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SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The South Kingstown Partnership for Prevention came before the South Kingstown Town Council Tuesday evening, requesting the use of the town seal on new signage to be voluntarily posted in establishments serving alcohol.
Perry Raso, of the Matunuck Oyster Bar, asserted that he would post signs in his restaurant.
Raso, along with South Kingstown Police Capt. Jeff Allen and New Life Assembly Pastor Keith McNamar represented the SKPP.
“The idea is to reduce impaired driving by using the signage,” Raso said. “Hopefully customers will not be so likely to overindulge and it will also make it easier for the server to turn the customer down if they feel they’ve had too much.”
A discussion ensued regarding the display of the signs, be it inside or outside of establishments, as well as the size and visual characteristics of the sign.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic, it’s a great effort,” Council President Ella Whaley said. “We have lost many youth here in our town and this idea came from a recent loss that we had.”
The SKPP is hopeful that many South Kingstown establishments will elect to display the sign.
The council voted to approve the use of town seal for the signage 4-1-0 with Councilman Jim O’Neill abstaining.
O’Neill wanted to see the finished product and called for standardization of SKPP sign dimensions and posting locations inside liquor serving establishments.
Ultimately, the SKPP will seek the endorsement of the Town Council and the South Kingstown Police Department for the placement of signs in various restaurants and liquor establishments on a voluntary basis.
Also during the meeting, Councilman Jim O’Neill made mention of the recent news of the 38 Studios layoffs. Last Thursday, the company laid off 286 workers based in downtown Providence. O’Neill was appalled by the $75 million in small business loans the company was given to encourage its move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island and noted the financial trouble currently plaguing 38 Studios.
“I was hoping that this council let the governor know and the general assembly know that we just need to learn what happened and that we can do things right in the future,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill called for a unified voice among Rhode Island town councils and the general assembly.
“I don’t think there’s anyone that isn’t upset about 38 Studios,” Councilwoman Carol Hagan McEntee said. “I think that came as a shock to everyone that the entire place closed its doors and laid off all the workers.”
Councilwoman Kathleen Fogarty defended the work the EDC has done in the past and she hopes they will do in the future.
“The EDC has done a lot of good work,” she said. “Including in the defense industry and at United Foods in Providence.” She added, “There are a lot of emerging companies coming out of Providence. I am sure the EDC will get behind some of them and that will mean more jobs for Rhode Island in the future.”
In other town business, a Victualling License was granted to KEMCO, represented by Kenneth F. Elliott to serve concessions at the Broad Rock Playfields and West Kingston Park, as KEMCO does at the South Kingstown Town Beach and Old Mountain Field.
The council passed a resolution adopted May 14 by the East Greenwich Town Council in support of a Senate Bill which would allow the tax assessor to save postage on the first mailing of a form to landowners to confirm that space is still farm, forest or open land. The Council moved to allow the assessor to utilize standard postage.
The council appointed two individuals to the Conservation Commission: Lorraine Joubert and Mary L. Talbot-Rabuano for terms ending in Sept. 2014. The council also appointed Robert M. Schofield to the Housing Authority for a term expiring Oct. 2014.