Warrant Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Mattapoisett’s Town Warrant was signed by the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night and given to Town Clerk Barbara Sullivan, making it ready for Town Meeting. The warrant is now available in hardcopy at the clerk’s office and is posted on the town’s website. Also available to voters is a TV program that will air on community channels featuring Town Administrator Michael Gagne and Selectman Paul Silva explaining the financial health of Mattapoisett. It was noted that voters would be better prepared for participation at Town Meeting by watching the show prior to attending.

The night’s agenda also included the signing of treasurer bonds for the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust in the amount of $6,097,990 for the ongoing sewer work on Mattapoisett Neck. The voters had previously approved the improvement project during the 2010 Town Meeting.

In the good news category for this major project, Chair Jordan Collyer stated that incorrect cost estimates, which had threatened completion of the sewer project, have been resolved and that “nothing will roll back onto the town.” The $44,000 error made by the engineering firm Tighe & Bond was mitigated to the Selectmen’s satisfaction, “making the town whole,” Collyer said. Gagne stated that the plan still includes paving work on West Hill Road, the last street on the Neck needing repair. Work is scheduled to begin May 13.

Also being considered for future presentation to the voters is the much-needed electrical improvements to the town’s wharves. Harbormaster Horace Field presented the board with his exhaustive analysis and mapping of electrical conduits and other raceways that had been abandoned after Hurricane Bob. With this infrastructure suffering not only weather-related damage, it also isn’t sufficient for summer’s seasonal influx of users. Field explained that there are only 15 amps of power on the wharves, far less than necessary for boaters’ needs when moored.

“These changes,” Field said, “would bring these wharves up to the 20th century.”

Gagne explained that during discussion with the Marine Advisory Board, the scope of work has been pegged at approximately $200,000. Projected revenues and current balances in the waterfront fund are not enough to cover all of the needed improvements. However, some work can be done for the upcoming season, while a comprehensive proposal can be prepared for the voters’ consideration during the 2014 Town Meeting.

In other business: approval was granted to the Rochester Firefighter’s Association to sponsor the annual Mattapoisett River Boat Race on May 27. The board granted them a common victuallers license to sell food at the finish line.

Teens will once again be able to meet and jam to tunes on the pier with the approval of the teen wharf dances beginning on June 27 and running every Thursday night from 7:30 – 10:30 until August 29. Hosting and chaperoning this scholarship fundraiser is the Mattapoisett Track Club.

Also approved was a fee increase from $2 to $5 per person for “walk-on” admittance to the town’s beaches.

Allen Decker of the Buzzards Bay Coalition returned to have the Selectmen sign the deed restrictions on Northwoods, a 35-acre site on the Mattapoisett River. These restrictions were in line with those requested by the Conservation Commission and include an option for the town to use the site for drinking water wells in the future, as well as some parking for those recreating in the area.

by Marilou Newell

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