Administration COVID-19 Press Releases

Bristol Opens COVID-19 Rapid Testing Site for Residents

BRISTOL, RI– On Friday, January 8th, 2020, the Town of Bristol announced that it will begin operating a COVID-19 drive-through testing site at the Bristol Town Beach. This site will be a municipally run and sponsored COVID-19 rapid testing clinic.

“I am proud that our Fire Department and Police Department were able to work together to plan and complete this important public health service for the residents of Bristol,” said Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente. “My hope is that locally available tests will help minimize the spread of COVID-19 by making it much easier for residents to get tested.”

The first clinic will take place on Saturday, January 9th, 2020, from 10:00AM to 4:00 PM at the Bristol Town Beach (50 Asylum Road, Bristol, RI 02809).

Moving forward, the clinic will run on the following schedule:

  • Tuesdays from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Thursdays from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

No appointment is necessary to receive a test. Upon arriving at the Bristol Town Beach, residents will be asked to complete a short registration form. Clinic workers will direct residents through a drive-through lane, where they will receive their test kits. Residents will be asked to stay in their vehicles while they take the test. After submitting the test samples, residents can choose to wait for their results or leave the testing site. All residents will receive their results by phone on the same day as they took their test.

All testing and result data will be delivered securely to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Please Note: Residents that are symptomatic or require documentation showing negative test results should receive a PCR test by visiting

For more information on Bristol’s COVID-19 testing clinic and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the town’s COVID-19 dashboard at


Administration Economic Development Press Releases

Bristol Implements Tangible Tax Reform, Creates Exemption for Small Businesses

BRISTOL, RI– On December 30th, 2020, the Bristol Town Council voted unanimously to approve a new tangible tax exemption, which reduces the administrative and financial burden of reporting on local small businesses.

Businesses that operate in Bristol and whose total tangible property is assessed at ten thousand ($10,000) or less can now request to be exempt from completing the full annual return and paying the applicable tax.

Of the 720 businesses that operate in Bristol, approximately 400 would be eligible for this new exemption based on last year’s tangible property assessments.

“This exemption is another step in the right direction to help our businesses and make Bristol a very well-balanced place to live and work,” said Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente.

In 2018, Bristol began its tax reform efforts by creating a new electronic return that simplified reporting and auto-calculated assets’ depreciation.

In 2019, the Town of Bristol voted to put the $10,000 tangible tax exemption plan before the State Legislature for final approval.

Spearheaded by Bristol’s Economic Development Coordinator Chris Vitale and Tax Assessor Michelle DiMeo, the Town worked with State leaders to get the enabling legislation (RIGL 44-3-3.66) approved earlier this year.

Eligible businesses can now request the new tangible tax exemption on the Annual Return.

The Annual Return form is available for download on the Town of Bristol website at Returns are due to the Bristol Tax Assessor’s Office (10 Court Street, Bristol, RI 02809) by 12 o’clock midnight EST, January 31st, 2021.

For more information on Bristol’s new tangible tax exemption, please contact Economic Development Coordinator Chris Vitale at or Tax Assessor Michelle DiMeo at


Administration Press Releases

Holiday Compost & Christmas Tree Pick-Up Schedule

Bristol will be picking up yard waste by appointment only on Thursday, December 24th, 2020, and Thursday, December 30th due to the Christmas and New Year holidays. Calls must be made to schedule appointments by 3:30PM the Wednesday before the 24th and 30th.

On January 8th, the Town of Bristol will resume appointments on Fridays. Residents are asked to call by 3:30PM on Thursdays to be placed on the Friday list.

Christmas Trees will be collected on the same days as resident’s trash days starting on Monday, December 28th, 2020, and ending on Friday, January 15th, 2021. Trees must have ornaments removed and be free of any plastic bags or tree stands.

Any residents needing to have a tree or yard waste removed after these dates are asked to call the Water Pollution Control Department at 401-253-8877 by 3:30PM on Thursdays to be placed on the Friday pick-up list for that week.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Administration Press Releases

UPDATED: Bristol Winter Storm Information for December 17th, 2020

UPDATE: December 17th, 2020 2:30 PM

BRISTOL, RI- The Town of Bristol is lifting the parking ban as of 3:00 PM EST. Please note: Cars that are parked in emergency lots must be moved within one hour of the parking ban being lifted. Thank you for your cooperation.


UPDATE: December 17th, 2020 6:30 AM

BRISTOL, RI- Due to the current winter weather conditions, the Bristol Transfer Station will be closed today, December 17th, 2020.


