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Wetlands Could Affect Tiverton Industrial Park's Full Economic Potential

The engineers studying the topography and soils of Tiverton's industrial park will present a plan in a few months that will outline the future marketability of its 177 acres.

The amount of constraint wetlands and rock ledge could provide within the 177 acres of Tiverton’s industrial park will determine how it will be subdivided to be marketable for future businesses.

Tiverton Planner Chris Spencer gave an update to the Tiverton Town Council earlier this week on the progress of Cranston-based DiPrete Engineering, the engineering firm the park. The parcel subdividing is being assisted through the Newport County Chamber of Commerce through a Small Business Association grant, and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. From a signed contract earlier this summer, DiPrete has 180 days to present a concept design for the park, which they will eventually bring to the Planning Board to begin the review process. Public hearings will then be advertised.

Spencer added that DiPrete should be on site in September looking at the soils and conditions.

“They’ll be working with the Department of Environmental Management and other permitting agencies to meet that deadline,” he said.

Spencer said there is a rather large wetland that bisects the industrial park on the other side of Progress Way, the only access road leading in. He said engineers will most likely be marking that off. 

“We want to utilize the existing topography so we can minimize the amount of cut and fill that would be required,” Spencer said.

Parallel to the land study, Spencer said they would like to identify all possible mixed zoning uses that could benefit the park. They would also like to create some development standards and guidelines for the park, such as frontages for businesses, building design, landscaping, lighting and signage.

“Part of that makes them marketable,” he said.

With DEM working closely with the town, Spencer hopes they can speed up the application process for a potential suitor, in terms of all permits required to subdivide the land parcels. In a recent letter to DEM, Spencer states that he anticipates the development of Tiverton’s park to mirror that of the Quonset Development Corporation, by pre-permitting as much as possible. Future build-out of the park is also proposed.

“By being more clear as to what the town wants, we think we can create an expedited process for someone who wants to be located in the park,” he said.

On Tuesday night, Town Council Vice President Cecil Leonard requested an update on the project. Once the subdivision design is ready, he said the town will need to look to hire a marketing agent.

“We need customers to rent and buy land,” he said. “There are many, many communities that offer incentives for customers who want to build things in our community. We need to be competitive.”

In talks with the Economic Development Commission, who had members present on Tuesday night, Spencer said it may cost the town $10,000 to $20,000 for marketing costs, which could include a website, brochures and video.

Councilors, such as Robert Coulter and President Jay Lambert, noted that Tiverton must shed it’s “unfriendly to business” stigma, citing numerous things that are working for the town, including approving a earlier Tuesday evening.

“We have waterfront and open space, Weetamoo Woods and we’re close to the highways,” Leonard said, noting Tiverton’s Industrial Park will be competing with Fall River, Taunton and Freetown’s industrial parks for clientele.

“The better chance we have at getting creative, [the more chance] we have at making the park a success,” added Lambert.

The December 2010 request-for-proposal .pdf to subdivide Tiverton's industrial park is attached to this post. The town is also currently in the new industrial park.

