Block Island Times

Council juggling summer and resident employment needs

“I think we need to start the discussion now, and start reaching out.” Councilor Chris Willi was talking about contacting island businesses, which usually start seeing at least some of their seasonal workforce arrive on the island at this time, to get their ideas on how to open the island safely for the upcoming summer season. But there is now, due to the town’s emergency ordinance, no place to stay and no work permits being issued.
The discussion on how to address the island’s tourism, hotel, marina industry and island workforce for the coming season was initiated during a special Town Council meeting on Wednesday, April 8. Since the council could not act on the agenda item, it scheduled a meeting specifically on that topic and to vote on some kind of measure to address the issue for Saturday, April 11 at 9 a.m.
The council was discussing these and other matters after a particularly sobering message about the COVID-19 situation in Rhode Island from Dr. Mark Clark, director of the island’s Medical Center.
“It’s important for everyone to know that Rhode Island is still on the uphill of the

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