By Mary Chasse, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 4/4 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed adding benches to Grimshaw Park, and memorial benches at Fort Phoenix. The board also briefly discussed the BMX track at Macomber Pimental Field.
The board first discussed a request from the Council on Aging about installing six donated benches at Grimshaw Park.
BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado said the benches are the same ones that are currently at Fort Phoenix.
Fairhaven resident Gary Lavalette told the board that that park gets very wet when it rains and to be cautious as to where they place the benches.
The board unanimously approved the six benches at Grimshaw Park.
In another matter the board discussed adding more memorial benches at Fort Phoenix. Mr. Furtado explained that in 2015 the BPW put a moratorium of how many benches could be there.
Mr. Hobson said that he was the one who brought up adding benches at Fort Phoenix. He explained that a few people have called him to place benches in memory of family members, including some fishermen.
Mr. Hobson said he went by Fort Phoenix recently. There are currently eight benches there, but Mr. Hobson said there is room for four to six more benches.
Mr. Furtado said he was fine with whatever the board decided, but he just did not want the Fort to be overloaded with benches. Once the benches are there he does not want to have to remove them.
Mr. Hobson said he thought six benches would be good and still leave plenty of room.
Board members Cameron Durant and Marcus Ferro agreed with Mr. Hobson. Mr. Durant suggested that people applying for a memorial bench to be placed at Fort Phoenix should know that it would be based on a lottery system of what six memorial benches get chosen.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton agreed and said they should inform residents that the memorial bench costs $2000 and to apply by a certain date and that the six benches will be chosen based on a lottery system.
The board voted unanimously to allow six addtional memorial benches at Fort Phoenix.
In another matter Mr. Lavalette wanted to discuss the BMX track at Macomber Pimental Field. He said the BMX project is fundable, but he was wondering if there was a way to put together a list of how many people use the track.
Mr. Wotton asked why that would be necessary. He explained that they never ask how many people will use a playground when they build one. He said asking for a list of people who use the BMX track is going a little overboard.
Mr. Wotton suggested Mr. Lavalette go by the track in the summer on a weekend and see how many people are there. Mr. Wotton also said the BMX riders have a Facebook page and have a large following.
Mr. Furtado said the board already signed a contract with Dirt Sculpt to design the new BMX track.
In another matter Mr. Ferro announced that he would like to publicly condemn the park commissioners in New Bedford for making the decision to charge for parking in the lot used for Noah’s Playground at Pope Park.
Mr. Ferro said if that playground was a few feet over in Fairhaven the BPW as the park commissioners would never make the decision for a playground to be paid parking. He said he thought New Bedford should reconsider its decision.
The board also thanked Steve Riley for his time on the BPW, as the 4/4 meeting was his last. Mr. Riley thanked the board for having him and said he really enjoyed his time on the board.
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