Published 03/07/14

Text of University's March 7 letter to Smithfield's town manager regarding Bryant proposal

Bryant University sent the following letter to Smithfield Town Manager Dennis Finlay today (Friday, March 7, 2014):

Dear Mr. Finlay:

Bryant University is disappointed that, despite months of work to arrive at a fair and reasonable agreement, the Smithfield Town Council has declined to publicly discuss the proposal that Bryant’s negotiation team presented on February 25. That proposal would add substantial new contributions from the University to the Town to cover the actual costs that Smithfield incurs for providing police, fire, and rescue services to Bryant.

The proposal would increase Bryant’s payments and contributions to Smithfield in an amount of more than $10 million over the next 20 years, well beyond what is required by the new state statute.

We believe that this proposal is a significant and generous offer, particularly since it adopts the “costs” provided by the Town, which, according to Charles River Associates, a national independent financial consultant retained by Bryant, were substantially higher than “actual costs” and unsupportable.  In addition to the new financial contributions for police, fire, and rescue services, the proposal continues all of the current support, payments, and services that Bryant provides to the Town. These are estimated at a value of more than $300,000 annually. 

Bryant has made good faith effort to resolve this matter and continue a good working relationship with the Town, which benefits from more than $17 million dollars of economic activity in Smithfield annually from Bryant’s presence. We urge the Town Council to accept our reasonable proposal. We remain committed to our long-standing partnership with the Town of Smithfield.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth O’Neil

Bryant University Negotiating Team