WOOD RIVER JCT. — Legislation allowing Chariho and the other regional school districts to take advantage of the municipal trash disposal rate has gone into effect without Gov. Gina Raimondo’s signature.

The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation notified the four regional school districts two years ago that they would no longer be eligible for the municipal disposal rate and would have to pay the higher commercial rate, and the districts had lobbied ever since for a return to the municipal disposal rate.

Introduced by Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, D-Hopkinton, in the House of Representatives and in the Senate by Sen. Dennis Algiere, R-Westerly, a bill was approved to override the corporation's rate decision on June 28, near the end of this year's General Assembly session. Other sponsors were Reps. Justin Price, Blake Filippi, Samuel Azzinaro and Michael Chippendale, and Sens. Elaine Morgan, Gordon Rogers, and Walter Felag Jr.

“I am pleased that Governor Raimondo allowed this legislation to become law,” Kennedy said. “Rhode Island Resource Recovery objected on the last day of the session to the passage of the proposal, however, both the House and Senate saw the wisdom in passing this legislation and addressing an issue that affected four regional school districts in our state.” 

The commercial tipping fee for fiscal year 2020 is $85 per ton. The municipal rate is $47 per ton. Based on a maximum disposal of 680 tons, minus 340 tons allocated earlier to the school district by the town of Richmond, the district will pay $16,000 per year under the municipal tipping fee schedule. Under the commercial rate, the district would have paid $29,000.

Chariho Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci said he was pleased that the legislation had passed.

“I appreciate the support of Representative Kennedy and our other legislators to support the Chariho Regional School District and the taxpayers that support it,” he said. "I'm confident that our legislators will continue to support our schools.”

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