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Council OKs Equipment Upgrades, Pension Board Change

The Council voted unanimously to upgrade equipment and allow union members with 5 years of service to serve on the retirement board.

The June 13 Town Council meeting moved along rather quickly, taking just an hour to complete — but despite the short timeframe, the council handled some substantive issues.

The Council voted unanimously to approve a change to Ordinance 47-39, which would allow union members with 5 years of experience to serve on the pension board, rather than the 10 years which was initially proposed. According to Town Solicitor William Conley, the change was requested by members of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

Conley stated that the administration would "welcome the participation" of union members with 5 years experience, rather than the 10 years that was originally proposed.

Upgrades on the way

Also by a 5-0 vote, councilors approved Resolution 2011-26, which would authorize the town to borrow $1.43 million to purchase equipment for the police, fire, and school departments.

After reviewing the list, which included rescues and patrol cars, Councilman Ernest Pitochelli (I-Dist. 2) said he feels the items are important to the town.

"Everything I see here is necessary," said Pitochelli.

Another item on the list is a new boiler for Johnston High School to replace the current boiler, which is 44 years old.

"It's in dire need of replacement," said Conley.

Is Johnston going to the dogs?

Johnston resident Karen Tedeschi asked the council about the possibility of constructing a dog park on Cricket Field. Tedeschi said she and other residents would help raise money for the necessary improvements, and isn't worried about neighborhood response.

"Most of the residents in that neighborhood are delighted," said Tedeschi.

The council referred the proposal to Conley for review of potential legal issues, and Council President Robert V. Russo said the matter will also have to go to the town planning board.

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