Conservation Commission Vents Frustration

Engineer Rich Charon, representing his client Gale Runnells, 17 Reservation Way, came before the Marion Conservation Commission on September 12 seeking a Certificate of Compliance. What he received was frustration from several commission members for what they deemed were unacceptable inconsistencies between the plan of record and the as-built plans.

Chairman Cynthia Callow said the filing was a bit of an “after-the-fact” notification, given that the completed work deviated from the plan.

The original plans called for a 12- by 24-foot in-ground pool; however, the pool was constructed at 16 by 24 feet. Permanent no-touch-zone demarcations were planned with large rocks and boulders, but the applicant poured concrete forms instead, with one form being inside the pool fencing. Furthermore, the fencing itself, instead of being placed around the apron of the pool, was installed in the wetlands no-touch zone.

“There’s been a lack of communication,” Charon told the commissioners. He said that indeed the fencing had been set farther into the jurisdictional area than originally planned, but that the finished work had been well done and the no-touch zone marked.

But commissioner Joel Hartley asked, “How can we give a Certificate of Compliance if the no-touch zone was touched?”

Commissioner Jeff Doubrava was clearly frustrated. “I’ve got an issue with this project – the no-touch zone was ignored,” Doubrava said. He pointed out that the pool fence had been installed in the no-touch zone and now, “You’re asking for forgiveness after the fact.” He also took exception to the placement of concrete forms rather than use of stones saying, “That makes it easier to mow,” referring to lawn that had been established inside the no-touch zone.

Callow added, “We’re a little frustrated. We’ve had a plethora of these coming at us.” She told Charon, “I know you’re not responsible, but it’s hard to issue compliance when it’s not in compliance.”

There then ensued nearly 30 minutes of discussion as the commissioners and Charon attempted to reach common ground.

Charon explained that the pool fence had been placed downhill of the pool because it would have obstructed the water view in the original location.

Commissioner Shaun Walsh asked, “Is there anything preventing the property owner from allowing the natural vegetation to re-establish?” noting that some cuttings had also taken place in the no-touch zone. Charon agreed that was possible, along with planting of native species. But he could not agree with moving the fence to its original location as suggested by Doubrava.

Walsh said, “A greater effort needs to be made to be in compliance with the Order of Conditions. This is a problem of your client’s own making.”

Charon offered to return with a planting plan. The hearing was continued until September 28.

Robert McNamara’s RDA application for the construction of a shed at 19 Shawondasse Road met with some push back when abutters complained to the commission that “word on the street” was that it would be used as sleeping quarters.

McNamara denied that he ever indicated to prospective buyers that a shed could be used as living space. “Everything I’ve done over there, I’ve come to [the Conservation Commission] first,” he said in defense of some modifications he’s made to the property.

Callow told the abutters that the commission was only responsible for wetland-related issues, and that other boards could hear their building and building-use concerns.

McNamara received a Negative 2 decision for his application.

All other applications on this night went through smoothly.

Negative 2 determinations of applicability were issued for Elizabeth Middleton, 40 Joanne Drive, for the construction of an in-ground pool and addition to existing dwelling; Bob Cattel, Blackhall Court and Hastings Road, for repairs and repaving to existing roadways; Angus Leary, 19 Lewis Street, for the construction of an in-ground pool and pool house; Kathleen Mahoney, 40 Dexter Road, to relocate a generator; Philip Stevenson, 50 Point Road, to cut 4,955 square feet of overgrown vegetation and convert the area to lawn; and Warren Williamson, 121 Converse Road, to construct a ramp to an elevated deck and modifications to decking for an outdoor shower.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for September 28 at 7:00 pm in the town house conference room.

By Marilou Newell

 

Mattapoisett Historical Society’s Annual Meeting

Please join us for the Mattapoisett Historical Society’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, September 25 at 2:00 pm at 5 Church Street, Mattapoisett. After we attend to business including some important strategic thinking, Seth Mendell, President Emeritus, will share some tales about fires in Mattapoisett. If you have questions, please call 508-758-2844, email mattapoisett.museum@verizon.net or check our website: www.mattapoisetthistoricalsociety.org.

Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Program

Applications for the Mattapoisett Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Program are available as of September 22. This program allows Mattapoisett seniors, older than 60, to perform services for the town in exchange for a maximum of $750 reduction on the taxes for Mattapoisett property that they own and occupy. Anyone interested must complete an application, even if you have served in the past.

Applications are available online at the Town’s website, www.mattapoisett.net/council-aging, under the “COA” under “FY17 Work-Off Package”. Hard copy applications may also be picked up in person at the Council on Aging, 17 Barstow Street. The application contains a summary of the eligibility requirements for program participation. There is also a detailed information package, which outlines the program, earnings, tax responsibilities, and other pertinent information.

All applications must be turned in to the Council on Aging office by 3:00 pm on Friday, October 22. Anyone with questions may call Jacqueline Coucci, Council on Aging Director, at 508-758-4110.

Selectmen Approve Several Water Ban Exemptions

With the region now under a drought warning, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has issued a mandatory water ban on non-essential outdoor water use, and Marion is included in the region affected. But, as discussed during the Marion Board of Selectmen meeting on September 20, there are always exceptions.

A letter from the DEP last week does state specific circumstances that qualify for exemption from the water ban such as for “the production of food and fiber, the maintenance of livestock, and to meet the core functions of a business.”

With a drought warning, all outdoor use is restricted, including vehicle washing, lawn irrigation systems, filling pools, and washing exterior buildings.

The Board of Selectmen, which is also the Water/Sewer Commission, received six separate requests for an exemption from the water ban for permission to utilize outdoor water for watering newly established lawns that were installed before the water ban came into effect.

Town Administrator Paul Dawson said the water superintendent made the recommendation that the selectmen grant the exemption for all six requests and the selectmen approved them.

Dawson said residents with private wells are encouraged to voluntarily observe the water ban to preserve aquifer resources.

“This is a pretty serious drought situation as we all know,” said Dawson. In order to preserve water for emergencies and maintain water pressure for fire suppression, Dawson said, it is important “not to draw down the groundwater too much.”

Selectman Steve Gonsalves said he supported the exemptions because they were sensible.

“I would certainly be one to allow that within reason,” Gonsalves said, “[and] in favor of lightening up a little bit on that.” He added that he himself would likely be one to request an exemption because he plans to install a new grass lawn, saying, “I can’t go another winter with mud.”

Selectmen Chairman Jody Dickerson suggested that since the board only meets every other week, the board should authorize the water superintendent to approve subsequent exemptions within reason in the meantime, and the selectmen voted to allow this for the next 30 days.

“They have a handle on what our [water] levels are … so I would respect their decisions on that,” Selectman Stephen Cushing said. He added that all requests must be in writing.

In other matters, the board declared the old 1999 International E-One pumper (Engine 3) as surplus and voted to accept a bid from Brindlee Fire Apparatus to broker the engine on the town’s behalf. The town, which received two identical bids from the only two companies in the country that broker fire engines, chose Brindlee Mountain because of positive business with the broker in the past.

The board also met with Joseph Zora, Jr. and his attorney Margaret Ishihara regarding Zora’s dispute with the town over access to his property via Parlowtown Road, which Zora maintains is a public way on land the town acquired decades ago through a title tax taking. Zora’s attorney said that there is only limited documented history on the land dispute and argued that a 1961 Town Meeting vote surrounding a Sippican Lands Trust land acquisition transaction to place a gate and boulders blocking passage through Parlowtown Road was not legal.

Town Counsel Jon Whitten, present that night, said the selectmen have no jurisdiction to undo a Town Meeting vote; however, if Zora and his attorney could produce a 1961 Town Meeting Warrant that provided enough detail to prove Zora’s position, then Whitten might, if convinced, advise the selectmen to support a subsequent Town Meeting vote to resolve the matter.

The aquaculture farm public hearing for Shea Doonan was again continued until October 18.

The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for October 4 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry

 

Free Mahjong Lessons

A Marion Council on Aging volunteer will offer free Mahjong lessons on Friday, September 23 beginning at 11:00 am in the Great Room at Tabor Academy, 188 Front Street, Marion. Participants are asked to register in advance by calling 508-748-3570. If you have a Mahjong set, please feel free to bring it with you.

