Proposed Cumberland public safety complex discussed at Town Coun - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Proposed Cumberland public safety complex discussed at Town Council meeting

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By: Samantha Lavien
Slavien@abc6.com
Twitter: @samanthalavien


Talk that a new public safety complex in Cumberland may be placed on Monastery grounds caused many emotions to run high at a town council meeting Wednesday night.

Town councilors were scheduled to vote on whether two questions relating to the proposal should be on the fall ballot.

The first question which would ask voters about the payment for the complex was approved by the council and will appear on the ballot.

The second question which proposes putting the complex on a portion of the 500 plus acres of Monastery land wasn’t voted on Wednesday night; instead the issue was tabled for a special meeting.

Several residents came out to the town council meeting in an effort to stop the proposal from becoming a reality. A representative from the Monastery Preservation Alliance tells ABC 6 News that monastery land is protected by a 2004 Conservation Easement that prohibits new building from taking place.

"This land was supposed to be protected, it was supposed to be a preserve. It was not supposed to be touched,” said Alexandra Curren who is part of the Monastery Preservation Alliance.

"That's what the question will ask tonight if voters feel that's a good acceptable location and then it talks about the fact that the ordinance can be amended,” said Mayor Dan McKee.

One concern among some residents is that amending the 2004 ordinance will lead to more building on the land in the future.

"It's a concern with a lot of Cumberland residents that they won't stop if you give them permission to take an inch they'll take a mile,” said Curren.

"I do believe it makes sense to use your assets wisely and in this case I think this is a wise use of those assets. The flood gates don't just open up because of this public safety building potentially being put in that location,” said Mayor McKee.

The Monastery Preservation Alliance has scheduled its first meeting for next Wednesday.


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