Economic Development Media Mentions Press Releases

Bristol Nominated for Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Cities Award – Vote Today!

BRISTOL, RI-Every year, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on their travel experiences around the globe. Readers rate cities on categories including their sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.

The ballot for the 2021 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards has been released, and Bristol was included in the “Cities” category. 

To vote for Bristol, individuals must visit and create an account to get start. Users are able to vote once per email address. 

“Bristol is honored to be in the running for this distinguished travel award,” said Bristol’s Economic Development Coordinator Chris Vitale. “With its historic downtown district, museums, outdoor recreation, and a robust summer events calendar, Bristol is truly a premier New England destination.”

Voting is open now through May 10, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Thank you for voting!


Community Development Press Releases

Bristol Announces Additional Bike Project Workshops

BRISTOL, RI-The Town of Bristol is currently assessing ways to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections between the East Bay Bike Path, downtown Bristol, and the southern end of Town.  The linkage of these areas along with cultural and historic sites and neighborhoods by improved sidewalks and bike connections has been a Town goal for several decades.    

The Town was fortunate to receive a grant from the RIDEM Bikeways Program to fund the feasibility study that is now being undertaken.

The overall goals of the project are:

  • to improve overall safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicles;  
  • to foster economic growth in downtown Bristol by making it more accessible to cyclists; and,
  • to create a more bicycle friendly downtown as a first step in an overall bicycle network throughout Town.

To achieve these goals, we are exploring enhancements and improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians that:

  • can be constructed in Phases as funding becomes available;
  • are designed to be financially feasible to construct and low cost to maintain;
  • create great rider/pedestrian experiences; and,
  • are highly visible/perceptible to users, potential users and surrounding areas through wayfinding signage, and pavement markings.

This planning project began in the Summer of 2020, and several public workshops and presentations to the Town Council were held in the Fall to present and receive feedback on several possible bicycle routes. Initially a goal of the project was to identify a single route that would connect the points from north to the south. However, many participants in the public sessions expressed an interest in improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities across the project area, instead of having a single designated “bike route”.

Taking that input to heart, the project team has reconfigured the project to propose improvements to several streets in downtown Bristol. Streets that already have adequate sidewalks would receive pavement markings for shared bicycle use, improved crosswalks/stop markings and wayfinding signage. All on-street parking would remain the same under the proposed plan. The west side of Ferry Road and a portion of Hope Street would receive a multi-use path to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.

The project team has prepared draft plans, drawings and illustrations to show how these proposals would be implemented and they are available to review via a link from the Town of Bristol Website at or on the project website at: .

Additionally, the Town is hosting a series of neighborhood meetings to present and discuss the bicycle project design in more detail with each of the various neighborhoods.

These meetings will be virtual teleconferences via Zoom in accordance with the COVID 19 requirements.  

We invite you to join the workshop for the night where your neighborhood is indicated.

  • Thames Street:    January 25, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 516803
Or join by phone: Dial +1 301 715 8592 
Webinar ID: 998 3975 3997

  • Ferry Road and Hope Street:  January 26, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 620132
Or join by phone:  Dial +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 973 8589 3200

  • Wood Street, Walley Street, Franklin Street, and State Street: January 28, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 038027
Or join by phone: Dial +1 301 715 8592 
Webinar ID: 958 8516 8430

  • High Street,  Constitution Street, Church Street, Washington St.: February 3, 2021 at 7 p.m.

Please go to this URL to join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:
Passcode: 162251
Or join by phone: Dial +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 950 1509 9979

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

For questions, please contact Diane M. Williamson, Director of Community Development or 401-253-7000 ext. 126.


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


Press Releases

Public Hearing Notice: Zoning Ordinance Update

The Bristol Town Council will hold a second reading and public hearing on January 27, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Via ZOOM Video Teleconference for proposed amendments to the Bristol Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map.

To join from computer:
Webinar ID: 972 9743 8749
Passcode: 450073
Or to join by phone: US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799
Additional phone numbers available:

These amendments are proposed by the Town of Bristol Department of Community
Development. Proposed amendments are numerous and occur throughout the ordinance. They include a general “cleanup” of the ordinance to address various inconsistencies, and needed clarifications as well as updates to comply with the RI State Enabling Act and the Town and State approved Comprehensive Plan. Amendments also include significant revisions and new ordinance sections relating to, among other things, provisions for accessory solar energy systems on rooftops, definitions, including revisions for building height in the flood zone; permitted uses; signs; the creation of a new Public Institutional zoning district; creation of a new Agricultural zoning district and inclusionary zoning revisions. The proposed zoning map amendments are for the mapping of protected open space parcels in the Open Space Zone, the proposed new Public Institutional Zoning are on public property and the Agricultural Zoning districts are on farmland already protected from development where the government holds a conservation easement.

Proposed amendments are available at Town Hall in the Clerk’s Office and may be viewed
or downloaded using the link below.

The proposal may be altered or amended prior to the close of public hearing without
further advertising, as a result of further study or because of the views expressed at the
public hearing. Any such alteration must be presented for comment in the course of said


To review the proposed changes, please click the ‘Learn More’ button below.


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


COVID-19 Media Mentions

East Bay First-Responders Roll Up Their Sleeves, EastBayRI

COVID-19 Media Mentions

First Wave of Vaccinations Begins Monday in Bristol, EastBayRI

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.


Media Mentions Police

Bristol Police Pet Supply Drive for K-9 Brody’s First Christmas


Bristol police holding pet supply drive for K-9 Brody’s first Christmas