The April 8 meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen found an agenda full of upcoming summertime events and programs and the approaching Town Meeting.
Delighting all in attendance was an appointment with young Alex Craig who has spearheaded a memorial honoring Milton Silveria. Craig was back to report on his fundraising efforts. He reported a fund of $3110 to erect a plaque at Ned’s Point noting Silveria and his many accomplishments. Craig has also received a granite donation from Charles Dupont to which the bronze plaque will be affixed. He requested an appointment to meet with one or more of the selectmen to visit Ned’s Point and select the best location for the erection of the memorial. Chairman Tim Macallister will meet with Craig during school vacation week. Craig received a round of applause from all for his efforts to bring this project full circle.
Several organizations were on the agenda to receive approval for their upcoming events. They were: Healing Little Hearts Road Race scheduled for October 13; Jessica Webb with Yoga at Veterans Park June 7 through September 20 from 8:00 to 9:15 am; and the Lions Club with movies in Shipyard Park beginning at the end of June and continuing through August, Harbor Days, and the Triathlon.
Don Bamberger, King Lion, told the board that he has an opportunity to bring the World Series Trophy to Mattapoisett for a few hours during Harbor Days. Although the board felt this was a great chance for local people to see the trophy and have their picture taken with it, it also presented some challenges in terms of traffic and crowd control. It was decided that Town Administrator Mike Gagne will discuss this with Police Chief Mary Lyons, and report to the selectmen. They felt that challenge could be managed, but it required police input.
Next came John DeSousa, Chairman of the Community Preservation Committee, to review their work over the past year in bringing the committee into alignment, including the building of a master plan. He continued by sharing the list of funding requests they will present at town meeting. He noted that they received seven applications this year and will be able to fund them all either in full or in part. Those requests in order of their prioritization were: 1) repairs to town beach house; 2) bike path committee engineering needs; 3) recreation department tot lot at Center School; 4) repairs to town wharf; 5) tree warden work at Barlow Cemetery; 6) Mattapoisett Historical Society for catalog system; and 7) Buzzards Bay Coalition – Nasketucket Reservation land purchase.
DeSousa said, “We decided to take it all to town meeting and let the people decide where they want to spend the money.” The selectmen were pleased with the work of the committee and thanked them for their efforts. With the completion of this year’s funding requests, the committee will now suspend its work until next September when the cycle begins again.
Capital Planning was next to come before the board with the completion of their work leading up to Town Meeting. Chairman Chuck McCullough took them through the 2015 capital budget and their list of priorities that feature: (1) fire department’s Engine 4 repairs coming in at $15,000; (2) police utility vehicle – $35,000; (3) library window repairs – $7,000; (4) fire department Engine 2 refurbishment – $125,000; (5) new ambulance – $200,000; (6) local school combined computer infrastructure upgrades – $49,000; (7) local schools technology upgrades – $30,000; (8) Hammond Street parking – $18,500; (9) local schools playground repairs – $21,000; (10) beach raft repairs – $10,000; (11) office equipment (town hall) – $13,400; (12) road sign project – $22,000; (13) highway department building repairs – $40,000; (14) library generator – $50,000; (15) fire department station vehicle – $36,000; (16) highway department utility vehicle – $50,000; (17) new math curriculum – $49,000; and (18) new police cruiser – $32,500. Enterprise businesses will be processed independently from this group of capital needs.
Capital Planning will meet with Financial Committee on Wednesday, April 9 to review the plan in line-by-line detail and develop the final submissions for the town meeting warrant. Gagne praised the tireless work of the committee saying, “…back in October when Standard and Poor were here they were impressed with the town’s Capital Planning … having a 10-year plan … it is a credit to you and that you serve so well.”
MattSail’s prime-movers were last to meet with the selectmen. They gave a three-part presentation. First, John Mello gave an overview of the program features and the number of people served by the program annually (approximately 80 per year). Bob Goguen gave a review of their current financial and charity status highlighting the limitations of funds. And then Pat Donoghue put a fine point to it all, saying that the group hoped the town would continue support in the form of free use of the beach house. After some discussion, it was decided that MattSail would attempt to partner with the Recreation Department to determine if a full-day program between these two groups could be developed with the possibility of offering a few sailing slots to youths who otherwise would not have an opportunity to participate in the program. While there are a few scholarships available through MattSail, Gagne said there were other families who might also be served. Further conversations will ensue between the two organizations.
Gagne rounded out the evening with a very brief report saying that audio difficulties with the in-house transmissions will be reviewed with service providers to try and fix the poor quality of the audio from town hall meetings. He also said that the Tri-Town selectmen’s meeting is set for Thursday, April 10 at 7:00 pm at the media center at ORRHS. At that time, he said that the selectmen will be discussing the recent disclosure of electronic hacking and theft, what protocols might be put in place to keep all vested parties informed moving forward and how to assist with the recovery of funds still missing. “We all have to look out for each other’s back,” he said.
Spring Town Meeting is May 12, 13, and 14 (if needed) at ORRHS. The next selectmen’s meeting is April 22 at 7:00 pm.
By Marilou Newell