NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two ambitious Eagle Scout projects are currently underway in North Smithfield, with a plans that aim to help firefighters locate homes in town more easily, and to improve the exterior of a town building that has become somewhat rundown.
Eagle Scout candidates Brady Cofsky and Austin Silvia are both working on plans that will ultimately benefit the town through Troop 1139 Slatersville.
Cofsky has partnered with the North Smithfield Fire & Rescue Service on his project, which will provide reflective address markers free of charge to some 200 residents.
“He came to us and gave us a great presentation,” said Fire Chief David Chartier.
The roughly one and a half foot green signs feature yellow reflective numbers and make it easier for emergency personnel to locate an address during an emergency, when every second matters.
“We have some areas where we have address identification issues,” Chartier said. “It makes a world of difference in some cases.”
The scout plans to pass out flyers in the target areas, and has also been circulating a form that must be filled out by those in need of a sign.
The project also serves to draw attention to a resource that is always available to North Smithfield residents: the signs cost $10, and can be obtained by filling out a form at the fire station anytime. The chief noted that the signs are typically affixed to a mailbox, post or tree by the street line, and can be mounted either horizontally or vertically.
“We encourage it for those who don’t have one,” Chartier said
Cofsky held a bake sale at Brigido’s Market over the weekend that reportedly raised some $1,800 for the effort.
“He did really well,” Chartier said.
Donation to the project can also be mailed directly to the St. Paul Fire Station at 675 St Paul St.North Smithfield, RI 02896 marked “reflective marker Eagle project.”
Silvia, meanwhile, is raising funds for a separate project to rehabilitate the area outside of Scouter’s Hall.
The scout hopes to add fresh paint on side door of the building; repair the sign over the front door; clean, wash and repair the structure’s vinyl siding; repair the flag pole; add landscaping and outdoor lighting; and replace the garage door hardware.
Silvia expects to complete the work sometime between March and April with work two to three days of labor totaling four to five hours each, and has a deadline of May 1. The scout presented the project to members of the Town Council at their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
“There are a few reasons as to why Scouter’s Hall is important,” Silvia said. “It’s the place where scout meetings and events are held. It’s the place where senior citizens are allowed to come and go through events such as chair aerobics and dance lessons. It’s also where the municipal court is located.”
“Scouters Hall has been around for many years and not much has really been done to it,” he added.
Silvia has estimated that he will need $1,141 worth of materials and supplies, also raised through a bake sale, with help from business sponsors, and with funding from the town itself.
“I have money in my budget to offset any donations that he can’t raise,” Public Works Director Ray Pendergast said. “It helps my department out tremendously.”