Thousands sign petition to save Ocean Mist - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Thousands sign petition to save Ocean Mist

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Nicole Gerber
ngerber@abc6.com
@nicolegerber

MATUNUCK - Ever since superstorm Sandy rocked the Matunuck coast, the waters have been raging against the rocks in the town.

Now the city wants to put up a new barrier to protect the road.

"The town is responsible for public health and safety, we have 240 homes that are to the east of the area where we wish to put in the sheet pile wall, if that road is destroyed we loose public access and egress to those 240 homes," said South Kingstown City Manager Stephen Alfred.

But owners of the Ocean Mist restaurant argent buying it.

They say building the new concrete sea wall could ruin their building, and affect their business, which has been here for 26 years.

"This building leaving or getting destroyed, put in jeopardy, or moving the wall, it would change the fabric of Matunuck, said Owner Kevin Finnegan.

The Ocean Mist started an internet petition. The goal: to get enough signatures to get the Coastal Resources Management Council to reconsider the plan, and instead revitalize the existing wall.

"The wall is there, it exists, common sense and logic is fix it, and I'll pay for it," said Finnegan.

"I don't think the information he's providing is at all accurate... The notion that the rubble wall reconstruction to its historic level is an effective and appropriate solution to protect the road... it isn't," said Alfred.

But not even two days after the petition was released it's become clear the community is rallying around the Ocean Mist. Nearly 3,000 people have already signed up to back the restaurant.

"You know everybody says rah rah rah, you know are they really going to show up or not? But how can you not be heartfelt?" said Finnegan.

We'll know whether their voices are heard when the Coastal Resources Management Council discusses the plans again on the 24th.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014

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