By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 8/3 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed issues at Town Beach, and also met with ABC Disposal.
The board first met ABC Disposal representatives via Zoom. At the previous BPW meeting, Superintendent Vinnie Furtado said that ABC has been missing pickup areas frequently and the town has been getting a lot of complaints. Mr. Furtado said they have reached out to ABC via email and phone calls and ABC has said they would go back and pick up trash they forget but then they do follow through. Mr. Furtado said the communication with the ABC employees has been minimal, and ABC employees have stopped answering the town’s emails.
Mr. Furtado said he understood that ABC has had a huge turnover in employees and has a lot of new hires, but missing pickups is not the problem. Mr. Furtado said the problem is that ABC says they will go back and pick up trash they forgot and then they do not show up. He said he also has a problem with ABC not answering their emails or calls.
ABC representatives Mike Camara and Jerry Dugan spoke via Zoom to the board and agreed that there were quite a few issues going within the company because of employee turnovers. They said that the dispatcher at ABC is new to the job, but they will be following up with her every day to make sure everything gets picked up within the town.
They also said they will speak to the drivers and the dispatcher about the issues going on and keep track of what is happening on a daily basis.
Mr. Camara and Mr. Dugan said they love working with the town of Fairhaven and want to keep the relationship with the town for a long time.
In another matter the board met with Linda Costa about sewer issues she had spoken about at the previous BPW meeting. Ms. Costa met with the board last week to discuss how a tree in her yard has been damaging her sewer pipe for years and has resulted in sewer issues, as well as caused a sinkhole on her street.
Mr. Furtado helped get Ms. Costa in contact with the tree warden to take a better look at the tree.
Mr. Furtado explained that last week they sent a sewer crew to the property to film the sewer line. He said the line is okay for now, but when the sinkhole happened the sewer pipe had detached from a section of the sewer because of the tree.
Ms. Costa said they are on a wait list to have the tree removed, but she does not know how long it will be until it is removed. She said she will not get her sewer pipe fixed until the tree is gone.
In another matter the board discussed an issue they have been having at town beach. They met with town beach parking attendant Gary Lavalette via Zoom.
BPW Vice Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said that there have been a couple people being rude to Mr. Lavalette and the young women who help with parking. Mr. Hobson said people are getting mad about putting their beach sticker on their car and about being told where to park. He said that they should be taking down the license plate numbers of these people and should take their beach stickers away. He said that there has been so much activity on the beach and Mr. Lavalette and the young women have been doing a great job.
Mr. Lavalette explained that they had a big issue last weekend when they had to call the police. He said a gentleman refused to put the beach sticker on his car because he said he has three cars he uses the sticker for.
Mr. Lavalette said he informed the person that the sticker was not transferable and that he needed to put it on his car. Mr. Lavalette said the man began screaming, shouting the “f” word. and the person told them that they would all lose their jobs because he knows people in high places. Mr. Lavalette said the person told them, “You don’t know who I am.”
Mr. Lavalette said the person blew past them and parked and went to the beach. He put a note on the man’s car to contact administration with his concerns.
Mr. Lavalette said when the man saw the note on his car on his way out he made a huge scene which resulted in Mr. Lavalette having to call the police and file an incident report.
He said one of the young parking attendants was so distraught about the man yelling that she called her father to pick her up. Mr. Lavalette said the employee is very uncomfortable continuing to work there.
Mr. Lavalette said that he wrote down the man’s license plate number and he believes they should revoke his beach pass.
The board agreed that the man’s actions where unnecessary and made a motion to revoke this resident’s beach pass. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Lavalette also explained that he has been receiving a few complaints about a group of parasailers that go to the beach. He said that people have complained that the parasailers are too close to the beach and swimmers.
He said he spoke with the leader of the group and they agreed to move their group farther away from beach goers.
In another matter the board discussed changing the sewer clean-out policy. Mr. Furtado asked the board if the policy should say that all new houses should put a sewer clean out outside of the home, such as at the end of the property/sidewalk.
The board agreed that they should add the policy going forward to make sewer clean outs easier, so sewer employees will not have to enter peoples’ homes to do clean outs.
In another matter Mr. Furtado asked if they would still like to hold the town auction this September given the social distancing concerns with COVID.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton said that they can schedule viewing times for the auction, as well as tell people to look but not touch the items.
Mr. Wotton said it should be fine to social distance because it can be held outside. He said they also can require masks in case people are not able to stay apart. They should also offer a Zoom option for people who are not comfortable attending in person because of COVID.
The board agreed that they should still hold the town auction this September.
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