Town Eyes Boat Launch Service

Mattapoisett town officials are exploring the idea of offering a Launch Service this summer, it was revealed at the Board of Selectmen’s January 24 meeting.

Town Administrator Michael Gagne said if it happens, a contractor would offer the service for a fee, thus the program would not affect the town budget.

“They would look for mechanisms for how to pay for it themselves. They would provide the manpower and time and get customers,” he said.

Selectman Jordan Collyer suggested that the service operate from the Barstow Wharf, and Selectman Paul Silva asked the Town Administrator to inform the Marine Advisory Board – which he promised to do.

Mr. Gagne is planning to submit a Request for Proposals for the Launch Service during the second week in February, he said.

In budget news, the board endorsed Selectman Collyer’s suggestion to assume that state aid will come in at 4 percent less than a level-funded budget when constructing Mattapoisett’s fiscal year 2013 budget.

Lt. Governor Tim Murray had presented the governor’s proposed budget at the Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual meeting on Friday, January 20 – and said that state aid would remain level funded going into fiscal year 2012. Selectman Collyer, who attended legislative forums the following weekend, said that town officials in the Commonwealth are expecting a slight decrease as the budget moves through the House and Senate.

“I would be more comfortable assuming a three to four percent reduction,” he advised.

“It is a safer way to prepare the budget to assume less and start out with a four percent decrease in state aid,” concurred Mr. Gagne.

In other business, Mr. Gagne gained the board’s approval to pursue excess equipment that is distributed through the Department of Defense to states throughout the country. He said Police Chief Mary Lyons would make the formal request to the DOD to acquire generators for town water and sewer facilities. These generators would replace those under lease by the town.

“We don’t have enough auxiliary power to satisfy long-term outage,” he said.

In addition, Mr. Gagne said through the program he hopes to obtain an inflatable 18 to 20-foot long boat for the Harbormaster’s Office.

A new 2011 Ford 15-passenger van soon will be in the hands of the local Council on Aging, Mr. Gagne also reported. This vehicle will help transit seniors who need to access services or retail establishments. The van will replace an older vehicle.

In the only appointment on the agenda, the board heard from NSTAR representative Donna Rosa who sought approval on the installation of a new pole at Mattapoisett Neck Road just south of Harbor road.  With no objections from abutters or the town’s Water and Sewer Department, the board approved the system improvement unanimously.

In other business:

• Mr. Gagne informed the board that work on opening up the Eel Pond Inlet will not take place in March as planned due to concerns about interference with the flounder population, thus it will commence in July or August

• The board voted to approve probationary firefighter Kevin Gleason

• The board voted to accept the resignation of Historical Commission member Michelle Bernier of 19 Pearl Street

• The board informed the public that the next Selectmen meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15 at 7:15 pm, at which they will hear Jim O’Dowd’s aquaculture application.

By Laura Fedak Pedulli

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