Select Board Begins Project Prioritization

            The November 22 meeting of the Mattapoisett Select Board was a “working” meeting to review a five-page list of projects and to begin prioritizing the to-do list into attainable goals for Town Administrator Mike Lorenco and department heads across municipal offices.

            The list contained over 25 specific projects ranging from roadway improvement, the study of school enrollment and two buildings, bike path phases, IT system upgrades, stormwater drainage issues, harborside needs, and the operating budget for the new fire station.

            Bubbling to the top of the list for immediate action with a completion date of February was the installation of a new generator for the senior housing complex off Main Street. With a price tag of $70,000 to install the needed equipment before winter arrives, Lorenco said that Representative Bill Straus was looking into grant money for the installation expenses. He also noted that Mattapoisett Housing Authority Chairman Chuck McCullough was also looking into funding sources.

            The Community Compact Grant that the town received for the study of municipal buildings including local schools and enrollment numbers was one of the seven top items to be tackled.

            Select Board member Tyler Macallister asked that the report on the local schools be completed with recommendation by the February deadline. While discussing the Community Compact grant that included study of the Transfer Station operation (not in the top seven), Lorenco shared that data requested by the study team was difficult to access but that new Board of Health agent Gail Joseph is now focusing on that project.

            Mattapoisett’s historic wharves were in the top seven list regarding the repairs needed for Long Wharf. Lorenco will gather existing engineering studies and work with bidders who have asked for more details on the current state of the aging wharf.

            In the category of the Complete Street grant monies the town received, the safety of crossing Route 6 at the intersection of Mattapoisett Neck Road was discussed. Board members discussed one aspect of the larger project, sidewalks being installed along Mattapoisett Neck Road from the intersection of the bike path to near the intersection of Route 6. But how to safely cross Route 6 remains an issue for the board. Lorenco will discuss safety options with Massachusetts Department of Transportation, including the possibility of painting crosswalks across the busy state highway.

            Emergency Preparedness plans, which were started but never completed, will once again see the light of day as Lorenco noted he has begun working with the police department’s safety officer.

            Lorenco also committed to completing a RFP for the sale of the soon-to-be-vacated, old fire station to ready the building for sale. He will also invite architect Steve Kelliher to a board meeting to ascertain the status of designs and cost estimates for needed upgrades and repairs to the Highway Department Building on Mendell Road.

            Earlier in the meeting, the board met with Kathy Costello, administrator of assessing for a tax classification hearing. Once again, the board agreed that a single tax rate is necessary, considering that the number of commercial units is too low to make an impact on residential property owners.

            Costello gave a brief report that demonstrated an increase in the average single-family home rose by 7.9 percent with the average home selling for $578,024. The total amount of revenue to be raised by both tax sources and non-tax sources during FY22 was reported to be $38,371,444, a 9.3-percent increase over the prior fiscal year. The proposed single-tax rate for FY22 is planned to be $12.47 per one thousand of assessed valuation, a $0.49 or 3.9-percent increase over FY21.

            The board approved the tax classification.

            The next regular meeting of the Mattapoisett Select Board is planned for Tuesday, December 14, at 6:30 pm.

Mattapoisett Select Board

By Marilou Newell

One Response to “Select Board Begins Project Prioritization”

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  1. Debra Ramos says:

    Sidewalks on Mattapoisett Neck Road to the Bike Path is wonderful, however, the residents on North Street have been waiting for sidewalks for over 25 years now. Guess we live on the “wrong” side of 195.

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