Town of North Smithfield

September 25, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message from Town Administrator

Gary Ezovski

 

Given the number of calls my office has received and the comments that can be seen in social media, there are no words that will sooth the concerns of neighbors to properties where blasting takes place. Nonetheless I think it is important to provide some information about blasting with hope that knowledge can create understanding of how the process is guided by law and/or standards.  Some will clearly respond with want to condemn the messenger. That goes with the territory here in Administrator world. There is no intent to criticize or defend anyone. This is just my effort to share some of what I am learning.

There have been frequent complaints about not receiving notice of a blast event. This is from the state law regarding notice. “Prior to the commencement of blasting operations, any person, firm, corporation, or other entity that is regulated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall notify the owner or owners of record of any improved real property within five hundred (500') feet, as measured from the nearest borehole to the closest improved real property, of an intended blast or detonation, excluding road, bridge, utility, and public works construction, no less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the blast or detonation.” Given the size of the Iron Mine Hill Road solar property and the Pine Hill Quarry off Pound Hill Road where blasting is taking place it is easy to see that “the closest improved real property” is often well beyond the 500 foot distance from the nearest borehole for notice required by law. We have asked for cooperation from the people responsible for these sites and they have willingly accepted duty to provide notice to abutters who call to ask for notice. We will continue to engage in that cooperative spirit with hope that notice can alleviate some concerns. If you are an abutter who is not yet on a site list and would like to be added to the call list for either site, please advise by response to this email. I will ask that we all please respect the cooperation that is afforded by only asking for notice if your home is reasonably close to the site.

The other concern that obviously has come forward is about potential damage to structures and wells. To understand that matter, I have been seeking input from every source I can find to become more informed about the blasting process and the limits that are established to control it. The Iron Mine Hill Road blast on Aug 20 was the event that first drew my attention. Among my first thoughts was need to issue a cease and desist order for public safety in general. By reaching out to an individual from town who had extensive working career experience in this area I learned and confirmed with legal resources that local officials had no ability to stop a blasting program since they are permitted and managed by the state fire marshal. In conversations I was also informed about the 0.5 inches/second vibration limit that is set in the state regulations to protect structures from blasting activity. I later learned that most people could detect the vibration from a blast at a level of only .01 inches/second or fifty times lower than the standard set to protect property. That means people nearby a blast site will always feel the wave from the blast, but it does not mean there will be structural damage. It may not be the way professionals in the industry describe it, but my understanding is the 0.5 in/sec limit is established to protect the “weakest link” in structures. That weakest link is drywall and plaster. My reading and conversation with informed resources results in perspective that if drywall and plaster are protected then concrete elements and wells are also protected because the energy needed to damage them is significantly higher than that needed to protect drywall and plaster. All that said, it has been my recommendation to anyone who has expressed a concern about structural damage to take abundant photos of their home to document current conditions. Do not wait to observe a crack and then take photos. And of course, as explained previously the state fire marshal’s office is the place to file a damage claim.

Finally, the information made available to the town from the state fire marshal’s office and the blaster indicates that all blasts to date at the Iron Mine Hill Road site have been observed to be compliant with the state limits.  As many may know we have Pare Engineering overseeing that project for the town. Given the concern that has been expressed about blasting at that site, we have arranged for Pare Corporation to engage a subconsultant with specific expertise in blast design and monitoring. That entity will be providing additional observation of the methods used and perhaps may have suggestions to reduce the effects that are detected by neighbors. 

 

For anyone who wants more information about this entire process I have also found the following websites where information is available that may be of interest. 

https://explosives.org/frequently-asked-questions/

http://dykonblasting.com/faq/

https://www.osmre.gov/resources/blasting/docs/Citizens/KentuckyBlasting.pdf

https://www.osmre.gov/resources/blasting/docs/USBM/RI8507BlastingVibration1989.pdf

https://vibrationdamage.com/Vibration_standards.htm

 

I hope this information helps many to understand how the blasting process is being monitored and controlled with interest to protect public safety, property and water supplies while the construction work or quarrying activity that has been permitted is allowed to continue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOWN OF NORTH SMITHFIELD

 

NOTICE OF VOTER REGISTRATION

 

Due to Covid-19, the Town Clerk’s office located at 83 Greene Street is currently closed to the public. 

 

On the following website you can register online or print the form to mail into the Town Clerk’s Office at the address above:

 

Vote.ri.gov

 

For those residents who are not already registered to vote, the last date to register to be eligible to vote in the General Election scheduled for November 3, 2020 is:

 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2020 FROM 1:00 P.M. TO 4:00 P.M.

 

Voter registration forms will be made available in the lobby of the North Smithfield Police Station, 575 Smithfield Road for new voter registrations and to correct names and addresses of registered voters.

 

If you would like to receive a Mail Ballot for this election, please go to the website above or call (401)767-2200 ext. 504 to request an application. The deadline to submit a Mail Ballot Application is: 

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2020 AT 4:00 P.M.

