The Wanderer - Mobile Edition


The Long and Winding Roads of Mattapoisett

Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen

By Marilou Newell

"The big thing is the voters in this community have understood we've got to do our share," stated Mattapoisett Town Administrator Michael Gagne as Highway Surveyor Barry Denham and Jon Connel of Field Engineering reported on the condition of roads in town.

Gagne's comment came on July 19 as Denham explained his report on the current state of all roads in town and updated the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen on projects.

Denham reminded the board that as roads in the village undergo complete reconstruction, water mains are being replaced. He also shared his plans to do some minor repairs to other roads in town saying with a chuckle, "We will never be done with road work."

Denham said that the successful micro-surfacing of North Street has proven that repairs of a less dramatic nature can be very cost-effective. That work was completed 10 years ago. "It seems to be holding up," he said.

Connel is in the process of preparing engineered drawings and specifications for work on Barstow, Cannon and lower Pearl Streets, Denham said. Gagne said that the state's joint transportation planning group that oversees grants should look favorably on Mattapoisett's request because the town will have prepared the required 25 percent engineered plans. He said that an article would be presented at the Fall Town Meeting to fund the engineering work. Gagne then lauded the voters in town for appreciating the necessity of funding engineering work in order to seek grant monies.

Selectman Paul Silva asked about the grants. Denham said that TIP grants for $2.5 million and $4.5 million will be sought to complete the village streets Main, Water, and North Street; and Cannon, Beacon and Marion Road.

For the Acushnet Road culvert reconstruction, Denham said that the town is awaiting the fabrication of railings. Once those are installed, the project will be complete.

Denham said he was also looking into smaller projects around town that might only be minor repairs or micro-surfacing. Selectman Jordan Collyer asked what roads those might be. Denham was reticent to mention specific roads in a public forum, saying, "I'll talk to you off line," not wishing to heighten public expectations prematurely. He said that his goal is to repair and provide maintenance to two miles of roadways per year.

Silva asked Gagne when the town might expect the TIP grants to come through. Gagne replied, "FY2021, but maybe 2020," if other towns fail to provide the engineered drawings. "So let's say five years."

"That would be sweet," responded Gagne.

Of Denham's work, the board was unanimous in praising, with Collyer adding, "When we tell other people what we do in our town, they can't believe we have funds and get things done.... If it wasn't for Barry..."

Staying on the theme of roads, Gagne reported that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has approved the installation of flashing crossing signs at three locations along Route 6. Those locations are Pearl Street, a new crosswalk near the Ropewalk shopping center, and at the high school.

Moving on to waterways, Gagne reported that the Coast Guard has agreed to hold a public hearing in Mattapoisett to discuss the disestablishment of several buoys in Buzzards Bay. Silva suggested inviting Marion and Fairhaven, while Collyer suggested including members of the Buzzards Bay Task Force. Gagne said he would contact affected communities on Buzzards Bay. Buoys in Mattapoisett Harbor, as well as several considered strategic to navigating in and around the Woods Hole area, will be discussed.

Earlier in the evening the selectmen honored and recognized retiring Mattapoisett Fire Department Captain E. Robert Guard for his 24 years of service. Jeff Riley was appointed as an alternate member of the Marine Advisory Board. Tammy Ferreira's resignation as secretary to the Planning Board was accepted, as was the resignation of John Mathieu from the same board.

The selectmen approved a class II automobile dealership license to Charles Rider for an Internet business.

The Mattapoisett Track Club was given approval to hold an adult wharf dance on August 20 between 8:00 and 11:00 pm.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for August 16 at a new time of 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

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