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Council Wednesday: OPEB, Again, Ward Changes

Warwick City Hall
Warwick City Hall
Warwick City Hall.

WARWICK, RI — The Warwick City Council meets tomorrow night to review city finances, hear the School Committee’s new plan to replace both high schools, discuss an OPEB plan and council ward changes.

The 7 p.m. event will be viewable remotely (see below for information on accessing the streaming feed) as well as in-person, though that requires risking exposure to the highly transmissible Omicron variant as the state’s percent positive rate is the highest it’s been since the pandemic began.

City Council Agenda Highlights

Finances, Schools The night starts with a presentation by Peder Schaefer, City Finance Director, who will deliver the Mid-Year Financial Report on City Finances.

The Warwick School Committee will also give a presentation of their new plan to replace both of Warwick’s high schools. The Committee switched gears from rehabilitating the buildings to completely replacing them during their last meeting. The switch was due partly to the RI Department of Education’s refusal to support a plan to upgrade the current buildings.

OBEB Trust Long discussed, recommended yet never committed do, an Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) trust would provide a way to move from the city’s current pay-as-you-go method of funding the OPEB liability, $352 million in 2019, to paying it down.

With such a trust established, regardless of the funding, the city would qualify for a discounted rate to be used to calculate its liability, Hoyle said in 2019.

“The liability would be smaller because of the discount rate,” he said.

The city could also eventually begin to use the trust, which would grow through investments, to help pay for the OPEB costs.

Further reading on OPEB and past attempts at establishing a trust are available for your reading pleasure:

Warwick OPEB Costs: Fluid With A Chance of Investment, Contract Fixes
City Councillors Protest Budget Vote Timing, OPEB Fund

 

Census and Council Wards If you passed on answering the U.S. Census back in 2020, you missed out on a chance to be counted among the the people living in your City Council ward. With those numbers now tallied, the wards are going to be changing.

Warwick City Council will discuss authorizing the Warwick City Council President Steve McAllister to name three members of the City Council to serve on a committee to reapportion the wards based upon the most recent U.S. Census figures.

How to watch, participate in, the meeting

You may access or participate in the meeting using the Zoom Application on a smart device or on a PC via the Web at zoom.us and clicking on JOIN A MEETING in the upper right of the page. Webinar ID: 884 4893 4412

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88448934412

Or One tap mobile:
US: +16465588656, 88448934412# or +13017158592, 88448934412#

Anyone wanting to participate via telephone only, may call one of the following numbers:

Non-Toll Free Numbers: (While most mobile phone carriers do not place an extra charge on customers for Toll Calls, it is up to you to check with your carrier concerning potential charges you would be responsible for.)

US: 1 646 558 8656 US: 1 301 715 8592 US: 1 312 626 6799 US: 1 669 900 9128 US: 1 253 215 8782 US: 1 346 248 7799

Toll Free Numbers from anywhere in the US:

US: 1 877 853 5247 (Toll Free) US: 1 888 788 0099 (Toll Free) US: 1 833 548 0276 (Toll Free) US: 1 833 548 0282 (Toll Free)

*** Please note: if you experience trouble connecting via a Toll Free Number, please try the next number on the list

You will then need to punch in the Webinar ID 978 8786 9794 on your touchtone keypad.

Warwick-City-Council-Agenda-Jan.-17-22

Warwick City Council Agenda Documents

 

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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