Mattapoisett’s Board of Selectmen met at 7:30 am on August 16 to sign some twenty legal documents related to the upcoming construction of Phase1B of the Mattapoisett shared use recreational path, aka, the bike path.
This section of the bike path has had its fair share of obstacles including the number of easements needed, the requirements set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (Mass DOT), and the environmental impact of crossing wetlands – it has been a very long and complex process.
Echoing that sentiment on this morning, town administrator Michael Gagne said, “There are a number of documents that need to be forwarded to the Mass DOT agent to effectuate Phase 1B from Mattapoisett Neck Road to the parking lot at Depot Street.” He said that there had been many long meetings and negotiations with all parties that included the YMCA, Reservation Golf Club, Dennis Mahoney and Sons, and five abutters whose properties are contiguously located along the bike path on Mattapoisett Neck Road.
When all was said and done, Selectmen R. Tyler Macallister and Jordan Collyer signed some twenty documents and engineered plans needed to be able to move into the construction bid phase.
The town’s attorney in this matter, Matthew Thomas, carefully explained each piece of paper or plans associated with Phase 1B that required a vote by the board of selectmen.
Thomas described the first set of documents as an agreement between the town and the YMCA and Reservation Golf Club for easements. Thomas said that concurrent with the Board of Selectmen meeting, the Board of Directors for the YMCA were meeting to solidify their early vote to accept the easement as presented and gift it to the town. He said that although he did not anticipate a problem, in the event that that agreement failed, the selectmen would need to vote to approve a “taking” of the easement. Those documents were accepted and signed.
As a point of clarification, Thomas said that all easements being discussed during this meeting were easements over existing sewer and railroad easements already in place, but such easements were required as part of the agreement with Mass DOT. He said that the easements from the YMCA and Reservation Golf Club were gifts. The acceptance of the easements from these two entities were approved at the May 2017 annual Town Meeting he said.
Regarding easements involving property owned by Dennis Mahoney and Sons, Thomas said it was within their right to disagree with the $1,900 pro tanto payment and value assessed on the easements. The selectmen signed documents for taking of the easements.
There were five abutters along Phase 1 of the bike path who needed to give permission for the placement of hay bales in easements on their property for the upcoming construction of Phase 1B. Gagne acknowledged their willingness and thanked them for their kind cooperation in the process.
There were also documents signed giving Mass DOT the right to enter town property during the construction phase and review engineered plans and deeds of easement. The selectmen also approved an easement along Goodspeed Island Road as well as the layout, and there was a vote to dedicate the path as a bike and pedestrian path for recreational use as required by Mass DOT.
Regarding the Reservation Golf Club, Gagne said at the end of the meeting that the board of directors were “great to work with”, including the partnership between the town and the private golf club for use of the parking area and beach at the end of Reservation Road. He said that during his negotiations with the club, they asked for permission to erect a sign on Route 6. The selectmen agreed to send a permit request to the building department on behalf of the club.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for August 22 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.
Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen
By Marilou Newell