Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan will be holding a community meeting on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at 6:00 pm in the basement of St. Pius V Church located at 55 Elmhurst Avenue to discuss the issues surrounding Off-Campus Housing.
“This is a city-wide issue, but it is particularly challenging in the Elmhurst neighborhood,” stated Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, Ward 5. “Since my election, I’ve worked with several different stakeholders to discuss the issues surrounding off-campus collegiate housing. This meeting will bring together the Providence Police Department, city officials, senior leaders from both Providence College and Johnson and Wales University, and concerned neighbors so that we collectively address these challenges. I encourage all area residents to attend this meeting, and share with us your concerns, and how this is affecting your quality of life.”
No stranger to the problems that off-campus housing is causing in the community, Ryan has introduced several different pieces of legislation to address the issue. In 2015 she hosted public hearings surrounding the issue of too many students living together in homes off-campus. That meeting led to the Councilwoman introducing an amendment to the zoning ordinance which limited how many students could live in non-owner occupied homes in the R-1 and R-1A zones, and was passed later that year.
Earlier this year, she introduced an ordinance that makes it easier for law enforcement officers to find the source of kegs provided to minors. The ordinance requires more legal responsibility from adults obtaining kegs and codifies a more transparent process for obtaining kegs at liquor stores. The ordinance requires buyers to make a $75 keg deposit, and buyers are also required to sign a document, known as an adult responsibility form, attesting under penalty of perjury that the information they provide for the keg label and other records is accurate. The form also requires keg buyers to attest that they will not allow underage consumption. The above piece of legislation is now in committee, and she hopes to bring it to the floor for a final vote in early 2018.
Currently, Ryan has an amendment to the Orange Sticker Ordinance being discussed in committee, which she hopes to bring to the floor in early 2018 as well. Her suggested changes to the penalty phase of the orange sticker ordinance would include:
Raising the fine from $100 to $500 for the removal or defacing of the Orange sticker.
The enforcement period goes from 6-months to 12-months, with an extension period if another nuisance takes place.
It builds in a $500 penalty for any landlord who owns at least two homes that get an orange sticker within a 6-month period.
Creates a new set of nuisance activities which can lead to a property being deemed a ‘chronic nuisance.’ Some of these activities are noise violations, disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol by a minor, violation of the State’s social host law, other alcohol-related issues and crimes against the Police.
Acting City Council President Sabina Matos and Councilman Michael Correia will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new computer lab recently installed at Joslin Recreation Center on Wednesday, November 22 at 4:00 pm.
Through a grant from IGT, the city council was able to secure $15,000.00 in funds to create a computer lab at the Joslin Recreation Center. The lab will give children access to digital learning that was not previously available.
“Not every child has access to a home computer,” stated Acting City Council President Sabina Matos, Ward 15. “It’s our hope that by ensuring that students have access to computers at the Joslin Recreation Center this will help bridge that gap.”
Councilman Michael Correia of Ward 6, whose constituents are also served by Joslin said, “I’m very happy that IGT was able to provide this much-needed support to our neighborhood recreation center. Providing students with the tools they need to succeed in school is something that the City Council takes very seriously, and we’re grateful to all who made this possible.”
“Learning doesn’t end when our students leave school,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Our youth deserve the highest quality access to technology and I thank the City Council and IGT for their commitment to making sure our kids have the tools they need to succeed.”
The Joslin Recreation Center located at 17 Hyatt Street in Providence is open Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, and on Saturdays from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm.
Providence City Councilman John Igliozzi, Ward 7 is bringing a resolution to the City Council to request cameras be placed in all classrooms, gyms, cafeterias and all hallways in the Providence Public School district.
In the wake of recent incidents, like that which occurred in May of this year at Kizirian Elementary School and most recently, ones that occurred at Central High School, these cameras will provide immediate access to the Providence Police Department and school administrators if and when incidents are alleged.
“As a parent, I’m deeply troubled by the allegations that have fallen on Providence’s Public Schools,” stated Councilman John Igliozzi, Ward 7. “As a public servant, I’m convinced that the time is long overdue to put in place protections for all students in our city. Students are our most precious resource, and they along with teachers and school staff should feel protected while at school and work. It’s my hope that Superintendent Chris Maher and Providence School Board President Nicholas Hemmond will find a way to install cameras in every hallway and every classroom to protect all we serve.”
