By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Selectboard made it through a very long agenda at their meeting on Monday, 9/9, and heard from residents on a number of issues.
Residents of Hacker Street had previously asked for no parking signs, and due to some sort of “communication problem,” as described by Town Administrator Mark Rees, the matter did not go back to the Selectboard before the signs were erected.
Neighbors are complaining that the public works department placed the signs in spots that are not helpful, including one property that has three or four signs.
Neighbors described a dangerous situation near the top fo the street at the corner of Sconticut Neck Road, where cars have a tendency to go too fast and have trouble taking the turn.
“You can see now where they clip it with their tires,” said one man, adding that he cannot park in front of his house, he has to park on his grass to avoid getting hit.
The board decided to have Mr. Rees schedule a community meeting with the police department to decide the exact location of the signs.
After the meeting the matter will go before the Selectboard again and they will decide how to proceed. The public works department is responsible for erecting the signs.
The board also discussed the Phase V dredging plan in the harbor and came up with more questions to ask the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Mr. Rees told the board that the project will include air monitoring for PCBs, but then there was some question as to the timing of the monitoring as outlined in the letter, compared to when the actual dredging would take place. There was also some discussion about which agency, the DEP or the EPA would be conducting the monitoring and when.
Karen Vilandry of the Hands Across the River Coalition, told the board that the state historically did not do air monitoring. She said the EPA did, but it was not at the same level that HARC did.
“We have the largest continuous source of PCBs in our air in all of North America, including Canada,” said Ms. Vilandry. “So we already have an overexposed population.”
Mr. Rees will reach out to the appropriate agencies to clarify when and where the air monitoring will be and which agency will be doing it. He will update the board at its next meeting.
In another matter the board also approved a manager change for Rasputin’s, which was one of the conditions from the licensing hearing.
Frank Gracie IV, who is also the cook at Rasputin’s, was not present, but a representative of the Rasputin’s was available. The board expressed several concerns about the choice, including that Mr. Gracie would be too busy cooking to manage; that he was present during all the past problems, so they were skeptical that he could control them now; and he was not TIPS certified.
The board decided to approve the change, contingent on Mr. Gracie’s getting TIPS certified. The name must then be submitted to the state regulatory agency and approved.
The board also heard from realtor Kerri McNamara, asking them not to exercise the town’s right of first refusal for 732 Sconticut Neck Road, the old Beals property. Ms. McNamara told the board that a closing was scheduled for 9/27, so she was hoping the board would expedite the decision.
Past practice, explained Mr. Rees, was to circulate the information to all departments to give them a chance to express an interest in acquiring it. The 61A property has enjoyed a tax break for agricultural use. Now that it is being sold, the town has the right to buy it because of the past tax breaks.
The Selectboard makes the decision.
Selectboard member Daniel Freitas said he wanted to okay it because, “it looks like we hit everybody,” as Ms. McNamara said she had receipts that the boards were notified.
Board member Bob Espindola, however, said there were other departments, and in the past the board had inadvertently overlooked departments, and it was “unfortunate.”
The board decided to ask Mr. Rees to send out a memo to all departments and give them until Friday at noon to respond. If no one responds, then the board will not exercise its right to buy the land.
The board also addressed a number of vacancies on a variety of boards, and appointed Gary Lavalette to the Conservation Commission.
The town has vacancies on a number of volunteer committees. Anyone interested in learning about vacancies or volunteering, contact the Selectboard office at 508-979-4023 Ext. 2, or visit the town’s website: https://www.fairhaven-ma.gov
Support local journalism, donate to the Neighb News with PayPal.
Click here to download the entire 9/12/19 issue: 09-12-19 ApplePeach