To give Ward 3 residents a chance to collectively discuss issues in the ward with elected officials and other local dignitaries, Ward 3 Councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson has organized a State of the Ward address for April 18 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Pilgrim Senior Center.
The informational event will feature greetings from Mayor Scott Avedisian, as well as briefings from Janine Burke of the Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA), community police officers from the Warwick Police Department, officials representing the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), plus members of the School Committee, and more. While Vella-Wilkinson said the meeting is open to the general public, presentations will focus on Ward 3.
“If other people in the city want to come, that’s fine, but the presentations are geared towards Ward 3,” she said. “But Ward 3 touches all but two of the city’s wards; it touches every one except for Wards 1 and 9, so if people from other wards want to come, I’m not going to stop them.”
Vella-Wilkinson said Avedisian will kick off the event, with the presentations to follow. Two representatives from RIAC will be there to discuss individual issues, one being the relocation of Winslow Park, and the second being the relocation of Main Avenue.
Community officers will share with residents crime stats, and Burke will talk about areas in Ward 3 that do not currently have sewers, an issue Vella-Wilkinson said is important to her constituents. She hopes people will get the information they are seeking at the meeting.
“I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people saying, ‘Are we going to get sewers?’ or ‘Should we get sewers and put the investment into my property and update my own system?’” said Vella-Wilkinson.
She also noted that she is working on getting someone from the Economic Development Department to discuss business developments in the ward, such as new stores and restaurants, and is encouraging business owners to attend.
“I’m outreaching not only to residents, but also to business owners that reside in Ward 3,” she said.
Aside from the presentations already mentioned, a few Ward 3 residents who participate on Warwick boards and commissions will talk about what is happening in their respective areas. Further, Vella-Wilkinson will provide residents with a legislative update of her own.
Those who attend will also have the opportunity to sign up to volunteer within the ward for various committees and projects, the neighborhood watch program, as well as have an opportunity to subscribe to a quarterly informational newsletter.
In the past, Vella-Wilkinson has conducted smaller meetings at the Warwick Public Library.
“I like seeing a large group of people because then you really get some ideas flowing,” Vella-Wilkinson said. “With the airport in the center of the ward, it’s difficult to get neighborhood associations organized.”