Administration COVID-19 Press Releases

Town Administrator Contente Implements Preventative Measures to Minimize Spread of COVID-19


Bristol, R.I. – The Town of Bristol has been monitoring and responding to the developments associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In response to the latest directives from Governor Gina Raimondo and Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), the Town is implementing the following preventative actions to limit the potential spread of COVID-19: 

  • The Town of Bristol is canceling all non-essential municipal meetings, events, activities, and programs until further notice.  
  • Non-essential public facilities including the Rogers Free Library and Quinta-Gamelin Community Center will be closed to the public until further notice. 
  • Town Hall is 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. 
  • As ordered by the Governor, residents who have traveled internationally must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days.  
  • The Town of Bristol is increasing its cleaning of public facilities and spaces. 
  • The Town of Bristol is urging residents to practice social distancing of 6 feet or more. 
  • The Town will coordinate with the Bristol-Warren Regional School District on their response efforts to COVID-19. 

The Town understands that the information available on COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and we will plan to reevaluate the measures listed above on an ongoing basis.  

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

Presidential Preference Primary: For residents interested in participating via mail ballot in the upcoming April 28th Presidential Preference Primary, ballots are available 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 Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), please visit

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as we work through this as a community. 


For information regarding this press release, please contact:

Chris Vitale, Economic Development Coordinator | (401) 253-7000 

Michael DeMello, Fire Chief / Emergency Management Director | (401) 253-6912 

Administration Press Releases

Bristol Announces Proposed Sale of Bristol Shopping Center


BRISTOL, RI– On Wednesday, October 9th, 2019, the Town of Bristol announced the proposed sale of its public property at 6-40 Gooding Avenue to Gooding Realty Corporation (GRC) for $2.8M.

Commonly known as the Bristol Shopping Center, this 10.3-acre commercial property is located at the southeast corner of Hope Street (Rt. 114) and Gooding Avenue. In 1958, the Town of Bristol signed a 99-year property lease with GRC, which has since developed the land for general business use.

As a condition of its current lease agreement, the Town of Bristol was required to renegotiate the rental price of the property with GRC in 2018. During negotiations, GRC expressed interest in purchasing the property. Under normal circumstances, the Town of Bristol would hold a public offering. However, because there are still 38 years left on the lease agreement, the Town of Bristol was unable to put out a bid for the property. The tentative sales agreement, which was negotiated by members of the Bristol Town Council and Town Administration, includes several conditions regarding site upgrades such as landscaping, parking lot and building improvements.

“I believe this proposal has several long term benefits for the Town,” said Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente, “Under private ownership, there should be increased investment, improved appearances, and additional tax revenue generated. There will also be new dedicated public parking for commuters and volunteer firefighters.”

Over the past decade, the Town of Bristol received $10,000 per year in rental income. With the sale of the property, 6-40 Gooding Avenue would return to the tax rolls and be required to pay annual property taxes based on the assessed value of the land and buildings.

Proceeds from the proposed sale would be placed into a Town restricted fund, where it can accrue interest and be allocated towards specific projects by the Town Council.

“Our vision is that this newly created fund will help support some of Bristol’s long-term capital projects,” said Town Council Chairman Nathan Calouro.

The Town of Bristol will be holding a public hearing on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, at 7:00 PM in Bristol Town Hall (10 Court Street). At this meeting, members of the public will have the opportunity to provide input on the proposed sale of the asset. Individuals who wish to submit comments before the hearing can do so through the Office of the Town Clerk at 10 Court Street Bristol, RI 02809.

Administration Press Releases

Bristol Announces Kevin Lynch for Chief of Police Position

BRISTOL, RI– Today, I am very pleased to announce the selection of former Cranston Police Commander, state agency administrator, and college adjunct professor Kevin M. Lynch to the role of Town of Bristol Chief of Police.

Mr. Lynch, who holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s Degree in Justice Studies from Roger Williams University, retired in 2009 after a distinguished career with the Cranston Police Department, where he worked his way from Patrolman through the ranks to Commander (Lieutenant Colonel). During his time as the executive officer with the Cranston Police, Mr. Lynch oversaw many administrative duties including Office of Professional Standards, grant management, training, budgetary administration, and department adherence to nation police accreditation guidelines.

