The Westerly Town Council is up to full strength with all seven seats filled after last week’s unanimous vote of the six counselors to appoint Karen Cioffi to fill the vacancy left when former council president Jamie Silvestri resigned — back in June. Cioffi served as human resources director for the school department and later the town. Her experience with the day-to-day operatons of both sides of the town government should come in handy.
Westerly voters agreed to spend up to $1.66 million in bond money for repairs to the sewer system. The work will include sealing and replacing covers on 63 manholes and repairing 18,100 feet of pipe. Defects in the covers and pipes allow groundwater and rainwater to enter the sewer system, which can reduce the system's hydraulic capacity, causing flooding or backups at pumping stations and at the treatment facility on Margin Street. That’s all good, but just 2.8 percent of the town’s 17,907 registered voters made the effort to vote.
Students in three programs at Chariho Tech put on a free Thanksgiving meal for senior citizens last week that featured culinary delights created in the school’s kitchen. The annual event was so well anticipated that they had to turn people away. But a lucky 130 people got in and devoured six, 12-pound turkeys and all the fixings. In additon to students in the culinary program, students in events planning and floral design worked to plan and execute the event. “We couldn’t be happier to do this, because it gives kids practice to apply the skills that they learn in the kitchen,” said Chariho Superintendent Barry Ricci.
The long awaited repaving of Main Street in Westerly was completed last week. The project was estimated to cost $350,000 and the funding was provided by the $6 million municipal bond approved by voters in 2014 for infrastructure improvements throughout town. When the project was announced in May, Town Manager Derrik Kennedy said the paving would mark the start of work to improve the look of the Main Street area. “That leads into what we plan on doing over the next couple of years where we start to work with the Main Street business owners to beautify the area. This really is the entrance to Rhode Island and to Westerly for a lot of people who come in and we want to make sure its looks as nice as possible,” Kennedy said.
Residents of Westerly and Pawcatuck who get their water from the Westerly municipal system went through two days of a boil water advisory issued by the state Department of Health after a well tested positive for E. coli. The sample was taken on Monday and the test results came back positive on Tuesday. A retest on Tuesday, as ordered by the state, prompted the announcement Wednesday evening. A test Thursday came back negative early Friday afternoon and all was right with the world again.