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Town Council Meeting Review, April 11

Of the many agenda items covered at last night’s Town Council meeting, there was some good news on Charlestown’s cultural and social aspects:

  • Rhythm and Roots lives on!

  • The General Stanton Inn has been purchased and is undergoing renovation

  • Recently proposed shoreline rights State-House legislation was endorsed by the Council

The Council voted 5 - 0 to approve the annual Rhythm and Roots festival for September 2 — 4, 2022, subject to the receipt of required paperwork. Chuck Wentworth, the festival’s producer of the last 23 years, endorsed Goodworks Entertainment, a live-entertainment company out of Hartford, Connecticut, to run the show starting this Labor Day weekend. Wentworth announced that he will stay on as a consultant. Planning no major changes, Goodworks’ Dave Rosenfeld and Tyler Grill asked the council to vote on the event without delay and the Town Council approved it unanimously. Councilor Bonnie Van Slyke added that the approval should be “subject to legal review and execution of a contract materially similar to previous contract of May 10, 2017 between Lagniappe Productions and the town.”

The General Stanton has been purchased by Rhode Islander David Moore and family, who plan to open a fine-dining restaurant and a tavern, as well as update the guest rooms. They also want to see the flea market restarted as a “cultural hub,” with the inclusion of local artisans and craftspeople.

The Town Council unanimously supported the State Special Legislative Commission’s proposed House Bill 8055 on shoreline access. The proposed bill aims to secure the public’s rights and privileges to the shore as set forth in Article 1, Sections 16 & 17 of the RI Constitution. It proposes to restore the historical seaweed line as the shore boundary, and that this boundary should be designated the “Recognizable High Tide Line,” with the public’s right to the shoreline extending 10 feet landward of this line. See the full bill proposal at

Other topics:

Richard Sartor of the Budget Commission gave a report from that commission, which among other items recommended that Charlestown’s tax rate remain at $8.18 per thousand. He also mentioned that there will be a public hearing on Charlestown’s budget on May 2.

The Budget Commission allocated a 2.47% increase to the 2022-23 Chariho School District budget, but, Sartor noted, this was before Chariho’s 2022-23 budget was rejected at a referendum last Tuesday. Sartor pointed out that Chariho student enrollment is up.

A financial Town Referendum will be held Monday, June 6 at 8 pm. 8am — 8pm. Charlestown residents may vote in person or by mail.

The full meeting agenda and a video of the proceedings may be found at (Scroll down to “Past Meetings.”)

The next Town Council meeting will be held on Monday, May 9 at 7 pm.

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