 

 

 

 

 

  SLATERSVILLE Film News - Screening #5

We invite you to enjoy SLATERSVILLE-In-Progress Screening #5, which premiered on Wednesday, September 16 through the Museum of Work & Culture. 

 The direct link is below and will be open to the public until October 15. 

 

This presentation runs 24 minutes and consists of two work-in-progress pieces: “What If This Could Have a New Life?,” about the famous painting of Slatersville by Maxwell Mays, and “Uncle Johnny,” about the life of John Whipple Slater, who ran the village during the 1880’s.   

 

There is more news to come soon. Enjoy

 

Slatersville Screening #5

gofundme

 

 

 

*Important Update to School-Age Guidance for Fall 2020* 

 

Face coverings play a critical role in mitigating risk related to COVID-19. Effective September 14, 2020, the RI Department of Human Services is requiring face coverings for all school-age children* (in addition to staff) in all DHS-licensed child care programs, even when children are in stable groups and physically distanced (6+ feet apart.) Important to note: this guidance will not pertain to other younger age groups served in DHS-licensed child care facilities such as infants/toddlers and preschoolers whose language development is often dependent upon visual cues and prompts from peers modeling appropriate speech. Face coverings will be critical in mitigating the risks associated with school-age children participating in multiple stable pods due to their enrollment in a DHS licensed child care facility and will mirror RIDE guidance for K-12 schools. 

 

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than age two; anyone who has trouble breathing; or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. 

 

Protective face coverings are not required for certain individuals, per CDC guidelines, or for anyone for whom use of such face covering would be damaging to his or her health or inhibit an activity of daily living (e.g. eating.)

 

 

 

 

 

CommerceRI.com

 

Here are the basics about the RestoreRI small business grant program:

This program is targeting some of the hardest hit industries here in Rhode Island, including retail, restaurants, and salons. Additional eligibility information can be found here

 

·     Eligible businesses who have 1-20 employees, or any restaurant or caterer, may apply for up to $15,000 in grant funding. 



·     Businesses must demonstrate a revenue loss of at least 30-50% or more in any month from March through July 2020, depending on the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

Curbside yard waste pick up is expected to start again in late September or early October.

Drop off at the Recycling Center is available during the hours of : Wednesdays 3pm-6pm & Saturdays 10am-2pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ATTENTION NORTH SMITHFIELD RESIDENTS WHO ARE BLACKSTONE, MASS WATER CUSTOMERS

 

(St Paul St / Elizabeth Ave / West St / Middle St / Colerick St / Fountain St)

 

PLEASE READ THE ATTACHED NOTICE REGARDING A WATER BAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September Dates are:



Saturday: 

·     September 19th & 26th, 10:00 - 10:30 am

·      

·     Tuesday:

September 22nd & 29th, 5:30–6:00 pm

 

In September we will need to confirm North Smithfield residency with a valid photo ID and a second form of identification such as a phone or rent bill with a North Smithfield address.

 

 

The Food Pantry is a drive through at the Slatersville Congregational Church, UCC at 25 Greene St on the Common. Please line up on Greene St and you will be directed into the parking lot and food will be delivered into your car. You must wear a mask to receive food. You can come to all four of our pantries. Questions call 401-678-0356

 

 

Thank you to our good friends at Wright’s Dairy for their generous donation of milk! We so appreciate your kindness, and our clients say thank you as well!!!!

 

Additionally, thank you but we cannot use additional volunteer help at this time. If you would like to donate money, please mail to P.O. Box 283, Slatersville, RI 02876. If you would like to donate food, please call (401) 678-0356 to arrange a time for drop off. We need soups, canned tuna and chicken, canned fruit and juice, toilet paper and paper towels. 

 

The flavors of the month for September is canned vegetables.

We are also in need of canned tuna & chicken.

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are running hard one week before Election Day. Biden campaigns today in Georgia, which has traditionally been a Republican state. He'll visit Florida, Iowa, and Wisconsin later this week. Trump will headline airport rallies today in Michigan, Nebraska, and two in Wisconsin.        Health experts are worried that worse is yet to come as the coronavirus surges across much of the country. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC yesterday this latest wave of outbreaks could be the most severe yet.        Two firefighters are gravely injured fighting a fast-moving wildfire in Southern California. The Silverado Fire, about an hour southeast of Los Angeles, has forced out most of the 90-thousand people ordered to evacuate in Orange County. The Blue Ridge Fire is driving out people as it burns above the neighborhoods of Yorba Linda.        Angry crowds spilled into the streets of Philadelphia last night after police killed a black man yesterday afternoon. Authorities say police shot 27-year-old Walter Wallace after he brandished a knife at officers.       Lakers watch parties and celebrations are getting some of the blame for coronavirus spikes in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Department of Health says L.A. averaged about 200 more cases per day last week, compared to early October. Crowds gathered all over the city the night the Lakers clinched the championship.        Today is National American Beer Day and the American Homebrewers Association is out with its 2020 list of "Best Beers in America." For the fourth year in a row, the association says Bell's Two Hearted Ale, brewed in Michigan, is the nation's best beer.