take place at Latham this summer.

Motion: No motion provided.

AGENDA ITEM #27:          Public Comment (Maximum 3-minute statement)

To the public:  This agenda item is for members of the public to speak regarding a topic that is not already on the agenda.  Please indicate that you would like to speak by raising your hand.  When you are recognized, please state your name and residency for the record.


AGENDA ITEM #28:          Set Agenda for the Monday, March 4, 2024, Council Meeting

·       Discuss and Act:  Property Tax Relief for Longtime Barrington Taxpayers (A. Klepper)

·       Joint Meeting of Town Council and DEI Committee Tuesday, February 13, 2024

o   DEI Proposed Recommendations “No tolerance Condemnation” proposal and Respectful Speech proposal (B. Cloutier)


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