The Observatory Neighborhood Association has held its second organizational meeting and discussed local concerns with members of the city administration as well as elected representatives.

According to minutes provided by Ruth Breindel, the meeting chair, the group convened at 7 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Rochambeau library branch and the main topics were parking hazards, breakins to cars and garages, water main leaks and dangerous sidewalk and road conditions. The group is working to develop a local association concerned with issues in the area from Rochambeau to Olney, and Hope Street to Elmgrove.

Present to respond to the raised issues were Sgt. Steven Courville of the police department, Adolfo Bailon and Kristen Dart of the mayor’s office, Councilman Kevin Jackson and Rep. Aaron Regunberg.

Courville told the meeting that if there are cars parked illegally overnight or too close to corners, resident should call police at 272-3121 to request ticketing, adding that special consideration can be given to overnight guests. He also stressed that residents should not leave anything in their cars, even in driveways, and be sure everything is locked. He reminded people that they are the eyes and ears of police and should call whenever something is suspicious.

Bailon, a staffer of the Center for City Services, said there are five people tasked with answering calls to 421-2489 and promised a city response to any problem with 7 to 10 days. He suggested calling that number to report the water leaks at Hope and Savoy plus Braman and Morris. Bailon also said he would talk with Waste Management, the trash collectors, to see if they would pick up leftover leaf bags with the Christmas trees.

As to pavement sinking at Hope and Cypress, yellow crossing mats in disrepair, catch basins and gutters clogged with leaves and crumbling sidewalks, Bailon gave the same answer – call and report the problems.

Jackson said there are two sources of funds for sidewalk maintenance – Community Development Block Grants, which are used in each ward, and the Department of Public Works, which are used city wide. He also urged constituents to contact him at 25 Dorrance St, Room 310, Providence 02903, call his office at 521-7477 or cell at 286-4223.

Other concerns were discarded mattresses, which cost $25 to be removed, and broken furniture, which Waste Management will remove three free per week per home if they are called by Friday for pickup the next week.

Residents were reminded that city ordinance requires that snow be removed from sidewalks to a width of three feet and by eight hours after the fall stops. ServeRI has a program to assist the elderly.

The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.



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