In May of 2017, it was alleged that a teacher at Kizirian Elementary School was accused of sexual assault, and most recently there were two incidents that occurred at a Central High School involving alleged inappropriate interactions between staff and students. One of those incidents was captured on video by a student and if not for that footage may not have come to light.
Without access to students’ phones, it is important and necessary to ensure that other means are available to see the full picture of each interaction called into question between students and school employees. It’s necessary to have full knowledge and context of these interactions to protect both students and staff. The School Department has already installed cameras in common areas, along the perimeter of the schools and in some hallways for student and staff protection.
It is a top priority of the Providence City Council to guarantee that every Providence student and staff feel safe, secure and comfortable while in school and the installation of cameras will help achieve that.
Chairman of the Providence City Council Finance Committee, Councilman John Igliozzi, Ward Seven brought three tax stabilization agreements to the floor of tonight’s meeting which was passed by the Providence City Council.
“I’m thrilled that we can help these organizations create jobs and grow their businesses here in Providence. More cranes in the city skyline mean two things – more jobs, and growth – and that’s a good thing for all of us,” stated Councilman John Igliozzi. “They will approximately add a combined $5.7 Million in tax revenue to the City over the term of the TSA.”
These three successful TSA’s were brought through the City Council in a transparent and an open, predictable process. The projects approved at tonight’s meeting are for the construction of a new nine-story upscale extended-stay hotel at 111 Fountain Street; the creation of retail space along with self-storage spaces at 345 Harris Avenue; and the building of Providence Community Health Centers at 335R Prairie Avenue.
The Residence Inn by Marriott will have 168 guestrooms and will include 5,400 square feet of pedestrian-level retail space. This TSA was an extension due to a delay in construction, and the percentage of abated tax was compressed but will still be only 12 years. The abated tax was changed from roughly $2.4 Million to about $1.8 Million. Over the 12-year term, the tax revenue will be estimated at just over $3 Million. Over the same period, the city will collect around $2.3 Million in tax revenue that it would not have collected if the property had been left vacant.
Providence Community Health Centers’ stabilization will contribute nearly $1.5 Million in tax revenue.
Projected tax revenue for retail and self-storage spaces at 345 Harris Avenue will be just over $1.2 Million.
Providence City Councilman David Salvatore will host a rededication ceremony of Lafazia Square honoring Carlo Lafazia who was killed in combat in World War I. Lafazia Square is located at the intersections of Douglas Avenue and Admiral Street. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 11, 2017, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. Mayor Jorge Elorza and Lafazia’s nephew, Jeremiah O’Connor, will also attend the ceremony and give remarks.
Lafazia was called an “Emblem of Italian loyalty to the Stars and Stripes,” and was honored by the Providence Board of Alderman on August 3, 1933, when they dedicated the square in his honor.
“Carlo Lafazia was a true American patriot,” stated Councilman David Salvatore, Ward 14. “When I learned that the original plaque had been removed from the square, I immediately knew that we had a responsibility to Mr. Lafazia and his family to replace it. It’s only fitting that we rededicate Carlo Lafazia Square on Veterans Day.”
Carlo Lafazia, a native son of Providence, born in 1897 to Italian immigrants Domenico and Filomena Lafazia, was killed in France during the “Great War.” He was a Private 1st Class in the 16th Infantry Regiment. The 16th was one of the first American battalions to land on French soil in June of 1917. For more than a year Lafazia and his fellow infantrymen fought the Germans who were holding the Argonne Forest along the Western Front.
Known as the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and part of the Hundred Day Offensive, it was one of the final pushes of the Allied forces and was one of the deadliest and biggest offensives in WWI. Nearly 27,000 American soldiers were killed, including Carlo Lafazia on October 11, 1918, just one month before the Armistice of November 11.
Lafazia’s body was never recovered. His name is engraved on the Tablets of the Missing at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery – the final resting place of more than 14,000 Americans who gave their lives in WWI.
The ceremony is open to the public, and parking can be found in the Walgreens parking lot at 354 Admiral Street in Providence.