By Beth David, Editor
The dog that attacked Beckie Ferreira on Friday, 9/23, at a kennel in Acushet, has been euthanized. The Acushnet Selectboard had scheduled a dangerous dog hearing at its meeting on Tuesday, 10/4, but that hearing was not held.
Acushnet Animal Control officer Rebekkah Tomlinson* told the board that the dog’s owner, Nicholas Tavenner, had relinquished control of the Akita, Marley, to the town and was not fighting the euthanization.
Ms. Tomlinson said that she would be responsible for making sure the dog was euthanized.
There was a bit of confusion on the board, with members not sure if they could close the hearing, or if they should continue it.
The board agreed to have the dog euthanized and put the matter on the agenda for their 10/24 meeting.
In a follow-up interview, Ms. Tomlinson said the decision to euthanize the dog was not made lightly. The Acushnet incident was the fourth one involving the unneutered male, that she knew of.
She said one small dog was killed by Marley, and that Ms. Ferreira’s injuries were very serious, and from an unprovoked attack.
The dog was euthanized on Wednesday, 10/5.
According to a GoFundMe page set up for her, Ms. Ferreira is recovering in the hospital with serious injuries to her right arm.
“She has [surgeries] to come and many months of rehabilitation,” according to the page.
To donate, visit https://www. gofundme.com/2r5gcac
In another matter, the board approved a Class II license for 50 cars for Frank Knox at his 3 Hayes Street property.
Selectboard chairperson Garry Rawcliffe told the board that Town Planner James Marot recommended dropping the number of allowed cars down to 20, including employee cars.
“I’m just looking for what was there when I bought the property,” Mr. Knox told the board.
Selectboard member Kevin Gaspar said he did not understand why the building inspector wanted to make the change. Mr. Marot did not attend the meeting.
The board voted to approve the license with 50 cars.
Town Planner Henry Young appeared before the board to discuss an ongoing issue with roads that are not accepted by the town, and, therefore, are private.
Generally, when a developer creates a subdivision, Town Meeting will accept the roads for the whole development.
There are a number of roads in Acushnet that have not been accepted, for various reasons, some known, some unknown.
The problem is that unaccepted roads do not have to be plowed by the town, and do not necessarily have trash pickup.
The Selectboard wanted a list of which roads are not accepted and a plan to accept the roads. The procedure for accepting some roads may differ from others, depending on the development, whether or not the road has actually been constructed or just exists on paper.
The town also needs to consider what is under the roads and the other town services, such as water, that the town will suddenly be responsble for if the road is accepted.
Mr. Gaspar called the number of unaccepted roads a failure.
He said every winter board members get phone calls from residents wondering why their roads are not plowed. He said that although the town is not required to plow unaccepted roads, that is not the right attitude. He said the town needs to plow and provide services to all residents.
He argued that residents on unaccepted roads get no reduction in taxes, so why should they suffer from a reduction in services.
Mr. Young cautioned the board about accepting roads that were subpar, saying the town would then be responsible for the infrastructure, such as pipes for water and sewer, and the costs to upgrade the roads and repave them.
“When you accept it, you own it,” said Mr. Young, adding that it is a private road until it is accepted. “That’s exactly what it is.”
Interim Town Administrator Kevin Paicos told the board that most towns require a bond from developers. If a developer leaves a project unfinished, the bond can be used to defray the costs of finishing the roads and bring them up to acceptable standards.
Mr. Gaspar agreed, and said that bonds must exist for some of the projects in question, and if not, “we need to look at why.”
In the future, he said, the town needs to make sure there are bonds in place and they are big enough to cover the costs.
Going on a bit of an admitted tirade on the issue he said angered him, Mr. Gaspar told Mr. Young that he needed to draft a bylaw so that the Planning Board or Appeals Board or any board could not bypass the bond issue.
“If a developer won’t [post] a bond, then go build somewhere else,” said Mr. Gaspar. “We don’t want you here. Because all you’re [going to] be is a headache for the community.”
He said when people buy a house in Acushnet, they do not, and should not have to, ask if trash is picked up at their new house, or if the road is plowed.
“That’s our job to make sure all that’s in place,” said Mr. Gaspar.
Dan Menard of the Department of Public Works said it was not a problem for them to plow the unaccepted roads. He asked the board if they would be willing to downgrade their standards and accept dirt roads.
The board decided that getting the list of roads was the first step.
“This is something that has been on the back burner for too long,” said Mr. Gaspar.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: Ms. Tomlinson and editor Beth David are cousins.
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