The voters were agreeable to everything in the warrant brought before them during the Mattapoisett Fall Town Meeting with the exception of a pump out boat.
Despite an impassioned statement from selectman Paul Silva, who felt debating the pros and cons of funding a town-owned pump out boat was beyond comprehension, it was debated nonetheless and defeated. Finance Committee Chairperson Patricia Donoghue disclosed to the assembled that the committee had not been informed that a commercial enterprise was providing pump out service to boaters in town prior to Town Meeting, and therefore could not advise the voters to approve the article.
David Kaiser, 54 Ocean Dr., who operates the Mattapoisett Boat Yard, came forward to say that he was never asked if the services they have been providing to the town could be expanded to provide more and greater services, and he said he was surprised to learn of the article in the warrant for a new town owned boat.
“We’ve never had a complaint on the service we’ve been providing,” he said. “There is system in place. It is well known, we do 40 and 50 pump outs per week during the season. We could apply to the state for more hours and expand our contract. This is the first time I’ve heard about it – we were not consulted.” The Article was defeated 72 to 29.
With the balance of the articles presented in the warrant, there was little debate. The following articles passed:
Article 1, Floodplain Map and Zoning Amendment: Although there was discussion regarding the multiple errors in FEMA mapping not only in Mattapoisett but through the country, the town had to accept the article in order to be eligible for flood relief in the event of a storm. Mike Gagne, Town Administrator, said he has been and will be working with a coalition of towns to find ways to get the FEMA maps corrected and the adjoining issue of escalating insurance rates addressed.
Article 2, Bonding Costs For Waterfront Project: $2,200 to pay bond costs associated with the Waterfront Electrical Upgrade Project.
Article 3, Sewer Inflow and Infiltration Study: $50,000 to fund sewer study.
Article 4, Fairhaven Sewer Apportionment of Sewer Costs for Mattapoisett: $4,600 to pay town’s share of annual sewer system costs to Fairhaven.
Article 5, Funding for Road Improvements: $125,000 from free cash for the purpose of doing repairs including drainage, sidewalks, engineering costs.
Article 6, Geographic Information Systems Upgrading: $15,000 from free cash for improvements in the geographic information systems.
Article 7, Contribution to Capital Equipment Stabilization Fund: $285,000 from free cash to fund town’s equipment stabilization fund.
Article 8, Contribution to Special Education Stabilization Fund: $65,000 from free cash to fund town’s special education stabilization fund.
Article 9, Contribution to Stabilization Fund: $50,000 from free cash to fund stabilization fund.
Article 10, Recreation Appropriation: $20,000 from free cash surplus for recreational activities in town.
Article 11, Funding of Audio/Amplification System for Town Meetings: $9,400 from free cash to purchase audio system for town meetings use.
Article 12, Repairs and Improvements of the Town Beach House: $80,000 from free cash to complete improvements to the Beach House and $15,000 from free cash to make handicap improvements to Ned’s Point Restrooms.
Article 13, Supplemental Budget Appropriations: $232,668 to be added to Fiscal Year 2014 appropriation as voted by the Annual Town Meeting of May 13, 2013, for salaries and wages of contract employees, personnel bylaw employees, unionized employees and other miscellaneous employees. $189,890 to be transferred from Article 19 of the Annual Town Meeting May 2013, the amount of $4,021 from the Tax Levy, and $30,121 to be transferred from Water Enterprise Retained Earnings, $8,636 to be transferred from Sewer Retained Earnings all to be disbursed to the following departmental budgets:
Treasurer/Tax Collector $9,326
Clerk/Registrar of Voters $9,919
Conservation Commission $3,252
Building Inspector $6,728
Sealer of Weights $286.00
Tree Warden $2,000
Natural Resources $1,284
Board of Health $6,956
Public Health Nurse $1,390
Council of Aging $1,213
Veteran’s Administration $1,418
Article 14, Adoption of Personnel Schedules: to approve amendments to various Personnel Schedules and Classifications in the by-laws and funding to transfer a sum of money from appropriated Article 19 of the May 2013 Annual Town Meeting and the Tax Levy for funding.
Donald Fleming, 4 Church St., asked permission to put a motion before the meeting to increase fire suppression command officers hourly rate from that which was being requested. After some quick calculations and an opportunity to ask for more funding at the next Town Meeting should a shortfall occur the motion was allowed. It didn’t pass (yes 31, no 66) and the original motion was carried.
Article 15, Equipping of Rescue Boat: $59,000 from free cash to fund town-owned boat for use as a rescue boat, and to purchase two outboard engines, accessory engine equipment, navigational and communication equipment and any services incidental and related to the boat.
Article 17, Bike Path Funds Legal and Plans Expenses for the Receipt of Gift from YMCA: $20,000 from Free Cash for legal fees, documentation from the gift.
Article 18, Naskatucket Land Grant: borrow $387,500 costs for purchasing the fee simple interest for land located on west side of Brandt Island Road, 27 acres, for conservation and passive recreational use.
Article 19, Mattapoisett River Land Aquifer Land Grant: $481,000, to purchase land located along Acushnet Road, 16.61 acres. No cost to the town, being paid for by outside grants being paid to the town.
Article 20, Transfer of Funds: transfer from Article 2 of the May 2013 Annual Town Meeting Assessor’s Expense Budget, “Other Professional Services,” $15,000, for assessing data collection.
By Marilou Newell