Bryant, town council to meet on services reimbursement
A PUBLIC MEETING will be held Feb. 25 between representatives of Bryant University and the Smithfield Town Council, to discuss reimbursement for municipal emergency services costs incurred by the university.
SMITHFIELD – Bryant University and town councilors will meet Feb. 25 to discuss a consultant’s findings about the university’s municipal emergency services costs.
In July of last year, the state put a law in place allowing the town to bill Bryant for police, fire and emergency services by March 1, absent an agreement for reimbursement between the two sides.
It has been eight months since that law went into effect, and representatives of Bryant’s negotiating committee have attended council meetings, but the two sides have not yet begun to negotiate. Part of the delay involved waiting for Bryant’s consultant, Charles River Associates of Boston, to complete its report on actual emergency costs incurred by the university.
“I’m glad that we’re meeting,” said Ronald F. Manni, vice president of the town council. “We’ll take it from here. It’s something that needs to be done, and we’ll deal with it now that it’s going to be discussed.”
Elizabeth O’Neil, executive director of university relations at Bryant and a member of the negotiating team, said the university is also looking forward to the meeting.
“We’ve long believed that a thorough understanding of these actual costs was at the heart of an agreement, so we are looking forward to getting the actual costs on the table so we can proceed with reaching an agreement,” she said.
The public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in council chambers at 64 Farnum Pike in Smithfield. It will be an open meeting, as the council requested on Feb. 4, according to O’Neil and Town Manager Dennis Finlay.