By Pattie Pacella, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on 9/25/19, the Acushnet Selectboard saw a presentation by Michael Gagne, Town Administrator of Mattapoisett, who is also president of the non-profit organization, Partners in Housing.
Mr. Gagne presented the Selectboard with architectural plans for renovating the Russell Library into a regional veterans housing facility.
He explained it would be a joint venture with the Town of Mattapoisett. There would be 13 units, at approximately 600-700 square feet each.
Mr. Gagne stated that Dartmouth has been very successful with their veterans housing facility located in the old police station. He said it would have to be under the direction of the Acushnet Housing Authority.
Mr. Gagne also explained that there are grants that may be available for the project and CPC funds could also be utilized.
Selectboard member Kevin Gaspar stated that Acushnet desperately needs more senior housing and veterans housing.
Board member David Desrochers expressed his concerns on the financial picture. He said he agreed with the concept but was not sure of the financial burden.
Mr. Gagne stated that he would be requesting permission to move forward from both the Mattapoisett and Acushnet Selectboards.
Selectboard chairperson Roger Cabral asked if Mr. Gagne would be willing to put together a written proposal and return for more discussion on the project at a future meeting. Mr. Gagne agreed.
In another matter, the Selectboard reviewed their Standard & Poor’s credit rating with financial consultants from Hilltop Security Advisors. The consultants advised that Acushnet has gone from AA to AA+, stating that the conclusion is that the Town of Acushnet is “doing everything right.”
Interim Town Administrator Julie Hebert reported that the Town has received $171,494 in a Green Communities Grant that will be used for LED lighting at the town schools.
She also reported that the Comcast license agreement ends in November and the committee will be meeting soon to review it.
Mr. Cabral asked that one of the Selectboard members consider being an appointee for SRPEDD. He stated that SRPEDD meets once a month, usually on a Wednesday, and that he would be interested if neither of the other board members wanted to do it.
Mr. Cabral also stated that he is having a casual meeting with the Mayor of New Bedford, the health agent and conservation agents from Acushnet to discuss the Lake Street Pond, as it is owned by the City of New Bedford, but is located in Acushnet.
“It’s just a mess over there,” Mr. Cabral stated.
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