Year in review: Watching costs and looking for revenue in Hopkinton

Year in review: Watching costs and looking for revenue in Hopkinton

The Westerly Sun

Editor’s note: At the end of each year, The Sun provides an opportunity for area school superintendents and town council presidents to reflect on the year and, if they wish, discuss plans for the new year. 

Although the town stafff is consistently busy, three accomplishments stand out to me. The first is after an initial misstep by me regarding the state’s plans for a Transit HUB on I-95, I along with others worked hard at derailing that plan, which ultimately was canceled. This proved to be a huge win for the town.

Second, the purchase of 539 street lights from National Grid and conversion to LED lights will save taxpayers some $30,000 per year in electric costs.

Lastly, the town adoption of enabling legislation regarding the taxation of renewable energy systems. This ordinance paved the way for the town to generate a sustainable revenue source from the solar projects looking to relocate in Hopkinton.

I wish to extend my sincere gratitude for the Town Council’s attention and work on these projects. I also wish to extend a big thank you to Town Manager Bill McGarry for his guidance and attention to detail, and also to every department head and staff member who continually dedicate their time and effort to control expenses and keep an eye open to revenue opportunities. Below is the manager’s list of “signfiicant townwide accomplishments” submitted to the council:

1. Adopted a Hope Valley Waterline Distribution System Ordinance to administer the town's waterline system and insure that town employees and waterline users fully understand their roles and responsibilities.

2. Adopted a Registration and Maintenance of Vacant and/or Abandoned Property Ordinance to protect real property in the town of Hopkinton from being blighted as a result of inadequate maintenance and lack of security at vacant and/or abandoned properties.

3. Adopted a Tax on Renewable Energy System Ordinance authorizing the Assessor to levy a tax on renewable energy tangible property.

4. Adopted an amendment to the town's Code of Ordinances allowing existing digital outdoor sign colors to remain.

5. Purchased 539 streetlights from National Grid, and subsequently converted them to LED lights as part of a townwide PRISM Streetlight Purchasing and Installation Project.

6. Worked diligently with the Hopkinton Town Council and our local legislative delegation to successfully convince the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to abandon plans for the design and construction of a Transit Hub and Welcome Center.

7. Issued and advertised twelve Requests for Proposals through the competitive bidding process to obtain various goods and services to continue effective and efficient operation of municipal government.

8. Negotiated a three-year employment contract with unionized public works employees.

9. Completed and submitted thirty-five prioritized road and bridge repair projects for the town's 2018-27 State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) ten-year plan.

10. Began Phase I of the Langworthy Field Project to make extensive physical improvements to the Langworthy Field Recreation area.

11. Purchased one 2018 DPW medium duty dump truck and two marked police cars.

12. Replaced the carpeting in the Town Clerk and Assessor's offices in Town Hall.

13. Completed an extensive electrical service upgrade and new fire alarm system at the Department of Public Works building.

14. Implemented the statewide building e-permitting system to allow for online applications and payments.

15. Conducted annual townwide employee performance evaluations of all full-time and permanent part-time employees.

16. Hired a new Deputy Town Clerk.

17. Adopted townwide FY 2017-18 annual goals and FYs 2018-20 multi-year goals.

18. Adopted the FY 2017-18 annual budget of$24,716,372.

Landolfi is president of the Hopkinton Town Council.


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