‘Golden ticket’

‘Golden ticket’

Easement unlocks Smithfield’s development potential

SMITHFIELD – Town Engineer Kevin Cleary anticipates increased development in Smithfield’s Economic Growth Overlay District after local landowner Ronald Caniglia agreed to an easement allowing the extension of sewer and water lines on his property at 167 George Washington Highway.

The Town Council last week approved an easement agreement where Caniglia will pay for the extension of sewer and water lines on his property to Route 7.

Cleary said the town will see savings of more than $250,000, paying only administrative fees and sharing impact fees from future developments until the project cost is reimbursed.

Cleary said the “planets aligned” for the deal, which will cost the town “very little” in staff time at Town Hall and the Smithfield Water Supply Board.

“It’s a windfall for the community,” Cleary said.

The corridor between Route 7 south to John Mowry Road has no water and sewer lines, and has long posed a burden to potential developers who hope to move into the EGO district, said Cleary.

Caniglia purchased the property at 167 George Washington Highway in January 2020 for $135,000. Last July, he received a zoning variance from the Smithfield Zoning Board of Review to build a home in an industrial zone, proposing an easement with the town for utilities.

Cleary said the town did not have success negotiating an easement on the property with previous owners, and he is grateful to strike a deal with Caniglia. He said a utility corridor extends up to Caniglia’s lot, which is south of Hanton City Trail, but does not connect to Route 7.

“This is a unique opportunity for the community to expand utility services within the Economic Growth Overlay zone,” Cleary said.

“To do so will free up quite a bit of growth opportunity to the town,” Cleary said.

Cleary said there is a map of targeted properties for development near the Caniglia property that will be able to connect and funnel down through the utility corridor and into existing water and sewer systems.


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He said Smithfield Diesel and other businesses have expressed interest in acquiring utilities in the area, with varying complaints about well water issues or failing septic systems.

“It’s a complex matter but also a unique opportunity,” he said.

In addition to cost savings, Cleary said the utility lines will eliminate the need for pump stations along the EGO corridor. He said loops in the system can be created, enabling services to the EGO zone to pan out more without costing the town much money.

“That’s the best part of this deal. It’s a golden ticket offered up in town,” Cleary said.

Town Manager Randy Rossi said that if growth in the EGO district is successful, the town may attract attention from the state. He said if substantial enough, the state may put an additional ramp onto Route 295 at the intersection of Routes 7 and 116.

Resident and business owner Al Costantino said that after attending meetings for more than 45 years, the agenda item to allow the utility easement on Caniglia’s property was the best he’s ever seen.

Comments

RE: Town Manager Randy Rossi said that if growth in the EGO district is successful, the town may attract attention from the state. He said if substantial enough, the state may put an additional ramp onto Route 295 at the intersection of Routes 7 and 116.

Why would there be a need for the state to put an additional ramp from Rt7 to 295? Last I checked there's already a full cloverleaf at RT.295 & RT.7?? And I don't think it's possible to put a cloverleaf at RT.116 where it passes over RT.295? But it is R.I. and stranger things have happened.....

go slow Smithfield, or you'll become the same as Cumberland ...once so nice and pretty, now 90 percent built out and looks like hell (except for one small northeast corner.) Beware the greedy developers and the politicians in their pockets. Not all growth is good growth.

Though I support controlled and well planned development, I also agree with what "Be careful Smithfield" wrote. Some developers are GREEDY and have personal influence over others. It is after all about the money to be made. As far as a new exit on and off Rt. 295, in the past there was talk of this by the State highway complex on Rt.116. If you really want to open up your eyes, do a little research and see who owns the land abutting this area along Rt. 295. Only in R.I.!!!

I agree with "be careful Smithfield" and "Only in RI"

And it begs the question: Who are/is the land owner(s) that will benefit from this change?

Perhaps a follow up by Ms. Moorehead...? Or by a commenter familiar with the area being discussed...

Not sure if others feel this way but as 2020 has turned into 2021 I sense a shift in the underlying path/direction/focus of this country and others in this world. The hollowing out of the social and industrial infrastructure through deregulation and consolidation over the last 40 years cannot go on forever and I believe 2020 will be the line in the sand. Obviously there was a big political change but if the new admin does business as usual they will be in for a rude awakening. It's time for individuals to take a more hands on role civically (me included, as I currently don't have any role) and I think it will be a refreshing change once this takes hold over the next few years.