Carousel, Live Streaming on Agenda for Special City Council Meeting

East Providence Mayor James Briden calls the meeting to deal with repairs to the Crescent Park Carousel and live streaming of City Council and School Committee meetings.

The East Providence City Council holds a special meeting tonight, Feb. 11, to focus on two issues the mayor wants to bring before the Budget Commission on Thursday.

James Briden, who serves as an East Providence representative on the budget board, is seeking approvals for funding for the historic Crescent Park Carousel and live streaming of City Council and School Committee meetings.

Briden sees both issues as high priority items. The special meeting starts at 6 pm. 

The Looff Carousel needs about $100,000 worth of windows, painting and other repairs. Briden wants a request for proposal (RFP) put together by the Carousel Commission to be distributed as soon as possible.

“We need to expedite repairs,” he said. “This is very important to the city. It is a historic site that is extremely important to East Providence residents.”

The carousel could reopen in the spring without the repairs and windows, he said.

“But we need to get the work done, and I want to get it done as soon as possible,” Briden said. “I want the City Council to send a recommendation to the Budget Commission."

Briden also wants the City Council to back his request to restore live streaming of the City Council and School Committee meetings. Live streaming of the meetings was eliminated from the City Clerk’s budget soon after the Budget Commission arrived and asked every department head to cut 30 percent from their budgets.

“I know it is a budget expense,” said Briden. “But it makes us a better city.” 

Cost of the live streaming is estimated at between $3,000 and $6,000, according to City Clerk Kim Casci.

City Council meetings can still be viewed on cable TV on the two days after the Tuesday meetings at noon and 9 pm. But those times are not convenient for many people in East Providence, he said. 

“I was surprised when I was campaigning how much interaction there is with local government and how many people said they followed meetings through live streaming,” he said.

Now that interaction is hampered significantly, Briden said. 

"It's as a significant part of getting people involved in the future," he said, and perhaps, it can help to convince people to run for elective office or serve on city boards and commissions. 

“I think it can be a catalyst to get people to serve,” he said.

angelina wakester February 11, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Where can a contractor put in a bid for the carousel repairs. let the skilles licensed insured residents put in bids n safe us money. I am sure we can reduce that 100,000 estimate
angelina wakester February 11, 2013 at 01:26 PM
And as a mother of 3 i say that the streaming makes a huge difference for me.
Doubting Thomas February 11, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Let's have a group of EP residents volunteer to do the work the carousel needs. It works for 'Habitat for Humanity'. Lets show some ownership in the carousel instead of always relying on doing things with money we don't have. Except repairs requiring licensed professionals, windows and painting are things most "handyman" homeowners can do.
JR February 11, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Provided that you are trained and certified in Historic Restoration. This is a 115 year old gem, lets not leave repairs to well meaning volunteers...
Billie Thomas February 12, 2013 at 12:48 PM
BT I agree with JR. When we were tourists to Providence, one of the most charming things we went to see was the Crescent Park Carousel. We wanted a ride, but that day there was a long line of children and adults waiting. Apparently it is a historical, cultural, as well as recreational treasure in East Providence that is quite unique, and I hope it will be treasured by locals and restored by historical renovation professionals. While in E. Providence, we enjoyed visiting quite a few merchants and made purchases. I believe it could also become an economic asset, if restored properly so that people specifically came to E. Prov to see it.


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