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- Time Out
By PAUL J. SPETRINI
EXETERâ€”In a decidedly brisk meeting typical of small town government during the hot summer months, the Exeter Town Council gathered Monday night to briefly discuss a number of routine items and advance communication on a pair of resolutions concerning hot-button statewide issues.
In a 3-2 vote, with members Calvin Ellis and William Monahan dissenting, the council approved a revised resolution regarding the implementation of weapons permits throughout Exeter.
The changes were largely to â€śclarifyâ€ť the language that would authorize Town Clerk Lynn Hawkins to begin issues applications for weapons to residents because of a state law that forces Exeter to appoint its clerk for the position because of its lack of a police department.
The biggest changes made involve the instructions that will be presented to local residents who want to apply for a gun permit and clarify the role the town sergeant will play in the processâ€”he or she will review applications and forward a recommendation to the town clerkâ€” and stress the minute details regarding the photos applicants must provide and the fees associated with background reports and fingerprint cards.
That vote came moments after the group unanimously adopted a resolution in support of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island Proposal, a measure the council says is critical to South County Hospital and Westerly Hospitalâ€™s â€śability to continue to serve their respective communities.â€ť
Aside from those two resolutions, the only matters to spark any sort of debate were a pair of requests by the owners of Yawgoo Valley to expand their liquor license on the property to allow patrons to carry out alcoholic beverages to a tented area and an outdoor entertainment license for a â€śmilitary-style 5K obstacle course raceâ€ť on September 15 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Both requests were approved unanimously.
Rounding out the evening was a potential controversy in the making as Ellis brought to the council a pair of invoices from Cox Communications regarding service at the Exeter Animal Shelter.
Though Ellis said he was just seeking a clarification as to what could have happened, he explained that the mailing address for the shelter was changed on its Cox bill from its April invoice to its May invoice-diverting the paperwork to a P.O. Box in the name of the â€śExeter Animal Shelter Committee.â€ť
The questionable move, Ellis said, comes after the shelter has had difficulty in receiving mail recently, leading some to wonder if thereâ€™s more to the story than a simple billing mix-up.
Animal Shelter workers are said to be keeping an eye on the issue.
The council will be back in session August 6.