NORTH KINGSTOWNâ€”North Kingstown Town Manager Michael Embury sat behind his desk Tuesday afternoon with a stack of papers, emails and phone messages to sift through after the long holiday weekend and, on the surface, he should have had a smile on the face.
After all, the numbers from the end of June were in and, at the close of the fiscal year, the town is set to finish 2011 with a net surplus. But itâ€™s hard for Embury to think positively about the state of finances in NK, especially with what promises to be a long, hard road ahead in 2012 and 2013.
NARRAGANSETTâ€”Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Deborah Gist held a talk recently about the adoption of a Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP) which will be integrated into the curricula of schools state-wide. Gist has identified that teaching about environmental safety in the classroom is necessary for developing a well-rounded educational experience.
Forty-four more units of affordable housing are underway in Coventry.
Construction started in January on the new units that will be behind Dollar Tree and Hyde Music on Tiogue Avenue.
Entrance to Coventry Meadows will be on Edith Street, off of Arnold Road.
Edith Street will be continued and loop around right inside the new Coventry Meadows complex.
It will be a six-building complex and the first building is now nearing completion.
The affordable housing units are being built by Coventry Housing Associates Corporation, more commonly known as the Coventry Housing Authority.
Coventry Housing was started in 1963 â€śto provide housing opportunities to low-income households for the citizens of the Town of Coventry,â€ť according to their website.
The money for this new project was awarded at the end of 2010.
Coventry Housingâ€™s executive director, Julie A. Leddy, said when they applied for the funding the fact that they were â€śready to goâ€ť was in their favor.
Work started the Monday after New Yearâ€™s Day, she said.
The main utilities for all of the buildings will be tied into the first building. That building will hold a Community Hall and laundry facilities for the whole complex.
It will be completed first and then they will go building-by-building to complete the other housing units.
The foundations of the other five buildings have already been laid.
Inside the main building that houses the Community Hall, there will also be four housing units.
When it is completed they will begin filling those units.
As they complete each of the other buildings, which will house eight units each, they too will be filled with tenants.
All the site work should be done, Leddy said, allowing them to â€śwork our way out.â€ť
Theyâ€™ll start with the buildings closest to the main building, she said.
By September, they hope to have the first units ready.
The units will have one, two or three bedrooms.
Leddy explained how each unit will have its own entrance and there will be no hallways to walk through.
It will be built right into the grade, she said, that the units, though two-levels, can be accessed at ground level on each side.
Residents will drive right up to their own unit, she said.
There will also be a separate patio outside of each one, she said.
Coventry Housing has other units for the elderly or disabled and these units, though the same individuals could apply for them, are more suited for family housing, Leddy said.
Coventry Meadows will have a totally separate waiting list than The Crossroads, Coventry Housingâ€™s other family-style affordable housing complex.
The Crossroads is located on Lacolle Lane in Coventry and has been at full occupancy since it opened. It is a 32-unit facility opened by Coventry Housing in 2003.
By DAVID PEPIN
Steps have been taken (literally) to make sure the historic steps at Town Hall will be repaired and ready to welcome visitors again by mid-July.