WARNING FOR TOWN MEETING

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS COUNTY OF WASHINGTON
Sat, 05/01/2021 - 12:15pm
Category: 

By the Town Clerk of the Town of New Shoreham, Rhode Island, to the Town Sergeant of the Town of New Shoreham, or any of the constables of the Town: GREETING:

Public notice and call to action. Identifies when and where the meeting will be held and the purpose of the meeting:

Pursuant to Chapter 3 of Title 45, you are hereby required to post, at least seven (7) days before the 3rd day of May, A.D. 2021, written notifications in three (3) or more public places in said Town of New Shoreham, Rhode Island notifying and warning the electors of the Town of New Shoreham, qualified to vote upon any proposition to impose a tax or for the expenditure of money, to assemble in Town Meeting at the Block Island School in the Central part of the Town of New Shoreham, on Monday, the 3rd of May, A.D. 2021, at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of ordering a tax to be levied and assessed on the ratable property of the Town and the inhabitants thereof for the payment of the Town debts and interest, for the payment of the Town’s proportion of the state tax, for the support of schools, for the support and maintenance of the poor, for the building, repairing, and amending of highways, for the building, repairing and amending of bridges, for the improvement in any manner deemed fit of any property belonging to the Town, for all necessary charges and expenses whatsoever arising within the Town, whether incidental or not to the above; also to consider the following:

Asks if the Town should borrow up to $1.3m for replacement of Block Island Volunteer Fire & Rescue Ladder 1, or to take funds from reserves if possible:

To authorize the Town Treasurer of said Town, pursuant to RIGL Chapter 45-12-2, with the consent and approval of the Town Council to issue and refund from time to time, bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness in an amount not to exceed $1,300,000 in order to finance the Town’s contribution to the acquisition, outfitting and equipping of a Ladder Truck/Fire Engine, the terms and conditions of such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness to be set by a resolution of the Town Council or by the Town Treasurer and the First Warden in the absence of such resolution. Or in the alternative, to finance such amounts from reserves, as determined by the Town Treasurer with the consent and approval of the Town Council.

Asks if the Town should borrow up to $2m on behalf of the Housing Board for ongoing projects, likely focused on development of Plat 18 Lot 22-3 on West Side Road:

To authorize the Town of New Shoreham pursuant to Chapter 45-12-2 of the Rhode Island General Laws to issue and refund from time to time, general obligation bonds and notes of other evidence of indebtedness in an amount not to exceed $2,000,000 to finance operational expenses of the Block Island Housing Board pursuant to the terms, dictates and conditions set forth in said Section 45-12-2.

Asks if the Town should borrow up to $4.5m to acquire, in partnership with BILT and conservation groups, a portion of Plat 19 Lot 3 totaling approximately 4.46 acres (Proposed Lot B), water rights as identified in the P&S, and a Right of First Refusal (Proposed Lot A) for a total purchase price of $10.5m ($6m paid by conservation), with a goal of securing additional public access to the Great Salt Pond:

To authorize the Town Treasurer of said Town, pursuant to RIGL 45-12-2 with the consent and approval of the Town Council to issue and refund from time to time, bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness in an amount not to exceed $4,500,000 in order to purchase a portion of Assessor’s Plat 19 Lot 3 and a Right of First Refusal in and to a portion of Plat 19 Lot 3, said purchase to be contingent upon the execution of a Purchase and Sale Agreement within 30 days of this date and further contingent upon the concurrent transfer of a conservation and recreation easement to the Block Island Land Trust over a portion of Plat 19 Lot 3, the terms and conditions of such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness to be set by a resolution of the Town Council or by the Town Treasurer and the First Warden in the absence of such resolution.

Report on the current year financial performance of the Town of New Shoreham General Fund:

To receive and act upon the Town Treasurer’s Report of the receipts and expenditures of said Town for the Fiscal Year 2021.

Report on the current year financials and educational program of the Block Island School:

To receive and act upon the Superintendent’s Report for the School District for the Fiscal Year 2021.

Report on the prior year activities of the Medical Center, which is partially taxpayer supported:

To receive and act upon the Medical Center Report by Block Island Health Services for the Calendar Year 2020.

