Council Approves Revised Noise Ordinance, Gets Budget Preview

by | Apr 30, 2023

The Town Council voted 3-1 in favor of changes to the noise ordinance that will allow it to settle a lawsuit brought by Blu on the Water in 2020 following the passage of a stricter noise ordinance. 

President Mark Schwager and Councilors Caryn Corenthal and Renu Englehart approved the changes and Councilman Michael Zarrella voted against at their April 24 meeting. Council Vice President Mike Donegan was absent.

Those seeking outdoor music licenses will need to meet with the town to discuss dbC levels when the business goes for its license renewal. This will apply to all businesses in East Greenwich seeking to allow outdoor music. The venue will need a qualified acoustic expert to come up with perimeters and the sound system would be tuned to the level determined by the expert for the season. DbA levels will be monitored when performances are taking place. (Read more about the ordinance HERE.)

In his report, Town Manager Andy Nota gave a preview of the budget for fiscal year 2024 that is due by May 1. Most significantly, he said he was proposing to shave $500,000 off the $40.3 million ask from the school district (read about the school district budget HERE), citing an increase of just over $1 million in state aid dollars for the school district. Nota said he had already alerted Supt. Brian Ricca about his decision. 

“Complicated topics,” he said. “Lots of tradeoffs in the town side and the school side.”

The state aid number will not be guaranteed until the General Assembly approves the state budget some time in June. Last June, the school district was dealt a blow when the state aid number fell by $729,000 after the Town Council had approved a budget with, again, $500,000 less than the school district had requested. After lots of last-minute negotiating, the state aid reduction landed at $581,000. 

Nota said the town is planning some extra meetings during the budget process, including a special Town Council meeting Thursday, May 3. He added that the budget would be added to the town’s new “Engage EG” website, along with information about a number of town priorities, including the School Construction Master Plan, the Community Services Master Plan, and the Waterfront Master Plan. 

Posted 4/30/23

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