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Town moving forward on bathrooms at football stadium

9/23/2020

The Paul F. Joyce Athletic Complex behind North Smithfield Middle School is the expected location of a new concession stand and bathroom facility negotiated as part of the Green Development solar project. (Breeze photo by Lauren Clem)

NORTH SMITHFIELD – A proposed concession stand and bathroom facility that was negotiated as part of the Green Development solar farm is now in the design stages and could begin construction later this year, according to Town Administrator Gary Ezovski.

Ezovski briefed members of the Town Council on the status of the estimated $275,000 project on Monday. According to the administrator, the solar company has begun the permitting and design process for the facility and hopes to begin construction in the coming months.

“There should be a plan coming to us in the next few weeks with ambition that a shovel will be able to get in the ground in the next two months or so,” he said.

The two-part facility was proposed last year as one of the benefits to the town included in the development agreement for the 38.4-megawatt solar farm currently going up on Iron Mine Hill Road. Former Town Council President John Beauregard played a role in negotiating for the facility, which comes in lieu of a one-time payment by the developer.

Ezovski said on Monday the developer has contacted him to request data about the property’s septic system that the town has been collecting for several years. The current plan, he said, is to hook up the new facility to the existing septic system at the middle school.

“As many people will recall, the opportunity to install a separate system … is something that is just not feasible,” he said. “The space just isn’t available, so what we have identified, or has been identified, is the potential for (the Department of Environmental Management) to be able to approve discharge of the flow from the new facility into the existing onsite waste treatment system for the middle school.”

The entire project hinges on approval from the RIDEM, as the property could not support an additional system, Ezovski explained. Based on the data, he said, he’s hopeful the RIDEM will approve the project.

“That’s moving along, we’re hoping to hear something favorable from DEM as soon as possible,” he said.

The final plan would need the approval of the Town Council.

Advocates for the town’s athletic facilities have lobbied for bathrooms at the football field for several years. In 2018, the field was renamed Veterans Memorial Stadium in honor of Matthew Turcotte and other service members from North Smithfield.

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