The founder of Alex and Ani is seeking a grant from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. The grant is to help make Belcourt Castle in Newport more eco-friendly.
Alex and Ani founder Carolyn Rafaelian bought Belcourt Castle, renamed it Belcourt of Newport, and is now refurbishing the place. Rafaelian is seeking a grant of $18,500 for a solar array and a geothermal heating and cooling system. The grant would come from the EDC’s Renewable Energy Fund.
The EDC put off a vote on awarding the grant at its last meeting after two board members recused themselves due to a conflict of interest. One of them was Rhode Island College president Nancy Carriuolo, who cited Alex and Ani’s recent $1 million gift for a new building.
The EDC will take up the grant request at its meeting this month.
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