Brown to pay Providence $31.5M over 11 years
The agreement was announced by Governor Lincoln Chafee, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, Brown President Ruth Simmons and legislative leaders during a Statehouse news conference this morning. Much of the talk focused on how Brown and Providence are co-dependent on each other. The agreement also marked a bright spot as Rhode Island continues to struggle with high unemployment and failed attempts at economic development.
Taveras says the agreement sets Providence up for a fiscal comeback. Simmons says the deal will cause at least some belt-tightening at Brown, but she called it an important leap of faith.
I think what we believe is that we’re in this together and that if we concentrate on what it is we dare not believe, what we dare not do, we will never make the progress we need to make as a city and a state.
Governor Chafee got repeated kudos from the participants for fostering progress between the two sides.
City Hall says Brown’s total annual contributions to Providence, including the 2003 agreement struck by David Cicilline, will increase to almost $8 million through 2016.
In exchange, the city has agreed to abandon “streets immediately adjacent to Brown’s campus,” and to provide 250 parking permits for Brown employees. Taveras said the pact does not include consideration for land made available by the relocation of I-195, although he expressed hope that Brown will pursue some of those parcels.
The Brown agreement follows in close order on a commitment by the Lifespan hospital network to pay $2.4 million to city over three years, Providence’s first such deal with a hospital. It also comes after the City Council offered final approval of a pension overhaul plan to freeze cost of living adjustments and realize other savings.
Taveras says he expects union critics of the pension overhaul to sue the city, and he says Providence will be prepared to defend its legal case.
UPDATE: The Bond Buyer notes that S&P dropped Providence’s credit-rating, making for what it calls a mixed bag for the city.