December 16th, 2020 11:30 AM

BRISTOL, RI-The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Bristol, Rhode Island from tonight, December 16th, at 7:00 PM through tomorrow December 17th, 2020 at 1:00 PM. Snow accumulation is forecasted to be between 6-11 inches, with wind gust as high as 45 MPH.

In preparation for the winter storm, the Town of Bristol is taking the following precautions:

  • Bristol Town Hall and municipal offices will be closed tomorrow, December 17th, 2020.
  • Trash and recycling collection will still occur, but pick-up times may be later in the day due to weather conditions. In the event that trash is not picked up on Thursday, it will be picked up Friday.
  • A parking ban is in effect from 9:00 PM EST tonight, December 16th, 2020, until further notice.

During the parking ban, all vehicles must be moved off the street to accommodate emergency vehicles and crews.

For your convenience, the Town has included a list of off-street parking locations available downtown.

Alternative Parking Locations

Parking Lot NameLocation
Cup Defenders Lot230 Wood Street (Entrance on Richmond St.)
Guiteras School LotWashington Street
St. Mary’s Church LotWood Street
State Street LotLower State Street
Town CommonCorner of State and High Street
VFW LotCreek Lane
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel LotState Street Behind Parish Center
Veteran’s Park LotWood Street (East Side)
Prudence Island Parking LotSouthern Thames Street
St. Elizabeth Church LotWood Street

Please Note:

  • Vehicles must be removed from Emergency Parking Lots within one hour of the lifting of the parking ban.
  • Deposit of snow on public property, including street & sidewalks is prohibited.
  • Persons violating the above provisions are subject to fines.

The Town of Bristol will continue to monitor weather conditions and provide updates as needed. To sign up for Bristol’s emergency notification service or review other local emergency resources, please visit the Town’s Emergency Management page using the button below.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Administration Press Releases

Bristol Holds Virtual Inauguration Ceremony

BRISTOL, RI– On Monday, December 7th, 2020, the Town of Bristol held a swearing-in ceremony for the elected positions of the Town Administrator, Town Councilors, and Town Clerk.

Prior to taking the oath of office, the re-elected Town Councilman Nathan Calouro opened the ceremony with a brief introduction. Speaking on behalf of the Town’s other elected officials, Mr. Calouro shared sentiments about the COVID-19 pandemic stating, “Bristol’s a resilient place, and my colleagues and I know that we (the community) will make it through this.”

Bristol’s elected positions are two year terms. Bristol’s 25th Reorganizational Town Council Meeting will be Wednesday, December 9th, 2020 at 7:00 PM via Zoom. For meeting details, please visit the Bristol Town Website at

The ceremony was streamed live, and is available for viewing below.

Elected Officials

Town Administrator
Steven Contente

Town Council
Nathan T. Calouro
Antonio A. Teixeira
Mary A. Parella
Timothy Edward Sweeney
Aaron J. Ley

Town Clerk
Melissa Cordeiro


Administration COVID-19 Press Releases

Town Administrator Contente Implements Local Two-Week COVID-19 “Pause”

BRISTOL, RI – On Friday, November 20th, 2020, Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente announced several actions being taken at the local level to coincide with the State of Rhode Island’s two-week “pause”.

Beginning Monday, November 30th, 2020:

  • Town Hall will be open to the public, but limited to essential services only. The Town of Bristol is urging residents to conduct their business with the Town through its website, by phone (401-253-7000), or by U.S. mail. More information on Bristol’s online and mail-in services is below. 
  • Compost curbside pickup will be discontinued for the year. The last day for weekly compost pickup will be Saturday, November 28th, 2020. Residents will still be able to bring their yard waste to the compost facility located at the Transfer Station. The hours of operations can be found here.
  • Indoor classes and programs at the Quinta-Gamelin Community Center will be suspended. 
  • Municipal Court will be postponed until March 2021.
  • Land Evidence recordings will only take place between the hours of 12:00 PM (Noon) and 3:45 PM in the Bristol Town Clerk’s Office.
  • The Rogers Free Library will have no in-person book browsing and restricted computer use.
  • The Town of Bristol’s annual Christmas Festival programs have been modified to limit in person gatherings. Additional information can be found at

The measures above will be in place until December 13th, 2020. At that time, the Town will reassess these preventative measures and determine if further action is required.

“Now more than ever, it is important that we all do our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Steven Contente, Town Administrator. “I’d like to thank our employees in the Town of Bristol. They are part of our essential, critical infrastructure here in town, and it’s important that we keep our employees healthy and working so we can continue to serve the public.”

