Engineering Begins for New Fire House

            The January 8 meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen was swiftly handled in spite of the important projects that were discussed. In other words, things are moving along smoothly at this point in time for the proposed new fire house, roadway improvements in the village district, restrictions for the arched stone bridge, and bidding for the construction project affectionately known as the bikeway Phase 1B.

Present to give a status report on the fire department building project was committee chairman Mike Hickey, whose 40-plus years in engineering made him the ideal volunteer to shoulder this massive project, according to Selectman Jordan Collyer who is also a committee member.

Hickey said that the Fire Department Building Committee had been charged with finding the best firms to bring onboard to handle project management and design. He said that after careful consideration and evaluation of those companies vying for the contracts, the committee selected Vertex of Weymouth for project management, and Contex of Boston for design development.

Continuing with his update, Hickey said that Contex had over 30 years of experience in the design of public safety structures and in that time had worked on 56 such buildings.

Hickey went on to say that each firm would present total construction estimates to the town in advance of Town Meeting. He said that the committee is working towards providing the community with a full package of details, including the cost estimates, and that there would be a public hearing in advance of Town Meeting to give the public the opportunity to ask questions, vet concerns, and offer feedback.

The first phase of the project will also include a conceptual design based on the needs that have been expressed by Fire Chief Andrew Murray in a new building. Subsequent phases will include schematic design from which firm cost estimates may be developed.

“We want a building that will be easy to maintain, durable, and nothing fancy,” Hickey said.

Collyer said that although the public will see activity at the planned site adjacent to the police station, that work will be to study soils, survey the property, and prepare contours for storm water management plans.

“Construction is not beginning,” Collyer emphasized.

“Its better to know now what’s underground,” Hickey said of the geo-technical processes.

Of the $260,000 that Town Meeting voters approved for the selection of the project management and design firms, “they have spent less then half,” Collyer shared.

Cost estimates should be completed by the end of March or in early April, Hickey said.

In his report, Town Administrator Mike Gagne said that roadway improvement currently being reviewed at the state level for Main Street, Beacon Street, Water Street, and Marion Road are scheduled to be on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) T.I.P. list for fiscal year 2021.

Presently, Mass D.O.T. is reviewing the 10-percent complete engineered plans submitted by the town. Selectman Paul Silva asked about the parking design planned for the area in front of the Inn at Shipyard Park and the park itself. Gagne said that current options include parking on the north side of Water Street that is sufficient to satisfy Mass D.O.T., as well as some short-term parking on the south side.

Silva inquired as to the status of Mass D.O.T. travel restrictions for the town’s historic arched stone bridge on River Road. Gagne responded that the engineering firm G.P.I. Tech was working on the documents necessary for the state review process to begin.

Regarding Phase 1B of the bike path that will give pedestrian and recreational access from Mattapoisett Neck Road to Depot Street, Gagne said that the bids were out and awarding would take place in January with a spring groundbreaking.

In other news, Gagne said curbside Christmas tree pick-ups have begun and will continue to the end of the month.

Winter landfill hours are now Thursday through Saturday, 8:00 am to 2:45 pm.

Gagne also said that shellfishing areas now open include Town Landing and Hiller’s Cove. For more complete shellfishing information visit

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for January 22 at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen

By Marilou Newell

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