Jim L August 12, 2011 at 08:45 PM
thanks very much for this update Matt, good to see this town moving forward and seeming to do it in a sensible way
Janet Sroczynski August 12, 2011 at 09:31 PM
I would like to see Tiverton take into consideration my past comments/Letter to the Editor -see/read: historical archives on 1) http://www.eastbayri.com - for the possibility to plan and then build a new, small private college for the town of Tiverton, RI. Where the idea was my own, and it had appeared previously in print -years ago, I wanted to mention it here. Ask your residents, taxpayers etc. -what they really want for the town's future planning efforts...and perhaps that would also be a nice tie-in for the current town of Tiverton's "empty-for-sale-school-buildings." If it makes sense for the area, then consider it. See/read further and/or visit the campus of Stonehill College and/or Wheaton College -for examples. And tie-it into the library as proposed for Tiverton. If interested, see/read further at: 1) http://www.amesfreelibrary.org, as an example. Newport and Bristol, Rhode Island also offer small, private colleges -Salve Regina and Roger Williams University; providing full-time job opportunities, heatlhcare, 403b's, higher-education benefits-tuition remission/tuition reimbursement, and so forth. A consideration for Tiverton's long-term planning.
Joe Sousa. August 13, 2011 at 11:41 AM
I agree Jim, When the economy turns we will be ready to sell. It would be a good idea if we allow businesses who want to build in the park to have there own wind generator to save on electric. Middletown industrial park has one that provides electric to one of the building and tenants. For small manufacturers energy costs are a big concern.
Rug Doctor August 13, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Is this the same Chris Spencer that ignored pleas from the residents of 4 corners about the wetlands? Is this the same guy who withheld an important document from the State of RI regarding the wetlands and that his proposed plan was not suitable for the 4 corners area. No matter what he says or does he in not to be trusted. What important documents are being supressed regarding this proposal. Why is this guy still here? He was to become a certified planner within one year of employment. He has been here all of these years and has not even bothered to take a class.
Tiverton_Red August 13, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Sounds a lot like your description of the town council's compromised defense of the O'Dell/TCC lawsuit against the town. Are you sure you haven't confused the cases, or have we dropped the ball on another one despite our bloated legal budget?
stoney larue August 14, 2011 at 12:27 AM
Here is another example of the Joe Sousa name calling and nastiness that the patch seems to condone. What pole are you traveling to Joe Sousa?
Joe Sousa. August 14, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Doc I have been watching our planner to see if we are getting what we pay for. I have to disagree with your assessment. The planner is following directions from the administrator and planning board. He is trying to bring some economic development to town. He is working with the EDC. and the new committee councilman Brett . Pelletier has started. While I personally think we should be focusing more on the I.P. and fish rd. He is following instruction from the people in charge. The Town Council has a hand in his duties. They set policy to direct his activity. The planner is looking at the whole town. The zoning and planning regulations are being reviewed to help businesses. I'm seeing a positive change in the direction of the town. I agree four corners should stay small. Lack of sewer and water restrict that area to small shops and such. The other end of town is more suited for large businesses. I think there is a lot of good stuff going on that will help bring in jobs and a tax base . Spread the Word. TIVERTON IS OPEN TO BUSINESS !
Nancy Cormier August 14, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Marketing?Tiverton Power Company.Landlord.GRID.Pristine location.to OED-DOE-DOD-GoreTex-GE.H2O(PEM) Storage Facility
Joanne Arruda August 14, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Rug Doctor, is utterly ridiculous! I'll be looking for your credentials in planning since you appear to have all the answers! Chris Spencer for your edifciation is a graduate from MIT, (yes Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass) with a degree in Urban Planning and Development if I remember correctly. Who wrote this thesis on such and is published. Please, if people let the man do his job in spite of the mess he inherited then maybe we'd all see the light at the end of the tunnel in this town. It's been Chris Spencer who has continued to work hard at trying to get a market in response to what he hears from the full-time residents of this town , and is looking like Toms's Market it's s going to happen. Those NIMBY's in the 4 corners, make planning anything never mind developing something in this town virtually impossible. I've heard enough!
Janet Sroczynski August 15, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Dual Technology Patent Transfer Licenses, available at your local navy base/Newport, RI. Inquire and bring to market. Start to pay down the Debt.
The Parrot August 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM
Buy gold, not libraries. No debt!
Janet Sroczynski August 15, 2011 at 01:01 PM
Let's see how well Tiverton does with Creative Financing, in terms of long-term planning. To get started; review: 1) http://www.amesfreelibrary.org-read comments re: The Gates Foundation-Bill & Melinda, and recent $$$-contribution(s); and best small libraries award; inquire. Also, see/read: 2) http://www.FEEEOnline.org -the Foundation for Excellence in Education in Easton and 3) One Laptop Per Child program at http://www.Laptop.org. Study/read up on the Endowment process, Gifting, Estate Planning, Grants & Grant Funding.
Rug Doctor August 15, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Why is Mr. Spencer so concerned with the wetlands at this location and not down at 4 corners where people depend on wells for their water? Did Mr. Spencer supress important documents like he did at 4 corners? Why Joanne has Mr. Spencer not obtained the very important certification that he was supposed to have with in 1 year of employment? From my understanding Mr. Spencer has not even taken a class. I see no where in his contract that the town is responsible for paying for this very important certification. I know many planners and according to them you are not really a planner unless you get the certification. The market came to the town not the other way arround. Joanne, you did nothing while you were on the council and now all you do is act like a cry baby for your favorite pet . I want to see lots of large companies at the industrial park who will employ local people. Why is Mr. Spencer so inconsistent when it comes to wetlands? Sorry Joanne the people of this town that have been watching have heard enough from you!!!!
Tivie September 23, 2011 at 09:13 PM
This is a town with great resources, and we are lucky to have a town planner to help with the overdue process of getting appropriate development (i.e. tax revenue) up to speed. There are some real challenges: environmental concerns, big economic differences between town residents, a series of "mini-village centers" (4 corners, bliss 4 corners, main post office area, stonebridge) vs. a defined town center, state economic pressures, and, of course, some pretty divisive politics. Despite this, we are seeing progress. The new fishing pier at Grinnell, Sandywoods, recently updated elementary schools, hopefully a new library and wind farm, a repaired senior center, new paving and sidewalks in the north part of town. Nice landscaping in front of Sip&Dip, some new restaurants & businesses, and plans for updates. All these things - investment, infrastructure, and positive future planning - raise property values, attract businesses and families, improve quality of life, and keep the town from drying up like some rust-belt backwater. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money - hopefully this wetlands study doesn't go on forever, avoids future problems, and gets the ball rolling on some smart development. I am so-so on providing businesses with huge incentives to move to your community. Better to plow that cash into the community at large, so people want to move their biz in. Otherwise,you start the race to the bottom, competing to give up the most.

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