Police Chief Mary Lyons and Treasurer Brenda Herbeck met with the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen to discuss possible alternatives to privilege stickers in town. The discussion was held at the Board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, November 27.
Presently, residents pay separately for two stickers for use of the public beach, shellfishing and for use of the landfill. Lyons said there is confusion with the stickers because residents oftentimes forget to put their stickers on their cars or they fall off from poor adhesion. The stickers are creating confusion for the town; primarily, the police department is responsible for ticketing for illegal parking.
Lyons and Herbeck met with members of several other committees in town to discuss potential remedies to the problem. The committee met four times and concluded the eliminating the sticker process altogether would be the best alternative. Under the new proposal, the stickers would be replaced with plastic placards that would hang on the rearview mirrors of each vehicle. Residents would be able to purchase the placards online.
“It’s not too big that it’s going to obstruct anyone’s view and we feel this eliminates any confusion as to where the stickers need to go on the car,” said Lyons.
The hanging placard would be laid for both beach and landfill purposes. However, residents would not be able to purchase the stickers separately. To purchase a placard, the cost would be $30, as compared to the $35 combination sticker that exists under the current system. The Board did not approve of the idea of only having a package deal for the beach and landfill and not having separate options.
“I’m not sure I’m prepared to endorse forcing people to pay for something they don’t need,” said Selectman Paul Silva.
“It really is not fair,” said Selectman Tyler Macallister. “I think just doing it might be a little abrupt.”
Both Lyons and Herbeck agreed to take the Board’s feedback into consideration and brainstorm some amendments to their plan. They will re-present the idea at the Board’s next meeting in two weeks.
“This is still a work in progress,” said Lyons.
In other news, Town Administrator Michael Gagne proposed a new pilot program for street lighting along Route 6. As it stands, the 368 street lamps in Mattapoisett use high pressure sodium lights for electricity, costing the town nearly $3,000 each month in electricity. Gagne proposed approaching NSTAR to see if they could replace the light bulbs on Route 6 with LED lights on a trial basis. 34 lamps would utilize the LED lights. The town would qualify for a rebate program which would help pay for the conversion.
Gagne said that the difference between the two bulb types is significant, and that the LED lights produce less of a glare than the high sodium bulbs. Furthermore, LED lights can last up to 50,000 hours per bulb.
“I think it would be a big improvement to safety,” said Gagne.
The Board agreed to allow Gagne to approach NSTAR to discuss the pilot program.
The Board voted in favor of allowing a charity Polar Plunge to take place on New Year’s Day. The plunge will serve as a fundraiser to raise money for local families who are currently battling cancer. The plunge would be held at Town Beach. Will Huggins, a Mattapoisett resident who is currently battling cancer, wrote a letter to the Board proposing the idea.
“I think it’s a great idea and a great cause,” said Macallister.
The Board also voted in favor of approving the 2013 Mother’s Day Road Race after a successful 2012 event. 2012 marked the seventh annual road race and it raised $6,000 for the South Coast Women’s Fund.
The Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen will meet again on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall.
By Katy Fitzpatrick