By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday, 2/24 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed roadwork for the 2021 budget, as well as recycling material surplus, and a policy on curbside trash/recycling barrels.
The board also met with the engineer of the new grease trap for the Pasta House and reviewed the plan and design. The engineer said the restaurant hopes to get the project finished by April 7.
BPW Superintendent Vincent Furtado and BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton said they were very happy with the plan and the date that the grease trap would be finished.
Mr. Furtado said that everything looked good and he did not think there would be any further issues with the sewer line once the new grease trap is installed.
Board member Frank Coelho asked if the plan was okay with the Board of Health. Mr. Furtado will be in contact with the Board of Health to make sure everything is good.
In another matter the board discussed optional roads to be fixed in the 2021 town budget. Mr. Furtado presented a list of roads ranked by which ones need roadwork the most.
He said that the top three roads are Bellevue Street, Massasoit Avenue, and Fisherman Road. Mr. Furtado said he recommended that the board votes to do roadwork on those three roads and they will have a little extra money in the budget for a fourth road to be fixed as well.
Mr. Coelho said he agreed with Mr. Furtado’s recommendation to choose the top three streets. He said he agreed that Fisherman Road is a great choice because it helps out 23 homes and is the best “bang for our buck.”
Board members Cameron Durant and Keith Silvia both agreed with Mr. Furtado’s recommendations as well.
Mr. Wotton said that he agreed with the recommendations also, but was concerned about Fisherman Road, which is on West Island. He said three residents on the road told him they did not want the road paved because they are concerned about cars speeding.
Mr. Wotton also explained that in the last few years the BPW has done road work on a lot of West Island Streets. Mr. Wotton said that last year the BPW spent $400,000 fixing roads on West Island.
He said that last year the board agreed to take a break on paving roads on West Island for this upcoming year and do roads in another part of town. He added that fixing Fisherman Road would mean that 50% of their budget was going towards West Island. He said he would like to see the money go to another area of the town this year.
Board member Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said that they have been focused on West Island the last few years because 90% of the dirt roads in town are there. He also said that Mr. Wotton only heard from three out of 23 residents on Fisherman Road.
Mr. Hobson also noted that last year he did not agree to stop fixing West Island streets.
Mr. Coelho made a motion to recommend road work at the next town meeting for the top three streets Bellevue Street, Massasoit Avenue, and Fisherman Road.
Mr. Furtado asked if Mr. Coelho wanted to add a fourth road to his motion because there is enough money in the budget for one more road.
Mr. Hobson suggested Roberts Street from the list because it is in another area in town.
The motion passed for those four streets to be presented at Town Meeting.
Mr. Wotton said he was not opposed to the streets recommended but he did not think it was fair and wanted to stick with his words from last year about taking a break from fixing West Island roads.
West Island resident Scot Pomfret addressed the board and thanked them for all they have done for West Island in the last few years.
In another matter the board discussed recycling material surplus. Mr. Furtado said in the future the board will be voting on what to do with non-valuable surplus materials in town such as leaves, woodchips, etc. He said a lot of recyclable surplus material is not reused because it is not cleaned or sorted properly.
Mr. Hobson said he wanted to make sure that the surplus material is advertised in case residents in town or residents from other nearby towns/cities would like the materials to use for their own personal use.
Mr. Coelho suggested that they look into ways to separate and clean materials because it could possibly help get more people interested in buying the surplus materials.
Mr. Furtado agreed that it would be a good thing to look into.
The board voted unanimously to accept the policy of advertising and voting on surpluse materials
In another matter the board discussed the issue of trash/recycle barrels being left out on curbs for days at a time. Mr. Furtado explained that the board needs to decide on a policy and bring it to town meeting.
He suggested requiring that barrels be put out on the curb no earlier than 5 p.m. the day before pickup and no later than 7 a.m. the day of pick up.
Mr. Wotton suggested allowing the bins to be left out on the curb for 24 hours, so if the bins must be out on the curb by 7 a.m. the day of pick up they need to be removed from the curb by 7 a.m. the day after pick up.
Mr. Wotton said that 24 hours allows residents who work different shifts throughout the day or night plenty of time to bring in their barrels from the curb.
Mr. Furtado said there does not have to be a penalty, but one can be added later. He said a basic policy is needed for town meeting. The borad could possibly have the penalty be a warning for the first offense and then second offense could be a fee.
Mr. Coelho suggested the policy be posted on the website for the public to see.
Mr. Furtado said they can post the policy on the website after it is discussed at town meeting.
The board voted unanimously to present the policy to Town Meeting.
In another matter the board discussed upcoming meeting dates for the BPW. Mr. Furtado said that they made a list of all the BPW meeting dates through June and there are only two dates that conflict with the Selectboard, which are March 9 and March 23.
Mr. Furtado said the board needed to vote to accept the dates and then they will be posted on the town website.
Mr. Coelho said that the dates were a big improvement and that he agreed with the list. He agreed it would be hard to get every meeting date not to conflict with the Selectboard. Mr. Coelho explained that he likes to attend the Selectboard meetings.
Mr. Wotton said as long as the Selectboard does not change any of their dates then everything should be fine.
The board voted to accept the meeting dates.
Mr. Coelho also addressed the board about comments that were made at the last meeting after he walked out of the meeting. He said that Mr. Wotton made comments stating that Mr. Coelho was only on the Marine Resources Committee (MRC) because he is on the BPW.
Mr. Coelho noted he has been on the MRC for 15 years. He also said that Mr. Wotton made comments that the Marine Resources agenda item has not been discussed in six months. Mr. Coelho said that in the nine and half months that he has been on the BPW Mr. Wotton has not once followed the agenda and has not mentioned the MRC line item.
Mr. Coelho said it was the Chairperson’s responsibility to announce the agenda items, and it is not his responsibility to interrupt to discuss the MRC.
“If you had followed the agenda down like you’re supposed to,” Mr. Coelho said. “I would have actually been discussing the Marine Resources Committee. But for whatever reason you have chosen not to bring it up in nine and half months.”
Mr. Coelho added that if Mr. Wotton had a problem with a BPW member being on the MRC he should make a motion to no longer have a BPW representative on the committee. He said that if that becomes the case, then he would have to decide which board he would rather be a part of.
“I think you might have took that the wrong way,” Mr. Wotton said, adding that he usually goes down the agenda and says old business/new business and Marine Resources Committee.
Mr. Wotton explained that when Mr. Hobson was the representative for the MRC he used to discuss the topic during his old business/new business as well.
Mr. Coelho said that if Mr. Wotton follows the agenda Mr. Coelho should not have to bring it up, that Marine Resources should be announced like the Superintendent’s report, because they are both agenda line items.
Mr. Wotton reiterated that when Mr. Hobson represenedt MRC, news was always included in old/new business.
“I’ve never heard of running a board like that,” Mr. Coelho said.
“You want to take the spot,” Mr. Wotton said. “You want to run the show?”
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