Summer has yet to officially close for the season, but Mattapoisett’s Board of Selectmen talked of the urgency of doing everything necessary to ensure that the 2019 boating season finds the town’s water clean with a new pump-out boat.
Town Administrator Mike Gagne reported that with Mattapoisett Boat Yard no longer able to provide mobile pump-out services to both residents and transient boaters to the harbor, the Mattapoisett Marine Advisory Board is recommending that the town purchase their own vessel.
Gagne said that funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Clean Vessel Act Program would provide $60,000 towards the boat with the town picking up any additional costs.
Selectman Jordan Collyer asked that Gagne find out the type of boat and associated equipment being used by neighboring towns to take the guesswork out of sourcing the correct vessel.
Gagne said that the town will have to submit their grant request by December 2018 and that he would prepare the documents. He also said that having an additional boat in the harbor on a daily basis would give the Harbormaster “another set of eyes” on the water during the busy boating season.
Gagne also reported that study of the Route 6 corridor by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and coordinated by the Southeast Regional Planning and Development (SRPD) Commission has gone well. He said that MassDOT had listened to the town’s input, along with input from businesses, regarding current and future needs. Gagne said that Route 6 from its opening until 1972 had performed well for the communities it travels through. He said that use of the roadway had changed since that time, making it necessary to reconsider its future uses. He said that a link on the town’s web page (www.mattapoisett.net)would allow residents to give their comments directly to SRPD.
Regarding the conceptual plans recently rolled out for reconfiguration of sidewalks and parking spaces along Water Street near the entrance to Shipyard Park, Gagne acknowledged some pushback from residents. He said that alternative options are being discussed and new options will be presented in the coming weeks to stakeholders in that area.
Gagne completed his report by sharing that work on the main structure located at the Park Street property, formally known as the Holy Ghost Grounds, was nearly complete with a new roof and other structural improvements to ensure the integrity of the building.
Earlier in the evening, the selectmen met with the new Town Treasurer/Collector Kristie Costa. Before taking care of business, Collyer welcomed Costa to Town Hall. Costa filled the post starting in May and had previously been employed by the Town of Acushnet in a similar capacity.
With pleasantries satisfied, Costa presented the selectmen with three bonds for their approval. The total of the bond package that was picked up during a recent sale by Fidelity Capitol Markets is $2,665,000. The payback figure is $2,809,000, she explained, and a premium roll-back of $146,658 will be used to pay down the loan.
Costa listed the bond amounts and uses as: $2.1 million for sewer pipeline upgrades, $400,000 for fresh water well refurbishments, and $250,000 for roadway improvements.
A sidenote to these financial transactions was the high rating Mattapoisett received from Standard & Poor (S&P) – a solid Triple A, Gagne said.
Gagne said that in the narrative that accompanied the documents, S&P had noted that Mattapoisett had a strong economy, strong management, and overall excellent budget performance. The rating agency also wrote that the town enjoyed a robust liquidity and low overall debt with nearly 70-percent of that scheduled to be paid off in ten years.
Gagne said that all of this pointed to the town’s ability to secure funding for such projects as a new fire station from the lending industry. Collyer said, “It’s nice to see our hard work being recognized.”
Gagne also reported that Phase 1B of the bike path went to bid on September 1. He said that all bids are due by December 2018. “It’s very exciting,” he said with a smile.
In other business, the selectmen met with Dean Blackburn whose father, Arthur Blackburn, was an early founder of the Lions Club in Mattapoisett. Blackburn sought and received approval to pursue design options for a memorial area near the gazebo in Shipyard Park to commemorate his father and other citizens of note from the community.
Regarding bike paths, Selectman Tyler Macallister asked if additional “No Parking” signs could be placed along Mattapoisett Neck Road and that the Police Department enforce the no parking bans along the stretch of road near the bike path entrance. Gagne will follow-up with the Highway and Police Departments.
The selectmen voted to appoint Anthony Tranfaglia as a regular member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The selectmen also set the Fall Special Town Meeting date for November 26, and the acceptance of articles for the warrant to begin on October 1. Gagne said that one article being drafted by the Planning Board is a bylaw governing medical marijuana sales in Mattapoisett.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for September 25 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.
Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen
By Marilou Newell