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On Protecting Canonchet #1
The Master Plan

On Protecting Canonchet #2
Appropriate Uses

On Protecting Canonchet #3
Management of the Park

On Protecting Canonchet #4
Finance Issues

Photos:

Cleanup at Lake Canonchet
September 10, 2011

Charlie Lee Remembrance
February 6, 2011

Canonchet History
Who was Canonchet?
by Richard Vangermeersch

Canonchet Farm Master Plan
Town Council Holds Workshop on Planning Board Report

Our Response
October 21, 2010

Our Vision and Recommendations for Canonchet Farm
April 2009

Pictures
Guided Walks Fall 2010

Beech Grove Cleanup Complete
Cleanup - Day 4
October 31, 2009

Beech Grove
Cleanup - Day 2
October 9, 2009

Tom Wessels
Guided Walk
October 10, 2009

Other Links

Narrow River Preservation Association

South County Museum

Narragansett Chamber of Commerce

Sitemap

On Protecting Canonchet #4

Finance Issues

While the Narragansett Town Council has identified many elements to be included within the Master Plan for Canonchet Farm, its decisions do not include any mention of funding of all these elements with the sole exception of the bike path. In the five years that the revision of the Canonchet Farm Master Plan has been under consideration, no inquiry or determination has ever been made concerning the potential cost of the decisions made on June 27, 2011. Those issues were raised repeatedly during public testimony. We do not expect funding issues to be entirely resolved within the scope of the master plan itself. We encourage the Council to evaluate and address the potential costs to taxpayers.

There are clearly sources of funding outside the municipal budget for some aspects of the town’s plans for Canonchet Farm. These include possible grants from a variety of governmental and charitable sources. The Friends of Canonchet Farm (FOCF) itself is one such source. To date our members have contributed over $40,000 for this and related purposes. Once we enter into a more formal relationship with the town, we will be in a position to raise significantly greater funds.

One of the important elements of securing such contributions is a demonstrated commitment by the Town of Narragansett to the financing of the many projects to be undertaken at Canonchet Farm. For many years the town has exploited the open areas of the farm to generate revenues to support the town’s Beach Enterprise Fund. This has resulted in the degrading of the environment in Canonchet Farm, particularly in and around the ponds.

None of the money generated from parking within Canonchet Farm has been used to restore the damage created by that activity or to maintain the Farm in other ways. The Friends of Canonchet Farm would suggest that the town dedicate some of the funds generated by beach overflow parking in Canonchet Farm to be used solely for the implementation of the master plan. Such a commitment would go a long way toward encouraging donations from private and public sources outside the town, and it would insure that the Farm will not fall back into the neglected state it has suffered over the past 37 years under the town’s ownership. We would point out that such a decision would require no impact on the town budget and taxpayers. It would slow the growth of the Beach Enterprise Fund somewhat, but that contribution is not intended to harm the beach operation at all. The percentage should be set at some level that takes into consideration both the impact on the Beach Enterprise Fund and the improvements called for in the Canonchet Farm Master Plan.

FOCF is prepared to take on the task of securing grants and donations to provide for many of the town’s projects to improve the Farm at no cost to the town and minimal commitment of time by town employees. Fundraising efforts are far more likely to succeed if the town demonstrates its commitment financially.

Appropriate finance mechanisms need to be in place to insure the success of the Canonchet Farm Master Plan. This is the singular missing element that has prevented the two prior master plans from being implemented. Such a commitment now, coupled with a growing force of volunteers dedicated to the improvement and preservation of this municipal gem, will assure proper implementation of the new plan over time.

We support a goal of increased use of the Canonchet Farm property by a greater number of our citizens and visitors enjoying its natural and cultural features. We cannot overemphasize the fact that without improvements leading to increased use, public pressure for alternative uses will continually threaten the Canonchet Farm property.

On Protecting Canonchet #1
The Master Plan

On Protecting Canonchet #2
Appropriate Uses

On Protecting Canonchet #3
Management of the Park

On Protecting Canonchet #4
Finance Issues

Glacial Erratic
 
 


Map of Canonchet Farm
Shows trail heads and points of interest
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Last modified: October 28, 2017