Box Turtle Gains Protection

Personnel and preservation were themes of Monday night’s Select Board meeting.

            The board met with Police Chief Robert Small, who recommended appointing full-time officer Amin Lakhal. Small mentioned that Lakhal, a South Middleboro native, will graduate soon from the police academy and has all required training.

            The Select Board unanimously appointed Lakhal.

            The board reported vacancies on the Conservation and Agricultural commissions, respectively, as well as the Historical Commission Historic District Commission and the Soil Conservation Board.

            Select Board members met with Allen Decker, director of Land Protection for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, as well as Matt Monteiro, president of the town’s Land Trust.

            The board approved two conservation projects, both of which are habitat to the rare box turtle.

            The first project will protect 241 acres that stretch from Acushnet through Mattapoisett and around 13 acres in Rochester. The land will cut through an area of town known as Red Brook Farm, according to Decker, who said Mattapoisett is using the land on its property to protect an aquifer for a possible drinking water source in the future.

            Decker said Mattapoisett is looking at four potential areas to drill wells, if needed in the future. “There really is no long-term change (for Rochester),” Decker told Select Board members.

            The board approved the restriction of a similar property for the purpose of protection and preservation – the Longplain Forest.

            In other town business, the Select Board plans on researching how other communities are conducting annual liquor – a new farmer winery pouring license. Right now, the price is around $450, and one business owner challenged it. Select Board members agreed that the price appears high and plan on researching how other communities handle the price. The board will revisit the issue at the June 21 meeting.

            The meeting was the first with new board member Adam Murphy, who won a seat during the recent Town Election.

            The next meeting of the Rochester Select Board is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, at 6:00 pm at Town Hall.

Rochester Select Board

By Jeffrey D. Wagner

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