PORTSMOUTH TOWN COUNCIL NOTES

Licenses approved for new coffeehouse in Portsmouth

Council also OKs new outdoor deck at Food Works

EastBayRI.com ·

PORTSMOUTH — There’s a new coffee shop coming to town.

It’s called Thrive Coffee House and it will be located at 706 Park Ave. in Island Park. Longtime Portsmouth residents may remember the building as the former site of an aquarium store many years ago.

The Town Council on Monday night, sitting as the Board of License Commissioners, unanimously approved owner Kristen Kidd’s request for both a victualler and a holiday license for the business. The applications state that the operating hours for the shop, when open, will be from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Council President Keith Hamilton remarked that customers will be able to enjoy a cup of joe while watching “the sunrise at 5 a.m. over the Sakonnet River.”

Food Works expansion

The board also unanimously approved a request by Food Works Restaurant, 2461 East Main Road, for a BV liquor license and to expand its service area to include an outside deck on the west side of the building. 

The open deck will be about 750 square feet in area, with a portable bar facing East Main Road, according to Food Works’ application.

The vote came after a public hearing, during which no one from the audience chose to speak.

License transfer request

The board also voted to advertise a public hearing on a request to transfer a Class BV beverage license from Bracky Ltd., doing business as Island Tap, 568 Park Ave., to Bracky Ltd., doing business as CJ’s Pub. That hearing will be held at the council’s July 10 meeting.

Report on town boards

Council member Linda Ujifusa’s proposal to request more detailed information from town committees was approved by unanimous vote.

Ms. Ujifusa requested that the town administrator collect information from all volunteer committees, such as the Conservation Commission or the Pension Investment Committee, and present a report to the council twice a year.

“I think we’re lacking information on what’s going on with our town committees,” said Ms. Ujifusa, noting that several panels haven’t even met in some time.

Manor House contract extended

The council voted 6-1 to extend the town’s contract with Glen Manor House resident managers Catherine and Donald Wilkinson, from July 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2019. Council member Paul Kesson voted against the motion.

Under the contract, the couple would be paid an annual salary of $51,730, plus 12.5 percent of the net house rental receipts upon recommendation of the Glen Manor House Authority and with council approval.

The town, meanwhile, plans to retain a consultant to study possible uses of the property for 2020 and beyond. The contract includes a clause in which the Wilkinsons agree to assist the town in that study and to cooperate with any future operators of the Manor House six months before their contract is up.

Mr. Hamilton said the Wilkinsons are welcome to reapply for the position themselves after the town goes out to bid in the spring of 2019.

AIPC member chosen

In a 4-3 vote, the council appointed Phillip T. Driscoll to the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC). 

Mr. Driscoll is currently chairman of the Administrative Board of the Portsmouth Water and Fire District. He’s been a member of the District for 30 years and has also served on several town committees that have focused on wastewater issues.

The only other applicant for the position was Daniela Abbott, a professional engineer and small business owner who’s lived on Aquidneck Island for seven years.

Several residents spoke in favor of appointing Mr. Driscoll, saying his experience and knowledge of local wastewater issues made him an ideal candidate for the AIPC position. Local resident Thomas Grieb said Mr. Driscoll “runs a completely transparent organization at the water board. That is something sorely lacking at AIPC.”

Ms. Ujifusa said while she appreciated everything Mr. Driscoll has done for the town, Ms. Abbott also has a strong technical background.

“I also find it important to bring new volunteers onto the town committees,” she said.

Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Kesson, David Gleason and Elizabeth Pedro voted for Mr. Driscoll, while Ms. Abbott garnered votes from Ms. Ujifusa, Kevin Aguiar and J. Mark Ryan.

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