The American Legion and the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen honored Evelyn Pursley and Donald Fleming whose decades of service to the town and its residents span a total of 110 years. They were lauded for dedicating their lives to serving others through participation on various town boards and organizations as well as in their professional career paths. Pursley’s service award was for 60 years, while Fleming’s noted 50 years of service.
The Selectmen continued the evening’s meeting by approving this summer’s annual 4th of July Road Race. The race was begun in 1971 with the goal of raising as much money as possible for monetary awards to graduating students of ORRHS who have participated in the school’s running programs. The 2013 road race supported 12 scholarships of $1,500 each and had 1,100 runners who finished the race.
Mattapoisett’s Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt was next on the agenda. Don Bamberger, Head Lion, said that his group was ‘egg-cited’ about the upcoming Easter event that will take place in Shipyard Park with the approval of the Selectmen. Approval was granted. (Watch for further details on both of these upcoming events.)
Next up was Highway Surveyor Barry Denham who met with the Selectmen to give his report and future plans for roadways throughout the town. He told them that 10.6 miles of road have been paved in the past eight years – 25% of the total roads in town at a cost of $3.5 million. When asked, Denham said that the town owns 44 miles of roads. Of all the roads that need attention now, he said that Eldorado, Bayberry (and its associated lanes) and Shady Oak Drive were in the worst condition. A contract for work on those roads is out for bid now, and the town has passed muster with the Conservation Commission allowing work to commence during the summer. He detailed roads throughout the community, sharing with the board the condition of each and every one and future plans for repairing them. In several instances, Denham said that his department would piggy-back with the water and sewer department’s work, maximizing the opportunity to get everything done at one time. Regarding Pico Beach where a culvert is in need of repair, he said that grant money was being sought and that 25% of the engineering work and 75% of the permitting work was completed to date. He continued that another culvert located on Acushnet Road at Tinkham Pond was in desperate need of repair, but that the project is estimated to cost $500,000. His detailing continued as he discussed sidewalk work that will be done in the village area, and repair work for North Street from the overpass to the Rochester line using a new type of seal coating material. “If we don’t do anything … we’ll be in trouble …,” Denham said of North Street. At the intersection of Brandt Island Road and Route 6, he was pleased to note that a long lost set of plans had been found so that the work of correcting the alignment of the intersection could now be completed at a cost of approximately $150,000.
Town Administrator Michael Gagne then gave his report. He asked that the board vote on the date and time of the spring town meeting. That was done and set for May 12 at 6:30 pm at ORRHS. He said that he wanted to impress upon the public that time was of the essence for submitting articles for the town warrant. He said anyone wanting to place something before the voters needed to get that information to his office no later than March 28.
Continuing, he said there had been one bid for the seasonal concession on the town wharf. Once again, The Ice Cream Slip – owned by Louise and Neil Vandal – will be serving food and ice cream throughout the summer season. Their singular winning bid was $2000.
The police department is pursuing grant funding for the purchase of additional AED’s (portable defibrillators), Gagne said. The goal is to have one placed in both Center and Old Hammondtown Schools within easy reach of athletic spaces in those schools, as well as for police vehicles that presently do not have them as standard equipment.
Gagne asked the public to please share names of veterans in their families or of whom they may be aware so that their names may be added to the list of those noted and honored on plaques in town hall. He said it was surprisingly difficult to gather veterans’ names but wanted to ensure no one was overlooked. He is also working with local veterans groups.
Closing out his report, he asked the Selectmen to send a letter of support to the Town of Marion as they begin the process of planning and building a bike path. They agreed with the request.
The Town Hall will be closed on April 21 in observance of Patriot’s Day.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen will be April 8 at 7:00 pm.
By Marilou Newell