standing Richmond Town Hall

RICHMOND — After considerable discussion, members of the Richmond Town Council decided Tuesday on a name for the committee that will determine what residents want in their proposed new community center. 

With guidance from Town Solicitor Karen Ellsworth, the council settled on the “Richmond Community Center Study Committee." The word “senior” was not included in the committee’s name, because it might imply a less inclusive facility and eliminate potential funding sources that do not support building projects that are exclusively for seniors. 

The committee, whose nine members have already been appointed, will determine whether the town should build a center or rent and renovate an existing building, such as the long-vacant Stop & Shop in Wyoming.

“The options would be to build a new building or to renovate an existing building,” Ellsworth said. 

Council President Gary Wright said the council, as well as possible funding funding sources, would need to know how the new center would be used.

“What would its use be? The structure, with layout, a timeline. What does our timeline look like? If you’re going to go asking for contributions or grants, you need to have some kind of a timeline set up,” he said.

The new committee will meet monthly and will be expected to complete its research within one year. Ellsworth will draft a resolution stating the committee’s mandate and charge, and present it to the council for a vote at the next meeting on Dec. 18.

 Official council emails

Members continued to discuss a proposal by Councilor Nell Carpenter, who said she wanted an official town email address for correspondence with constituents because it would be more official and transparent. New email addresses will cost the town $50 per year per address. 

“I would prefer to have a town-issued email address,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s something I can do as an individual or if we have to do it as a group.”

Wright, council Vice President Richard Nassaney, Paul Michaud and Ronald Newman said they preferred to retain their existing personal email addresses, so Carpenter will be the only councilor with a town address.

The council approved a motion authorizing Town Administrator Karen Pinch to set up an account for Carpenter.

Chlorinated water


Pinch informed the council that coliform bacteria had been detected in the town’s water supply and that the water company, LaFramboise Water Service, had been directed by the Rhode Island Department of Health to chlorinate the water system.

“Residents on our water system may have noticed a smell or a taste of chlorine in the water,” she said. “We unfortunately had a positive coliform sample, which is not a health hazard. There’s no boil water order. You can drink the water.”

Pinch also noted that the water supply will now be regularly treated with chlorine to prevent future contamination.

“In order to to avoid this happening in the future, because it is the second one in the recent past, our water vendor wants to permanently chlorinate the water, which I know some people are disappointed about because our water’s always tasted really good, but obviously, for safety’s sake, it will need to be done. They do tell me that the amount of smell and taste in the water now, it will actually be less when we have the permanent system on.”