Molly’s Cove is traversed by Mattapoisett Neck Road with a culvert that is in dire need of improvement. The area has been studied for some time by the Buzzards Bay Coalition and in 2021 by the Woods Hole Group which developed several options for the roadway in a future world where overtopping and flooding become the norm.
Now came Mattapoisett Land Trust president Mike Huguenin with something he hoped would be good news to the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission during Monday night’s public meeting.
Huguenin said that grant funding might be available from the USDA as well as from Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management. He explained that the goal would be to receive enough funding to complete a 25% design, the percentage generally needed before grant agencies will accept applications.
A CZM grant in the amount of $75,000 had been received by the town in 2021 when the first Woods Hole Group study was conducted. In that study, it was determined that if nothing was done to the culvert area, there was still hope that by removing invasive species coupled with the introduction of salt-tolerant plants, the water-quality health of Molly’s Cove may improve.
Other options included roadway elevations with the maximum being 7.5 feet for the greatest resiliency. In that scenario, however, slopes would be impacted and would need engineering attention. Further noted in the study was the need to up-size the culvert itself for better water movement.
Huguenin asked for the commission’s support in the form of a letter that would be part of the grant-application packet. The commissioners were in agreement that they would support the efforts of the MLT.
In other business, the Reservation Golf Club received a Negative Box 5 determination of applicability for the installation of a new sprinkler system.
A Notice of Intent filed by Joe Crespi for a new septic system at 4 Dyar Road received an Order of Conditions, as did a NOI filed by Michael Saunders, 10 Beach Road, for the demolition of an existing, single-family home partially located in a mapped, FEMA flood zone.
A NOI filed by Earl Miranda, 28 Meadowbrook Lane, for the construction of a garage received conditioning that includes cleanup of miscellaneous materials from the yard prior to construction.
A long discussion was held with Nathan Collins of Next Grid Solar, landowners and operators of the solar array located at 139 Bowman Road. The site had been called by Conservation Agent Brandon Faneuf and Commissioner David Lawrence as “the worst” solar field they have ever seen. It was noted to Next Grid that the site had not been stabilized, tree planting had failed to take root and that areas where grass was to have been sown were not sufficiently prepared, including the spreading of loam.
A pending property sale of contiguous lots previously owned by Next Grid but now held by Long Built Homes was in play. Next Grid sought a Certificate of Compliance for the two lots so the sale could be finalized – the commission wanted commitments that the solar array would be properly stabilized. In the end, both parties agreed to site improvement and a partial Certificate of Compliance.
The commission also moved forward with the issuance of an Enforcement Order that Collins agreed to as it contained next steps towards achieving full compliance.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for Monday, June 12, at 6:30 pm.
Mattapoisett Conservation Commission
By Marilou Newell