Block Island Times

Council grants moped licenses

The five moped operators appeared before the New Shoreham Town Council on Tuesday night to request renewals of rental licenses for the 2022 summer season. Always a contentious affair, last year’s renewal process went on for several months and required the town’s legal counsel to log a few hours before the council finally granted the licenses by a four to one vote.Council Member Mark Emmanuelle got the proceedings started with a flourish, declaring himself the “thorn in the side” of the moped operators, citing his three decades of anti-moped activism. He said he would not be able to vote to grant the licenses without a “comprehensive plan” to move forward. Emmanuelle compared a favorable vote on mopeds to voting for a carnival with a “Ferris wheel in disrepair.” He further stated he wanted to schedule a meeting with the moped operators to discuss one of three options he considered acceptable: a buyout by the town, removal of the moped businesses through eminent domain, or a new agreement with the town that was “generous to the town and its overburdened public services.”While Council Member Keith Stover said he did not disagree with the “philosophical underpinnings” of Emmanuelle’s position, he

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