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Week In Review: Council Approves Budget, CRMC Agrees To Temporary Bulwarks in Matunuck

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Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) made two key stops in South Kingstown during his South County Community Day tour designed to discuss budget priorities with local citizens and groups facing the possibility of program-based funding cuts.

Students, staff and board members at thein Wakefield greeted the Congressman in an informal round-table discussion of budget limitations and future funding potential.

Although salt water is now lapping at the foundations of several Matunuck homes and businesses, a solution to shoreline retrograde has been stymied for more than 15 years, according to homeowners, because of an alleged political impasse between conservancy regulations and private property protection. 

Late this past Thursday, the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) granted Matunuck residents the right to construct temporary wooden bulwarks to protect their properties after a town meeting last month where locals put pressure on the CRMC and accused the policy-driven agency of forfeiting the welfare of residents.

The Town Council quelled hopes for a liquor store in South County Commons on Monday night, voting to limit the number of licenses to South Kingstown's four existing liquor stores.

After  released last month confirmed that South Kingstown’s population peaked to 30,000 residents, per state mandate the town is now eligible to host up to five liquor stores. State law limits a town’s ability to license beer, wine and liquor stores to one per every 6,000 residents.

The difference between Twisted Throttle’s warehouse in the Palisades Mill one year ago and this past Tuesday was palpable as owner Erik Stephens prepared for a visit from U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who swung through Wakefield as part of his continued outreach to Rhode Island small businesses.

Stephens and his staff recounted how water had filled the entire ground floor of their building up to knee-high, and the difficult weeks of cleanup that ensued following Rhode Island’s great flood of 2010.

With the current year budget process mostly complete, the School Committee turned an eye toward next year’s staffing and fiduciary responsibilities at its meeting on Tuesday night.

John Richotte, the district’s director of administration, told the School Committee next year’s budget would be even more strained as the district will lose another $350,000 in state funding and incur additional pension costs anywhere from $622,000 to $2.1 million.

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