A small group of Marionites wants to bring Elizabeth Taber back home to Marion.
Tinker Saltonstall, Al Winters, and Judith Rosby and Frank McNamee from the Sippican Historical Society have formed a committee committed to commissioning a life-size statue of Elizabeth Taber so her likeness can be seen every day by her beneficiaries – the people.
“We hope to bring Elizabeth Taber back to Marion,” said Saltonstall during the March 6 meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen.
Former selectman Al Winters told the selectmen, “We need to have a statue of Elizabeth Taber in this town. We need to have her visually among us.”
The committee has chosen to commission a life-size bronze statue to honor the town’s beloved benefactor.
Rosby said the committee has met twice and will soon begin interviewing five different local sculptors. It will take roughly three months to create the sculpture’s design, and then an additional six months to create.
The committee wishes to place the statue upon Town-owned land, and they have narrowed it down to either a spot between the Town House and the library, or across the street at Bicentennial Park.
“I personally like between the library and the Town House,” said Selectmen Chairman Jody Dickerson.
No decisions have been made yet as to Taber’s gestures or whether she would be sitting or standing. The actual cost is unknown at this time, but McNamee said he expects it to be between $30,000 and $50,000.
“We are not asking the Town for money,” said Winters. “This has to come from the people. It’s the people that she benefitted … and it’s appropriate that the people are the ones who put this special statue up.” Winters said he doesn’t think it will be a hard task raising the money, saying, “This woman was the mother of the Town,” who ultimately procured the character of Marion that it is today.
Once details are cleared, the committee will update the selectmen and reveal their chosen form of fundraising.
Not on the agenda, but the two chiefs and interim DPW Superintendent Jon Henry attended the meeting to debrief the board on the storm.
The three department heads say they encountered some hiccups during the storm, mostly to do with town-wide interdepartmental communication.
Henry said all three town departments share a generator to the DPW barn, which powers the communication system. That generator failed to start when the power went out, but it did eventually get started.
The Highway Department also almost ran out of diesel well into the storm, and fuel had to be ordered from the Town’s Plymouth vendor, which took longer than Henry would have hoped.
Furthermore, with the heavy rain, Henry said he observed a heavy increase in sewer treatment plant inflow, suspecting that there may be some serious infiltration and inflow (I&I) issues in areas that the Town might not have suspected – neighborhoods that are newer and have more current sewer infrastructure, he said.
“I think there is a big amount of inflow which is from some connected device to the system,” Henry said, “Some area in the system we’ve not closely looked at.”
I&I, said Henry, has a negative impact on the functioning of the sewer treatment plant, since it relies on bacteria to break down the sewage, and with more water diluting the effluent, the bacteria cannot effectively break it down.
Before leaving, Henry announced that the Town would start collecting brush and storm debris on Monday, so residents should leave brush piles by the side of the road. The Town will continue to collect debris and brush until Friday, but after that, residents will be on their own, Henry said.
Also at the meeting, Fire Chief Brian Jackvony announced that his application to the Department of Defense for a new safety boat was accepted, and the boat has already been delivered. The boat will replace a boat that was damaged during a storm last October and, if it were to be purchased brand new, would retail at $400,000.
The boat needs some work, which will cost the Town $65,000, significantly less than two other boats Jackvony had priced – one for $208,000 and one for $137,000.
In other matters, Town Administrator Paul Dawson brought the board up to speed on the Carver, Marion, Wareham Regional Refuse Disposal District, with some bad news for those who enjoy the swap shed at the Benson Brook transfer station.
The shed where re-usable items can be left and taken has officially been shut down and will likely not re-open in the future.
The operation, Dawson said, became too much of a liability with non-employees who have taken the initiative in ‘supervising’ the swap shed, so to speak.
“It’s become sort of a difficult operation to maintain and regulate,” Dawson said. “It was a great idea. The problem is there’s never been any established rules for it and people have taken over that … and made it difficult to manage.”
Dawson said he knows some people will be upset by the closing, and perhaps they will re-visit the matter in the future, “But I don’t expect the ultimate decision to change,” said Dawson. “It’s just become more of a burden than an asset.”
Dawson also announced that the Hazardous Waste Day would not take place this year due to a lack of staff and resources.
During the meeting, the board met with Richard Coletti and appointed him as constable.
The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for March 20 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
Marion Board of Selectmen