During the May 24 meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen, two new businesses received all alcohol and common victualler licenses.
Coming before the board was Nabih “Nabby” Maujabber of New Bedford to discuss his plans for opening the Lebanese Kitchen at the former Mattapoisett Chowder House, 79 Fairhaven Road.
Maujabber said they were faced with more work than anticipated, thus causing him to do more than originally planned to the interior of the building.
“We are going to be our best so you can be proud of us here,” said Maujubber, adding, “We want to make sure when we open, we do it right.”
Selectmen Tyler Macallister said, “We’ve heard nothing but good things about you.”
Maujabber had an established restaurant in New Bedford until two years ago when a devastating fire made re-opening at that location untenable. Now he plans to open in Mattapoisett.
“There are not a lot of opportunities for commercial development,” said Selectman Jordan Collyer. “You are being a tremendous asset to the community.” He, too, praised Maujabber.
Macallister welcomed Maujabber to Mattapoisett to a rousing round of applause from those in the audience.
Also coming before the board was Eric Lawrence of Aeolus Energy Services, Rochester. Lawrence plans to renovate the Bowl-Mor property, keeping much of its traditional character while adding new electronic scoring technology, a new lounge, and a restaurant.
Selectman Paul Silva was concerned about approving the last remaining all alcohol license, noting the possibility that a business might move into the former Tokyo restaurant which has lain empty for five years. After further consideration by the board, the license was approved.
Another business seeking permission to do business in town was Johnny’s Seafood of Cumberland, Rhode Island, a food truck service. Arlene Marina, representing owner John Fogerty, said that he was interested in doing business at the town’s public beaches and at Ned’s Point.
Collyer was not in favor of allowing a food truck at Ned’s Point, saying it was a “serene” location not suited for that type of business. The selectmen did agree that the town beach location on Water Street was a good location, but asked the applicant to return with a ‘request for proposal’ to ensure fairness to all businesses looking to “lock up” that location for the summer season.
Another business coming before the board was the Hillside Motel in their final performance review. Sonya Patel, the owner, was praised by the board for her efforts to improve the property and improve screening of potential occupants of the motel.
All three selectmen said that they discussed her efforts with police and fire departments who were also pleased with all she had been able to accomplish since conditions and concerns were addressed last winter. Patel was told she didn’t need to return to the board until her license renewal in December.
Town Administrator Michael Gagne reported that the bike path project was slated for October 2017 by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Gagne also said of the town’s roadway re-construction projects that he had seen the list during his meeting as the town’s joint transportation plan member at SRPEDD. “We are fiscal year 2021 … $4.5 million, it may seem like it’s a long way off but there are projects that have been on the TIP (transportation improvement program) for five years,” he said, due to not having 25 percent engineered drawings completed. Gagne said such documentation was “critical to funding.”
The board agreed to prepare a RFP for engineering for such drawings in preparation for Fall Town Meeting. Silva suggested, “Look at Barry’s (Denham, highway surveyor) original five-year plan, look at what’s been done. Then, let’s see what we need to finish in that plan.”
This discussion segued into Mattapoisett Municipal Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan which has been posted on the town’s website.
Gagne suggested that the board wait until the next meeting to discuss the plan in order to give the community sufficient time to prioritize and identify costs associated with the plan. He said he had seen plans fail due to not scheduling a long list appropriately or noting the value of each item on the list.
Gagne then moved on to the issue of sidewalks in need of repair and said that type of work needed to be added to the plan’s list.
Regarding SRPEDD, Gagne said that Randal Kunz, who had held the position of Mattapoisett’s representative to the regional transportation planning group, was stepping down. He said anyone interested in submitting their name for consideration will be involved with regional planning and development, energy groups, rail transportation and other infra-structure matters.
The selectmen also discussed plans for additional flagpoles. It had been suggested that additional flags might be appropriate at Ned’s Point. But after further discussion, Gagne said that the American Legion had pointed to unfinished business at the municipal library. The legion suggested any new flags should be placed at this municipal location.
Collyer said that the library is actually two parcels of land with one parcel having been gifted to the town by the Purrington family many years ago with memorials placed for veterans of wars up to WWI. He said it had always been planned to erect other monuments for other wars and veterans but had not been followed-up to date.
“Let’s do what we have to do at the library,” Silva suggested. They agreed to address lighting concerns at the Ned’s Point pole location, a pole that had been donated to the town by Steven Rule.
Gagne said that he had received a letter from Peter Newton of the Conservation Commission stating that he will not be seeking a fifth term on the commission. Gagne said, “ConCom has the heaviest agenda and hardest job.” Collyer chuckled that that might not be an enthusiastic endorsement for those looking to fill the seat that will be empty in July.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen will be held on June 23 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.
By Marilou Newell