No. Smithfield focused on water work with federal funds

No. Smithfield focused on water work with federal funds

NORTH SMITHFIELD – This town’s plans for what to do with federal American Rescue Plan Act stimulus money revolve around improving water quality in several ways, says Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski.

He said the top project on the priority list is the Comstock Road water tank, a million-gallon tank supplying drinkable water and fire suppression capacity to 400 residents within the Slatersville water system.

The water is fine, he said, but the tank needs a good deal of maintenance.

The tank has been on the Rhode Island Department of Health’s list for a number of years, he said, and the project would be put out to bid to determine costs.

Zwolenski says the town was originally expecting to receive $1.2 million from the federal government, but is now anticipating about $2.4 million in ARPA funding, with $600,000 set to arrive shortly.

“I’m banking on $1.2 million. Once the check is deposited, that’s when I’ll feel comfortable. If they want to give us even more, I’ll be even more comfortable,” he said, laughing.

If there are funds remaining, said Zwolenski, other potential projects include upgrades to the 1956 Mowry Fire Tower and the water line on St. Paul Street, which has long needed to be fixed to add a loop and constant change of water. Part of the issue in not fixing it over the years is that it would be quite expensive, he said, and likely require taxpayer-approve borrowing.

If there is any money left after those projects are done, Zwolenski says he would like to use the rest to take down an unused large green water tank at the intersection of Ridge Road and Country Way in Slatersville. He said he envisions one day turning that property into a small neighborhood park for families to enjoy.