Academic Achievements

Hunter Patrick of Marion was among 65 other cadets in Romeo Company at The Citadel that were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and peer leadership during the 2015-16 school year earning the 2016 Pearlstine Award. The Milton A. Pearlstine Award is presented annually by The Citadel Alumni Association in honor of Milton A. Pearlstine, Citadel Class of 1919 and past president of the CAA, to the cadet company achieving the highest freshman class grade point ratio for the previous school year.

The following Tri-Town residents have graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston:

– Lucas Ahern Grey of Marion

– Jason S. Roose of Rochester

– Maxwell G. Sherman of Rochester

Richard P. Regan

Richard P. Regan, 95, of Mattapoisett died Monday September 19, 2016 at Our Lady’s Haven after a brief illness. He was the husband of the late Ruth L. (Waite) Regan.

Born in New Bedford, the son of the late Richard P. and Emilienne (Melanson) Regan, he lived in Mattapoisett for many years.

Mr. Regan was formerly employed as an installer/repairman for New England Telephone until his retirement in 1983.

He was a graduate of Holy Family High School. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy.

He enjoyed all New England sports team and thoroughbred horse racing.

Survivors include two sons, Richard F. Regan and his wife Lynn of Mattapoisett and Kevin M. Regan and his wife Marcia of Buzzards Bay; his daughter-in-law, Maryann Regan of Dartmouth; eight grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his son Daniel G. Regan and his sisters, Helen Regan and Margaret Tighe.

His Funeral will be held on Saturday September 24, 2016 at 9 AM from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett, followed by his Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church at 10 AM. Burial with military honors will be in St. Anthony’s Cemetery. Visiting hours will be on Friday September 23, 2016 from 4-7 PM. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

regan

Irrigation at Tabor

To the Editor:

Tabor Academy is taking active steps to conform to and support the Town of Marion’s recent water ban. Our faculty and students have been notified about the restriction and will join with our Marion neighbors to refrain from non-essential water use during the restriction, and also to limit even essential uses. Townspeople may observe our grass fields and some other central areas being watered by our sprinkler system. We want residents to know that these sprinkler systems, as well as our watering truck for potted plants and flower beds, are always fed by our irrigation pond and do not draw from the Town’s water supply. With precipitation levels extremely low, we intend to use all water resources responsibly and sparingly. Tabor remains committed to conserving all resources, and to partnering with the Town wherever possible to ensure that our community’s shared resources are cared for in sustainable and healthy ways.

John Quirk, Head of School, Tabor Academy

 

The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

The Dangers of Prescription Drugs in the Home

Please join us on Friday, September 30 at 7:00 pm at The First Congregational Church Community Center Hall at 144 Front Street, Marion.

Deputy Liisa Budge-Johnson of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department will present a free 30-minute PowerPoint program on the dangers of prescription drugs and inhalants in the home. She will offer suggestions on how you can protect yourself and your family. Reserve your seat early. For more information or to reserve a seat, call 508-748-2428.

Machacam Club Meeting

The Machacam Club will hold the first meeting of the new year on October 5 at the Legion Hall at 3 Depot Street. Social time is 5:30 pm; dinner is at 6:00pm.

The meal will be lasagna, tossed salad, garlic bread and pie for dessert. Our speaker for the evening will be Catherine Heuberger. Catherine has held the office of Town Clerk since 2014, and this will be her first visit with us. Catherine will report on her first two plus years. One change, in particular, will be of interest to all, namely the “Early Vote Program.” Catherine has been asked to be prepared to discuss this change, which is effective in November with the presidential election, and the action that is being taken concerning the fear of a “hacked” election.

Callers and members are asked to bear in mind the importance of call list accuracy. Caller lists should be done and reported no later than 9:00 pm on Monday, October 3 by email to GPFNR@aol.com or by phone to Mike at 508-758-9311. Members with requests can contact Mike by phone at 508-758-9311 no later than 9:00 am on Tuesday, October 4.