To combat rats, town may penalize residents for leaving trash bags on sidewalk

To combat rats, town may penalize residents for leaving trash bags on sidewalk

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Town officials are considering new approaches to addressing yet another local rat boom, including adopting an ordinance outlawing the practice of leaving bags of trash on the sidewalk.

Councilor Steven DiLorenzo lives in the neighborhood of Rhode Island College, where he and others complain that an ongoing parking expansion at the school is leading to more rats in their homes and yards.

“We have a problem, especially in my neighborhood,” he said.

Town leaders continue to evaluate the purchase of covered trash totes, and officials have been active in enforcing the town’s minimum housing code, said DiLorenzo, but more needs to be done to address the rats that residents are seeing.

“It’s tough living like that, it really is,” he said.

DiLorenzo’s colleagues agreed to his request to have the council’s ordinance committee consider:

• A change to penalize those who leave bags outside of trash bins.

• And the possible addition of a part-time person to walk town streets in search of violations, giving out fines for noncompliance. The employee could also monitor dumpsters at businesses and condos, continuous sources of rodent problems.

Building inspector Mike Carnevale is doing his best to find violators, said DiLorenzo, but “we definitely need more help.”

The council also agreed to DiLorenzo’s request to send Rhode Island College a letter asking administrators to help deal with the issue. The councilman complained that the college didn’t do proper abatement of rats before it started the parking lot expansion.

Several residents last Tuesday complained about an increase in rats seen since the parking lot project started. Linda Loxley, a neighbor of DiLorenzo who lives on Oregon Avenue, said “residents deserve better” from officials. She urged officials to purchase the covered trash totes.

Julie Hillman, of Sheffield Avenue, said she never had an issue with rodents before construction started more than a month ago. She said she’s concerned after seeing and hearing rats during the day.

Deirdre Couture, also of Sheffield Avenue, said rats have been found living and defecating in grills. She said she’s “frightened for the sake our children.”

John Pollock and Joseph Ricci, both of Charlotte Street, also urged officials to do something about the rats. Pollock said he’s seen four rats in two months.

Comments

We have a lot of rats in NP, been a problem forever. Sometimes you think its a cat or small dog but no its a big rat. Rats can be sneaky, steal stuff and cause waste. Yes, we have a lot of rats in NP.

there is no excuse for leaving bags of trash or uncovered bins in the street.

In my best James Cagney voice.... "You dirty rat, you killed my mother".... dress the Mayor up as the Pied Piper and whistle them out of town perhaps? Can't see how this will be enforced.... Maybe if we tax the rats that will get them to skedaddle...