By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 10/5 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed West Island traffic speed, the upcoming town auction, and approved of driveway waivers.
The board first met with contractor Antone Medeiros about a driveway waiver for 113 Center Street. Mr. Medeiros explained that the driveway was already dug up when he got the call for the job.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton explained that the first contractor dug up the driveway took the resident’s money and they have not heard from him. Mr. Wotton said the contractor was not approved by the town, and the resident called Mr. Medeiros to finish the work.
Mr. Medeiros said the previous contractor dug for a 30 foot driveway, which is why they need the waiver. He said he has already received approval from the Conservation Commission. The resident wanted to expand their driveway to get their boats and trailers off the road.
BPW Vice-Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said that it is good to get trailers ad cars off the roads.
Board member Cameron Durant said he approved as long as it was okay with Highway Superintendent John Charbonneau.
Board members Frank Coelho and Marcus Ferro agreed with Mr. Durant. The board voted unanimously to grant the driveway waiver.
In another matter the board met with John Hinds from the West Island Improvement Association, who wanted to discuss his idea of “Island Speed.”
Mr. Hinds said when he joined the WIIA the members said one of their concerns was the speed residents drive on West Island.
Mr. Hinds said a study found that 70% of speeding tickets given on West Island are from West Island residents.
He said that it was funny that West Island residents are concerned with speeding on the island, but the island residents are the ones speeding.
The WIIA still said that they would like to try to diminish speeding on West Island, and that is why he came up with the idea of “Island Speed.”
Mr. Hinds showed the board his colorful signs decorated with waves that say “Go Slow, Island Speed,” on them. Mr. Hinds said that it will hopefully help reduce the speed of vehicles to 25 m.p.h. Mr. Hinds also suggested possibly having those words printed on the pavement of some streets.
Mr. Hobson said he agreed and understood the speeding on West Island is an issue. He asked how many streets the “Island Speed” would be posted on.
Mr. Hinds said he was thinking about putting signage on Balsam Street and Causeway Road, with possibly two on Causeway Road, one in the area of the marina and one around the area of Dogwood Street. Mr. Hinds said that way cars see it coming on and off the causeway.
He said he would also like to put signage on Balsam Street where it merges with Alder Street.
Mr. Hobson said he cannot picture people driving that slow on the actual causeway.
Mr. Hinds suggested possibly putting signage after the causeway where houses are, he suggested putting the first “Island Speed’ sign on Alder Street after the causeway and then another sign near Dogwood or Ebony Street.
Mr. Hobson said he would be good with that.
Mr. Durant said he liked the idea and the signage, and suggested adding some graphic design and a nice font. Mr. Durant said the signage needs to be able to be seen by a car going 25 m.p.h.
BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado said he will look into the cost of signs, as well as signage on the roads. Mr. Furtado said signage on the road might be significantly more expensive because of the wear and tear over time; it would take a lot of maintaining.
Mr. Hinds said if just regular signs are cheaper maybe they can just do more regular signs and forgo the signage on the pavement. He would meet back with the association members and see what they think of the ideas, and look into designs for the signs.
Mr. Hobson complimented Mr. Hinds on his presentation.
“Good job,” Mr. Hobson said.” You were good.”
In another matter Mr. Furtado gave an update on his research into the BPW independent study. At previous meetings the board has discussed possibly commissioning an independent study to see if the BPW can save money in certain areas.
Mr. Furtado said he spoke with an engineering company that can do a financial study on the BPW, and he plans to meet with them next week. He is going to see what the company offers and how much it will cost.
Mr. Coelho volunteered to attend the meeting and Mr. Wotton said if he can make it he would also like to attend.
Mr. Hobson, Mr. Ferro, and Mr. Durant agreed to send Mr. Wotton and Mr. Coelho to the meeting to represent the board and then report back about the findings.
In another matter, Mr. Furtado said he looked into buying a bidding software to host the town auction virtually, but at $2500, it was definitely too expensive.
Mr. Furtado said that the board can either postpone the town auction or just do a silent auction the old fashioned way.
Mr. Wotton said Governor Baker is allowing gatherings of 100 outside if they really wanted to have auction.
Mr. Furtado said he would have to ask the Board of Health.
Mr. Coelho said he was in favor of moving the auction to a later date.
Mr. Wotton agreed that he would rather just postpone it, especially because there is not that much stuff available for auction this year.
The board voted to postpone the auction to the spring of 2021.
In another matter Mr. Furtado said they needed a new BPW representative on the Community Preser-vation Committee. Mr. Ferro volunteered, and was appointed by the board.
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