Report on the current year activities of the Housing Board; it is through the FTM that the electorate authorizes the Housing Board to borrow funds to carry out their mission, which is primarily supported by a rental tax:

To receive and act upon the Block Island Housing Board Report for the Fiscal Year 2021.

Report on the current year activities of the Land Trust; it is through the FTM that the electorate authorizes BILT to borrow funds to carry out their mission, which is primarily supported by a property transfer tax:

To receive and act upon the Block Island Land Trust Report for the Fiscal Year 2021.

A primary focus of the FTM; the community determines what Town services, operations and capital improvements will be funded for the upcoming year. Discussion and votes to authorize spending proceed department-by-department:

To receive and act upon the Annual Operating and Capital Budget approved by the Town Council and presented by the Town Manager for Fiscal Year 2022.

Asks the voters to pass a resolution that establishes the process and terms around taxation and tax collection for the year, including: that the Tax Assessors will set the property tax rate needed to implement the approved budget and transmit the tax rate information to the Tax Collector to collect taxes; when the taxes are due by the taxpayer; and that the Tax Collector will deposit the collected funds to be used as voted by ‘the people’. The text of this tax resolution, guided by State law, will be read aloud and available as a separate document:

To read and act upon the resolution, pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 44-5-8, concerning the levying of taxes

Establishes a process and grants permission to the Town Treasurer (with the consent of the Town Council) to borrow funds in anticipation of the receipt of taxes. These are short-term notes, akin to a line of credit, that allows the operations of the Town to go forward while awaiting the full collection of taxes:

RESOLVED, that the Town Treasurer is hereby authorized, with the consent and approval of the Town Council, by resolution, to borrow from time to time in anticipation of taxes such sum or sums of money as shall be necessary for the payment of the current liabilities and expenses of the Town, and to issue the negotiable promissory note or notes of the Town therefore. The total amount of notes issued shall not exceed the limits prescribed by Section 45-12-4 of the General Laws as amended. Sums so borrowed during the current Fiscal Year commencing July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021 shall be borrowed in anticipation of taxes assessed as of December 31, 2019 and sums so borrowed during the subsequent Fiscal Year, but prior to the next Annual Financial Town Meeting, shall be borrowed in anticipation of taxes assessed as of December 31, 2020. The notes issued pursuant to this authority shall be signed by the Town Treasurer and countersigned by the First Warden of the Town Council, and such countersignature shall be conclusive evidence to all holders of such notes of the consent and approval of the Town Council to loan evidenced thereby. All terms and conditions of such notes and the method of sale thereof not fixed herein or by provisions of law may be fixed by the Town Council. The Town Treasurer is hereby authorized, with the consent and approval of the Town Council, to renew such notes from time to time, but any such renewal note shall be due not later than one year from the date of the original notes so renewed.

Establishes a process and grants permission to the Town Treasurer (with the consent of the Town Council) to invest Town funds and open and close bank accounts:

To authorize the Town Treasurer of said Town with the consent and approval of the Town Council to place investments as deemed proper and to open or close bank accounts as necessary for the General Fund, Enterprise Funds and Proprietary Funds of said Town consistent with any investment policy adopted by the Town.

Establishes the conditions under which the Town Treasurer (with Town Council consent) may refund bonds:

To authorize the Town Treasurer of said Town, with the consent and approval of the Town Council, to issue refunding bonds in order to refund all or part of any Public Improvement or General Obligation Bond(s) that would result in savings to the Town, length of term of said bond(s) to be the minimum required, the same or lesser in time duration, the terms, details and conditions of such bonds to be set by a resolution of the Town Council.

