The Town of Richmond has a population of approximately 8,000 people and was incorporated on August 18, 1747. The town was named in honor of Edward Richmond, Attorney General of the Colony of Rhode Island from 1671 to 1680.
Situated in the heart of Washington County (unofficially known as South County) and encompassing an area of 40.6-square miles, it is bordered northerly and northeasterly by the Town of Exeter, southeasterly by the Town of South Kingstown, southerly by the Town of Charlestown, and westerly by the Town of Hopkinton.
Less than 30 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island, Richmond is only a short drive to both T. F. Green Airport (PVD) in Warwick and the local Westerly Airport. Rail service is provided by AMTRAK in West Kingston, 10 miles easterly on RI Route 138. The Wyoming Village business district is located just off exit number 3 of US Interstate 95, making this a “Gateway Community” area and easily accessible to all of Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut.
A five-member Town Council, elected biannually, governs the general affairs of the town. In November, 2008, the town adopted its first Home Rule Charter, which now makes provision for a town administrator. However, town government will continue many traditional features under the new charter, such as electing its town clerk and holding a financial town meeting annually in June to adopt the town’s budget for the fiscal year ensuing on July 1.
The town has 32 full-time employees of which 18 are police officers and related staff, represented by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 48. Several municipal department heads, including the Tax Assessor and Town Planner remain part-time positions. Full-time clerical employees and the animal control officer are represented by Council 94, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), and AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations).
Pension benefits are administered through the Rhode Island State system and the town contributes toward employee health care benefits provided by Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Delta Dental.
The towns of Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton formed the Chariho Regional School District in 1958, which later became the first regionalized Junior-Senior school system in Rhode Island. The school system now includes the elementary schools, as well. The school population, currently a total of 1,249, is approximately equal for each town.
Richmond elects three of the twelve-member Chariho School Committee, which oversees the school administration. Residents vote annually in March by a district-wide referendum to approve or amend the school committee’s annual operating budget. Over 80% of Richmond’s annual budget is its obligation to the Chariho School District.
In addition to a full-time Police Department, the Rhode Island State Police are headquartered in the Hope Valley Barracks on Route 3 near the village of Wyoming.