Tax Payments: Residents and businesses can conveniently pay their property taxes online at or by U.S. mail. Checks should be mailed to 10 Court Street Bristol, RI 02809.  A drop box is also available outside Town Hall. 

Building Permits: Residents and businesses can apply for a variety of building permits through the Town’s Viewpoint Cloud platform at

Municipal Court Fees: Constituents can pay traffic and parking tickets online at

File a Police Report: The Bristol Police Department provides a convenient alternative for citizens to report non-emergency situations that have occurred with the Town of Bristol, RI. The online reporting system can be used to report vandalism, identity theft, credit card fraud, lost/missing items, theft of packages, harassment and other non-emergency incidents. To file a report, please visit If you are reporting an incident to Bristol Police that involves an emergency requiring immediate police response DIAL 9-1-1. 

Town Clerk Services: The Bristol Town Clerk’s Office offers constituents several online services including access to the land evidence database, submission of a public records request, and vital records requests. To learn more, please visit the Town website at

More information about the Town’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found online at To view the latest guidance from the State of Rhode Island, please visit

“Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation. We look forward to the vaccine being delivered locally in the coming months, and we are hopeful that by this time next year, we will be in a much better place,” said Bristol Town Administrator Contente.


Administration Press Releases

Silver Creek Bridge Reopens to Two-Way Traffic

Administration Press Releases

Bristol Announces New Bicycle Connector Planning Study

August 18, 2020

Diane Williamson, AICP – Director of Community Development
Town of Bristol, RI
401-253-7000 x 126

Bristol, RI– The Town of Bristol has launched efforts to design and establish the Bristol Bicycle Connector, a series of improvements to bicycle and pedestrian facilities to connect the southern terminus of the East Bay Bike Path with the southern area of Bristol for safer and more efficient commuting and recreation.

For the past several years, the Town of Bristol has been exploring options to enhance connectivity for bicyclists and pedestrians in town. A focus has been on the connection from the Roger Williams University campus to the East Bay Bike Path and downtown Bristol to expand opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to commute and further integrate with the community and spur economic growth for downtown businesses.  

“We are very excited about the opportunity for a potential bicycle path to connect the end of the East Bay Bike Path to the southern part of Bristol.  There are many benefits for the residents, including an increased opportunity for more active recreation.” said Diane Williamson, Director of Community Development.    

 The Town has convened a Steering Committee to help guide the planning process and build consensus for the preferred design concept.  In June, the Town selected the consultant team of Fuss & O’Neill and Toole Design to assist the Town with the Connector’s design. During August and September 2020, the team will conduct an alternatives analysis to evaluate potential routes and engage with the public to assess the routes and make recommendations for a preferred alternative. Once selected, the Town will move forward to complete the design and permitting of the chosen route.

Members of the public can participate in the process in several ways:

  • Presentations and workshops will take place on Zoom, and links to all meetings will be on the Bristol Bicycle Connector website. The following events are currently scheduled:
    • Town Council presentation of Route Alternatives on 8/19/20 – 7 pm
    • Community Workshop to discuss Route Alternatives on 8/25/20 – 7 pm (Zoom Invite)
    • Town Council presentation of prioritized Route Alternatives on 9/9/20 – 7 pm
    • Community Workshop to discuss prioritized Route Alternatives on 9/16/20 – 7 pm
    • Presentation to Town Council on 9/30/20 – 7 pm

The study is funded by a grant from the 2018 Green Economy Bond of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. The program supports communities improving facilities for cycling and recreation. The Town of Bristol has no local match for this study.


Administration Press Releases

Bristol Announces Retirement of Library Director Prescott

BRISTOL, RI-Earlier today, Library Staff and supporters gathered to celebrate Rogers Free Library Director Joan Prescott. Director Prescott announced her retirement after over 30 years of service to visitors of the Library. Joan has been integral in the successful operation and expansion of the Rogers Free Library. Director Prescott’s last day will be this Friday, August 14th, 2020. The Town of Bristol extends its best wishes and appreciates her many years of service. Pictured are Town Administrator Steven Contente and Town Treasurer Raquel Pellerin presenting Joan Prescott with the Town Coin at the Library.


Administration Press Releases

Tropical Storm Isaias Update

AUGUST 3, 2020

(401) 253-2310

BRISTOL, RI-The Town of Bristol is closely monitoring the movements of Tropical Storm Isaias as it makes its way up the east coast towards Southern New England. A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect as high winds and heavy rain are expected to arrive by Tuesday afternoon and continue into Wednesday. While the Town stands ready and prepared for any emergency, residents are asked to prepare in advance for possible power outages. Please tune in to local news and weather forecasts for any developments.