May Update: Economic Development and Parks.

Ordinance Audit

I voted in favor of spending up to $15,000 on an ordinance audit of our towns ordinances. During discussions, the Town Planner mentioned that there may be funds available from a local environmental group and RI Housing that will help review our ordinances. Our ordinances are not confusing or misleading as is, however having a second set of eyes to ensure our ordinances align with our goals is a great idea! 

RI housing would be looking at the ordinance from a housing perspective, the watershed association will be looking at the regulations from the perspective of low impact development.  I suggested we limit the scope of the auditor we hire to look at our ordinances from a development perspective.

Housing, environment and economic development are all equally important when we look towards Richmond’s future. The biggest piece of our economic development puzzle is our infrastructure, we can only support so much growth as is.

Economic Development Firm or Employee Hire

Council has proposed using 140k of APRA funds for “Economic Development”. This has been temporarily set aside as we look into the hiring of an Economic Development Firm to assist us with our development goals.

My biggest concern is the amount we are spending on a small town. I would like for the ordinance audit to be completed before we consider bringing someone on board.  APRA money does not need to be allocated to specific projects until December of 2024. Council has plenty of time to go in this direction should it be necessary. 

We have a new Town Council, new members to our Planning Board, and new members to our Economic Development Commission. I’d like to see these three different groups and current town employees work together towards the economic goals in our Comp Plan before we spend money on the same. I believe we should reconsider this in the Spring of 2024.

Richmond Dog Park

An update would not be complete without an update on my first “pet” project in town. I need to give a huge shout out and thank you to Richmond’s DPW! This park is progressing so well. If you drive by the Richmond Heritage Trail Trailhead you’ll see grass being grown and the landscape shifting slightly. I’ve been told this park will be open by the Fall!

Richmond has two other projects in the works, Beaver River Playground and 4 Richmond Townhouse Rd. Both are in progress and on time! Meaningful updates are given periodically by our Town Administrator during council meetings.

Open Office – Meet your Councilor 

Please meet me for Councilor Open Office Hours on Saturday, May 27th between 9am and 10:30am at Higher Grounds Community Coffee House. I’d love hear your thoughts, ideas, concerns or just come say hi!

Can’t make it? Feel free to email me anytime 

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