Block Island Times

Capital improvement public hearing rescheduled

The Town Council continued the public hearing for the proposed changes to the town’s ordinances to alter the procedure for forming the capital budget. Town Manager Maryanne Crawford had suggested the changes, which are aimed at streamlining the process by having thetown manager review capital budget items submitted by the various department heads before sending the list to the Planning Board for review. In years past, the various department heads met with the Planning Board to set the list of proposed items.The Town Council discussed the proposed changes on Jan. 4, with Second Warden Sven Risom calling them a “great improvement,” but suggesting right away that a “public comment component” should be added.Finance Director Amy Land agreed, saying a public meeting of the Planning Board would provide public dialogue and feedback, while ensuring alignment between the capital plan and the comprehensive plan.Council Member Mark Emmanuelle expressed concern that the proposed changes might result in the town manager rejecting some ideas that the Planning Board would have thought had merit. The town manager would “cull” the ideas before they reached the Planning Board,according to Emmanuelle.Not everyone agreed, as Council Member Martha Ball said it was necessary to “have someone

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