No More Bats in the Belfry at Town House

The bats are gone, but their poop damage is still here and will require a cleanup to the tune of $4,600, which will come out of the town’s maintenance budget, according to the Marion Board of Selectmen at their Tuesday evening meeting.

Paul Dawson, Town Administrator, reported that the remediation of the bats was successful, and now the cleanup and disinfection needs to begin. A quote of $4,600 to clean and disinfect the upper story of the Town House was reviewed and approved by the Board. The removal of the bats cost $3,900, resulting in an overall cost to remove and disinfect of $8,500.

Albin Johnson, a member of the Board of Health, spoke and said that the Board plans to be there to make sure masks and proper measures are taken to protect the workers and the town from waste cleanup. Selectman John Henry noted that bat feces was used to make gun powder in the past and is a volatile substance. Selectman Steve Cushing asked if any of the damage was covered by insurance. Dawson said it is not.

Nan Johnson of the Friends of the Marion Council on Aging met with the Board and presented the idea of a town calendar, which a resident could access to find out dates of events held by the Council on Aging, Sippican Historical Society, Elizabeth Taber Library, Recreation Department, and town meetings and events. The Board approved the request. Johnson said that the calendar will go live on October 1 in an experimental mode, with other nonprofits possibly joining in on the proposed town-wide calendar of events.

In other business, Ken Steen of Baywatch Realty Trust, the 40B project, discussed the request to revise the existing sewer permit and water supply to the affordable income project. The original permitted project was for 168 units, which would require 32,000 gallons of water per day. The revised and finalized permitted project includes 96 units utilizing 25,000 gallons of water per day. The Board approved the revision.

Steen said that Baywatch Realty Trust will break ground on the 40B project in mid-November.

“You’ll all be invited, for sure,” said Steen, who has come before the Board multiple times during the decade-plus process.

Another issue on the agenda related to the carving out of a lot adjacent to the 40B project involving a sewer stub that appeared to be in an area that will have heavy digging. A request by Ken Steen to move the stub closer to Lot B, which is adjacent to the 40B development, was made. The Selectmen, after much informative discussion, agreed that it would be in the town’s best interest to move or cap the stud to avoid any construction to the water line that could possibly cost the town. The BOS approved the moving of the stub.

Dawson said that 34 applicants applied for the Town Facilities Manager’s position and that the committee will meet this coming Thursday to determine who, in the pool of applicants, will be advanced.

“We’ve received some great applications,” said Selectmen Chairman Jody Dickerson.

In other business, Dawson said that the Village Capital Improvement Project was currently stalled due to the “dragging of the feet” by the Massachusetts Works Infrastructure and the Department of Environmental Protection, who have not finalized the paperwork to move the project forward.

“We’ve had no success in getting started because we have to wait until this paperwork is approved and provided to us,” Dawson said. “The bidder we approved continues to extend his bid contract but may or may not extend it again.” Dawson said that state officials have been contacted but still there was no action from the state authority, which is funding upward of $1 million of the project.

The Board approved the request by local residents to fill in a small area near the pumping station located at the corner of Lewis and Front Streets.

Pruning and removal of trees is planned by NSTAR this fall. Blue tape will be put around trees that NSTAR wishes to trim or remove, but no trimming or removal will be done without the landowners’ approval.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


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