Allows the Town Treasurer (with Town Council consent) to borrow funds in anticipation of the receipt of sewer service fees. This authorization is for short-term notes that allow for operations to continue while the Sewer Commission awaits the collection of fees. The amount of these notes is limited to 80% of the total expected annual revenue due, or $400,000, whichever is less:

To authorize the Town Treasurer, with the consent and approval of the Town Council, by resolution, and the Board of Sewer Commissioners, pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 45-12-4.3, to issue notes in anticipation of sewer service charges, such sum or sums of money to an amount which, together with any money borrowed in anticipation of such revenues in any prior Fiscal Year that remains unpaid, shall not exceed in aggregate eighty percent (80%) of the total amount of those revenues due or expected to be received during the Fiscal Year as estimated by the Town Treasurer or $400,000.00, whichever is less. Such funds shall be used for payment of the current liabilities and expenses of the Sewer Commission for the cost of repairing and operation of such sewage disposal system. Negotiable Notes issued pursuant to the authority hereof shall be signed by the Town Treasurer and countersigned by the First Warden of the Town Council and the Chairman of the Board of Sewer Commissioners to the loan or loans evidenced thereby. All the conditions of said Note or Notes and the method of sale thereof not fixed herein or by provisions of law, may be fixed by the Town Council and, if not so fixed, then by the Town Treasurer. The Town Treasurer is hereby authorized and empowered with the consent and approval of the Town Council and the Board of Sewer Commissioners to renew any such Notes from time to time, provided that the period from the date of an original note to the maturity of any note issued to renew the same debt shall not exceed one year.

Allows the Town Treasurer (with Town Council consent) to borrow funds in anticipation of the receipt of water service fees. This authorization is for short-term notes that allow for operations to continue while the Water Commission awaits the collection of fees. The amount of these notes is limited to 80% of the total expected annual revenue due, or $200,000, whichever is less:

To authorize the Town Treasurer, with the consent and approval of the Town Council by resolution, pursuant to R.I.G.L. 45-12-4.3, to issue notes in anticipation of water service charges such sum or sums of money to an amount which, together with any money borrowed in anticipation of such revenues in any prior Fiscal Year that remains unpaid, shall not exceed in aggregate eighty percent (80%) of the total amount of those revenues due or expected to be received during the Fiscal Year as estimated by the Town Treasurer or $200,000.00 whichever is less. Such funds shall be used for payment of the current liabilities and expenses for the cost of repair and operation of such water treatment system. Negotiable Notes issued pursuant to the authority hereof shall be signed by the Town Treasurer and countersigned by the First Warden of the Town Council to the loan or loans evidenced thereby. All the conditions of said Note or Notes and the method of sale thereof not fixed herein or by provisions of law, may be fixed by the Town Council and if not so fixed then by the Town Treasurer. The Town Treasurer is hereby authorized and empowered with the consent and approval of the Town Council, to renew any such Notes from time to time, provided that the period from the date of an original note to the maturity of any note issued to renew the same debt shall not exceed one year.

The annual exercising of the Town’s authority to regulate the economic resources within the Great Salt Pond is an important action that can only be accomplished by the electors, at a Town Meeting, by authorizing the Town Council to enact protective regulations and ordinances relative to the taking of shellfish and other fish in the Great Salt Pond:

To authorize the Town Council, pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 20-3-7, to enact such ordinances as they may think proper, to protect and to regulate the taking of shellfish and other fish in the Great Salt Pond, and to impose penalties therefore, not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) and three (3) months imprisonment for any one offense.

Allows for the over or under expenditure of any particular item in the current year’s budget as long as the total expenditure for the year does not exceed the total amount approved in July 2020:

To ratify and confirm the actions of the Town Council in authorizing over expenditures of certain appropriations, which were due to circumstances that could not be anticipated in budget preparations for Fiscal Year 2021 provided that the over expenditures do not exceed the total budget amount for the Fiscal Year 2021.

Allows the Town Council to direct the expenditure of grant funds (for their intended purpose) that were not known to be available at the time of the previous FTM:

To authorize the Town Council of the Town of New Shoreham to expend grant funds applied for and awarded to the Town of New Shoreham, and, to the extent grant proceeds from grants exceed the amount budgeted by the Town, to authorize the Town Treasurer with the advice and consent of the Town Council to expend these excess proceeds for the purposes designated in the grant.

If there are other issues not addressed previously in the meeting they may be raised at this time:

And for any or all other purposes authorized by law and to transact such other business as may legally come before the meeting