Citizen’s Petition

To the Editor;

            The Mattapoisett Annual Town Meeting is Monday May 13 at 6:30pm at ORR High School auditorium. I am asking that all residents and taxpayers to please attend the Annual Town Meeting. A citizen’s petition Article 23 will be on the warrant. This Article 23, not supported by the Mattapoisett Planning Board is for the establishment of another advisory committee over the infrastructure project in the center of town. The state and federal government is giving the Town of Mattapoisett $16 million dollars to complete this project. This new advisory group is forming out of concerns by an existing advisory committee (not elected by the taxpayers or residents) The Mattapoisett Tree Committee, over 28 trees in the center of town having to be cut down. Yes, 28 trees will be cut down and that is sad, but 38 trees will be planted. And yes they will be initially smaller than their predecessors but they will grow. The trees that were planted years ago were the wrong species for an urban environment. Those trees were planted in most cases before sidewalks, sewer, asphalt roads and drainage. Many of these trees are destroying or damaging curbing, raising or overtaking and destroying sidewalks. This project was started many years ago after it was voted on at a Mattapoisett Annual Town Meeting and passed by residents and taxpayers. At that time the project was estimated to cost $4 million dollars. Now, that project will cost $16 million dollars. We have elected town officials meeting with DOT, the state, the federal government, utilities, and VHB engineering and discussing and managing the project. We are the only town in this area currently with a balanced budget and a surplus. Why not trust those same elected officials on this project. If Article 23 passes the $16 million dollars that is being given to the town could be in jeopardy. If we lose the monies for this project, then the costs will be borne the taxpayers. The town will have to borrow the monies needed and pay that back with interest. It is fiscally irresponsible to pass those costs, $16 million on to the taxpayers and to some that the burden would be too much. This project will address sidewalks, curbing, repairing roads, drainage and runoff into the bay. Let us remember that sidewalks need to be ADA compliant and accessible for all. That all residents and taxpayers matter and have the right to access the center of town where a school, library, town hall, churches, post office, restaurants, shops, beach and wharf is located. Please attend and let your voice be heard. We need all your votes so Article 23 does not pass.

            Thank you for your interest and consideration,

Deborah Abelha, Mattapoisett

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