There are big changes taking place outside of the Johnston Police Department headquarters.
For those who have driven by the station or through the Johnston High School parking lot, the change is hard to miss. Gone are trees, brush, rocks and weeds that used to separate the department’s upper parking lot from the high school lot. Now, a clear line of sight has been created between the station and the school.
“I think that work would have probably cost us about $100,000. They took rocks, stumps, and gravel out of there that wasn’t really any good,” said Mayor Joseph Polisena. “Joe Vinagro from Patriot is a good corporate citizen. He did a lot of work for free.”
Polisena said that he approached Vinagro and asked for assistance with the lot. For the past week or so, Vinagro has been working at the parking lot with heavy machinery. The work follows tree removal between the station and the school that took place last month. The mayor added that he planned to ask the DiGregorio Corporation for a donation of crushed asphalt for the site, which will allow for proper drainage and provide a finished look to the lot.
“Joe Vinagro literally just went at it. He took boulders out of here that were just huge, I couldn’t believe it,” said Deputy Chief Joseph Razza. “He took a ton of soil out of here, packed it, and put down crushed gravel. We never imagined that he would do the extensive work that he has done. It’s a very generous gesture of him.
Razza said that the previous lot suffered from overgrowth and washed out areas, which created ruts and an uneven lot. The Deputy Chief added that the newly improved lot, which is generally used to hold cars and other vehicles seized through forfeiture along with those used for police details, will soon be fenced in and properly secured.
The area also serves as an easement for Providence Water, which has a pumping station abutting the lot. To access the easement, Vinagro removed ledge, placed new rip rap, and created a ramp for easy access.
The front parking lot at the headquarters will also soon have additional parking spaces along the left and right side of the building, where former grassy areas were claimed.
“Between the mayor securing the work, and Joe Vinagro doing this for us, it’s a win-win. Talk about working together and making a difference,” said Razza.