Council votes to pull ballot question concerning monastery land

CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) – A local city squashed a controversial ballot question concerning the construction location of a new public safety complex after dozens of community members voiced their adamant disapproval.

The city of Cumberland had proposed 10 acres of land on Diamond Hill Road as the location for an upcoming project to build a $12.5-million public safety complex. The land, though, is on the northern part of Cumberland’s 500-acre monastery property, causing many residents to protest the proposed plan.

“This site is where I grew up. It’s the heart of Cumberland,” Alexandra Curran with the Monastery Preservation Alliance said. “We encourage the building of updated safety facilities, but not on our monastery.”

Curran formed the Monastery Preservation Alliance back in June, and she said the group has since added 75 official members. She said the group gathered more than 2,500 signatures to urge the Town Council to kill the ballot initiative.

Cumberland Mayor Dan McKee called an emergency Town Council meeting Tuesday night to reconsider the vote.

The council voted unanimously to pull the question off the ballot.

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