With a few days left until the Mattapoisett Town Meeting hits the stage at ORRHS on May 9 at 6:30 pm, Capital Improvement Committee Chairman Gerry Johnson and Town Administrator Michael Gagne presented the Board of Selectmen – Tyler Macallister, Jordon Collyer, and Paul Silva – with the warrant and its articles.
Johnson’s report to the board included the 11 items requested by various department heads that the committee studied and then ranked for a total of $440,900 that the voters will be asked to fund.
Those items are: $77,000 for Center and Old Hammondtown School building security; $27,000 for fire department hose replacement; $49,000 for town bundle for various small dollar items needed throughout the town departments; $52,000 for police department boiler; $15,200 for fire department heat-seeking cameras; $9,700 for town hall furnace; $60,000 for Old Hammondtown School partial roof repair; $42,500 for police cruiser; $18,000 for town’s share of new floats for town wharves; $50,000 for OSHA required wash-down system; and $40,000 for building repairs highway barn.
Gagne thanked Johnson and the members of the capital improvement committee for their fine work and “great attendance” during the process. He also applauded the systems put in place by former capital planning committee chairman, Chuck McCullough, in providing a model that future committees can continue to successfully employ.
Also meeting with the selectmen were members of the Community Preservation Committee – Margaret DeMello, Jodi Bauer, and Michelle Hughes. They discussed the three articles being advanced to receive funding via applications the committee had received, studied and then ranked over the winter months.
Those applications are: $22,500 for the Mattapoisett Historical Society Museum for computer system upgrades, continued archival work, and data entry; $100,000 to purchase land known as the Holy Ghost property on Park Street for future recreational and open space needs, the CPC will also carry a $400,000 bond over 15 years; and $65,000 as part of the purchase price for 114 acres along the Mattapoisett River Valley being conserved for public drinking water protection in coordination with Marion and Fairhaven.
Gagne said of the support given by the CPC members aiding in the purchase of the Holy Ghost property, “This will be remembered for many years to come as great for recreational and open space goals.” Silva commented, “It’s a great use of funds.”
Regarding the land being purchased in the Mattapoisett River Valley, Gagne announced that the town had also received $327,063 in grant money towards that purchase. The total land price was north of $500,000.
Earlier in the meeting, the selectmen met with Town Clerk Catherine Heuberger to sign a $450,000 bond anticipation note for work taking place on water mains on Route 6. The bond will cover April 29 through November 10 at an interest rate of .75 percent.
Heuberger also said that Timothy O’Connor, who had sought to run against Jordan Collyer for selectman, asked to have his name withdrawn from the ballot due to health concerns. She said that the date had passed to formally withdraw his name from the May 17 ballot. She said that O’Connor had sent letters to local newspapers announcing his decision.
Continuing on the theme of fresh water, Gagne reported that an article designed to address water withdrawal from fresh water sources was being withdrawn. He said that the Water and Sewer Department has authority to promulgate rules but that the town wanted to review bylaws currently being used in neighboring towns. He said, “If it’s working in other communities for entities that need this kind of access, it’s worth reviewing.”
Gagne then discussed three special town meeting articles. Those articles cover 1) supplemental funds to support line items in the FY16 budget; 2) buying two floats and a gangway for additional dingy dock spaces in advance of the boating season; and 3) repairs to the clock tower belfry at Center School.
The selectmen accepted and signed the warrant with edits. Gagne said the warrant will be posted on the town’s website immediately.
The selectmen also met with Jodi Bauer to discuss the problem of trash accumulating along fencing at the town’s skateboard park located next to the police station. Bauer said, “The issue is years of neglect.” She continued, “I’m willing to put myself out there and clear trash, but I’d like the kids that use the park to help.”
Gagne said that maybe an announcement in the local schools could rally support for the day of cleanup scheduled for April 30 between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Bauer also suggested a schedule of cleanups in August and December in an effort to maintain the space.
Bauer asked for blue recycle bins noting that the majority of the rubbish is plastic items.
Gagne said the Board of Health would help place recycle bins at the location.
Gagne announced that Mattapoisett has once again officially achieved the designation of a Tree City USA community. He applauded the efforts of the Tree Committee and Tree Warden Roland Cote for their efforts saying, “It speaks volumes … there is a love of trees in this community.”
Rounding out the evening’s business: a billiards license was issued to The Stowaway, 35 County Road; bowling license to Bowl Mor Lanes, 22 County Road; and a notice that the transfer station summer hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Gagne closed his comments by adding that you know summer is coming because Little League opening day is scheduled for April 30 at 9:30 am at Gifford Park in Rochester.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for May 24 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.
By Marilou Newell