Immediately following his retirement from Cranston, Mr. Lynch took on the role of Deputy Director of the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (DPUC) and presently serves as that agency’s Interim Administrator. Mr. Lynch also has long taught courses centering on criminal justice studies, including community policing, police administration, criminology, ethics and career leadership at Roger Williams University (Providence Campus), the Community College of Rhode Island and Bristol (Mass.) Community College.

Chief Lynch resides in the City of Cranston with his wife, Lynn, a Cranston public-school teacher, along with their two children Justin and Cianna.

The Town of Bristol is working closely with Mr. Lynch to ensure a smooth transition from the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to the Bristol Police Department. In the coming weeks, the Town of Bristol will announce a formal swearing-in ceremony, where the Change of Command will take place.

Thank you to the members of the Town of Bristol Personnel Board and the residents that served on the Police Chief Candidate Evaluation Panel. Finally, I wish to thank all of the dedicated law enforcement professionals that put their names forward for consideration.

On behalf of the Town of Bristol, I wish to congratulate Kevin Lynch and look forward to welcoming him in the near future.

Steven Contente
Town Administrator
Administration Press Releases

Bristol Extends Hours of Operation

Bristol, RI – The Town of Bristol is pleased to announce a change in its normal hours of operation. Effective July 1st, 2019, all municipal offices located at Town Hall (10 Court Street, Bristol, RI 02809) and Department of Community Development (9 Court Street Bristol, RI 02809) will be open for business Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. This change extends Bristol’s current hours of operation by 30 minutes at the start of the workday.

“Our team prides itself on going above and beyond in its customer service efforts,” said Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente, “This change reflects our commitment to making Bristol a better place to do business.”

Administration Press Releases

Administrator Contente Appoints New Interim Chief of Police


I wish to congratulate Chief Brian Peters for being selected to lead the Portsmouth RI Police Department. On June 25, 2019, Captain Brian C. Burke was sworn in as Interim Chief of the Bristol Police Department to assume command of effective July 5, 2019. Captain Burke is a 22 year veteran of the Bristol Police Department and is currently the Department’s Detective Commander.

The Police Chief process for a permanent Police Chief has been underway in accordance with the Town Charter and Ordinance. The Town of Bristol Personnel Board has scheduled a written examination for the candidates to take place in August.

I also wish to thank Chief Peters for his continued dedication to public safety and willingness to serve as Interim Chief for the Town of Bristol. Interim Chief Peter’s term began on March 11, 2019 and he has agreed to continue in the role until after the Fourth of July celebration on July 5, 2019. Chief Peters has reported to me that the members of the department have been working together preparing the Department’s files and that the Police Department Accreditation records are complete and ready for a scheduled August 2019 on-site assessment with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The next full CALEA award conference is in November 2019.

Congratulations to Chief Peters and best wishes in your permanent role as Police Chief in neighboring Portsmouth. I am confident that Interim Chief Burke’s leadership will continue to provide professional and outstanding police services for the residents and visitors of Bristol.

Steven Contente
Bristol Town Administrator
Administration Press Releases

Town Administrator Contente Appoints Interim Chief of Police


BRISTOL, RI– On Friday, March 8, 2019, Bristol Police Chief Josue D. Canario submitted to Bristol Town Administrator Steven Contente a letter of intent to retire effective May 9, 2019. Chief Canario has served with the Bristol Police Department for 33 years, the last 11 years as Police Chief. As of March 11, 2019, Chief Canario will be on voluntary medical leave until the date of his retirement, May 9, 2019.

On Monday, March 11, 2019, Town Administrator Steven Contente appointed Brian P. Peters as Interim Chief of Police. Chief Peters retired from the Portsmouth, RI Police Department in 2018 at the rank of Deputy Police Chief. Chief Peters has experience and training that includes management, investigations, budgeting, media relations, internal affairs, and professional standards. Chief Peters has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Administration of Justice from Salve Regina University and a Master’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University. 

Chief Peters will serve in the role of Interim Police Chief while an application and testing process is advertised and conducted.

I wish to thank Chief Josue D. Canario for his 33 years of dedicated service to the Town of Bristol. I am confident that Chief Peters will provide professional law enforcement leadership at the Bristol Police Department.

Steven Contente
Bristol Town Administrator