Around the Valley: Adam Ezra, Pump-out grants

122 N. Main St., Woonsocket

City project wins Smart Growth award 

 Grow Smart RI has announced the winners of its 9th Annual Rhode Island Smart Growth Awards. The awards honor those helping to shape an economically and environmentally stronger Rhode Island through innovative leadership, community revitalization, and policy and planning initiatives.

This year’s honorees include a project at 122 North Main St., in Woonsocket, the first major mixed use development located in the Woonsocket Downtown Overlay District, a policy that earned a smart growth policy award in 2016.

The project includes 17 market rate apartments on the upper floors with Lops Brewing and Office co-op business on the first floor. All the apartments were rented soon after completion in January 2020 and were “tastefully developed with all the modern everyday conveniences that renters are looking for,” according to Grow Smart.

“Located just steps away from the Stadium Theatre, local favorite eateries, and access to public transportation, these new units give the city more housing options but still affordable for everyday workers,” noted a release on the award. 

The awards will be presented on Friday, March 27, during the luncheon of Grow Smart RI’s biennial Power of Place Summit before a projected gathering of 500 business, civic and elected leaders, development and real estate professionals, architects, builders, conservationists, policy advocates and community stakeholders from across Southern New England at the RI Convention Center.

Adam Ezra

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley has announced that Boston-based folk singer Adam Ezra will make a stop at Millrace Kitchen in Woonsocket this month. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the event, with a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to support Levitt AMP Woonsocket 2020.

The concert, part of Ezra’s “Get Folked,” Tour will take place on Thursday, March 19 with doors at 6 p.m.  Tickets cost $30 and can be purchased here.

DEM offers pump-out grants

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has announced that grants are available to communities and private businesses that own and/or operate boating facilities available to the public. The grants, funded by the US Fish & Wildlife Service Clean Vessel Act, support construction and maintenance of marine and land-based pump-out facilities to assist boaters with properly disposing of sewage. Since 1994, DEM has awarded nearly $2 million in CVA grants.

DEM works with partners to reduce pollution into local waters. Boat sewage poses a significant threat to water quality by introducing bacteria and other pathogens and chemicals that are toxic to humans and marine life. This pollution also is a major factor in harmful algae blooms. In 1998, Rhode Island became the first state in the nation to receive a statewide “no discharge” designation from the US Environmental Protection Agency that prohibits boaters from discharging sewage into local waterways.

There are currently 17 pump-out boats and 49 landside facilities located at 66 locations across Narragansett Bay and coastal waters. Many existing facilities require repair and upgrades as they have exceeded their useful life expectancy since initial construction. All pump-out facilities must be kept fully operational to adequately meet the demand. Some 40,000 boats are registered in Rhode Island, and the state welcomes many thousands more visiting boats each year. Last year, a total volume of over 600,000 gallons of sewage was pumped out at these locations and diverted from directly entering Rhode Island’s coastal waters. Visit DEM’s website for a map of marine pump-out facilities in Rhode Island.

Marinas, yacht clubs, and municipalities are eligible to apply for funding. Projects to construct, replace, retrofit, or maintain pump-out facilities will be considered. Up to $18,750 is available for land-based projects, and up to $56,250 is available for pump-out boat facilities. A 25 percent funding match is required. All facilities that receive CVA grants must be open to the public and may not charge more than $5 per 25 gallons pumped. This is the first year that grants can be given to defray operating and maintenance costs associated with pump-out vessels, provided that the applicant’s financial records establish that such costs exceed fee revenues.

For more information or to download an application, click here.

Applications should be mailed to DEM Office of Water Resources, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908 or emailed to All applications are due by 4 p.m., Tuesday, March 31.


Between March 12 and March 20, invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will start arriving in households across the country.

Counting every person in the United States in a census every 10 years is a challenge, according to a release from the census bureau, and “counting every infant and toddler in the country may be one of the most challenging parts of the job.”

Parents and adults with young children often don’t realize they need to include all children who live with them full time, or at least most of the time.

In the 2010 Census, nearly 1 million children – 4.6 percent of children under the age of 5 – were not counted, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. Census Bureau continues its national recruiting efforts to hire up to 500,000 temporary, part-time census takers for the 2020 Census in communities across the country to reach its goal of more than 2 million applicants.

The positions offer competitive pay, flexible hours, paid training, and weekly paychecks. To determine the pay rate in a specific area, learn more about these positions, or apply for one of the temporary jobs, visit

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