By Mary Chasse, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 9/20/21, the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed relocating the recycling center, the state maintaining the landscaping on Route 6, and scheduling a meeting with the Tree Warden.
The board met with state representative Bill Straus to discuss multiple topics. BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado explained that the main purpose of meeting with Mr. Straus was to hopefully get a plan in place and figure out a way to relocate the Recycling Center to the former Bridge Street Landfill.
Mr. Furtado explained that they need to move the recycling center to give more room for the expansion of the sewer treatment plant.
The issue with moving the Recycling Center to the landfill is that the proper cleanup was not done years ago. Mr. Furtado said they have met with the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection and a landfill engineer to see what they need to do to make the location usable for the new Recycling Center.
Mr. Furtado said he understood that they cannot ignore the cleanup of the property, but possibly just clean up above ground and not underground, because the Recycling Center has no need to go underground.
Mr. Straus said there was a lot to clean up underground and above ground, but they can see what exactly needs to be cleaned up in order for the Recycling Center to be moved there.
Mr. Straus told the board that he will need a project description, what specifically the board is trying to undertake, what the DEP exactly needs to approve of, and what the exact issue is with using the landfill as the new Recycling Center location. Mr. Straus said if he can get that information and discuss it with the DEP, hopefully they can get the project moving.
Board member Cameron Durant asked if Mr. Straus could try to get a speedy response from the state.
BPW Vice-Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said that the board needs to know if they can use the landfill location for the Recycling Center soon because if they cannot use it then the board needs to find another location quickly.
In another matter BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton told Mr. Straus about all the landscaping and overgrown vegetation on Route 6.
Mr. Wotton explained that the bushes are so overgrown that people cannot even walk on the sidewalk. He said people have to step off the sidewalk and walk on Route 6 to avoid the overgrown bushes.
He told Rep. Straus that the state is responsible for trimming those bushes and landscaping, but they never do it. Mr. Wotton said that last summer they called the state multiple times about the issue; the calls were left unanswered and no one from the state ever came. Mr. Wotton said that he few other volunteers in town decided to clean up and trim the bushes themselves last year.
Mr. Straus said that next time the vegetation starts to get overgrown to call him directly. He said not to call MASSDOT, but call him and he will make sure someone comes to landscape.
In another matter Mr. Furtado gave an update on the damage to the water main at Causeway Bridge that happened during the last storm .
Mr. Furtado said he had hoped to have the proposal and cost to repair it by that night’s meeting but he did not. He expected it soon. He also said the repair needs to be done before the weather starts getting cold.
Mr. Wotton asked if the water would need to be shut off in the neighborhoods around that area when the repair is being done.
Mr. Furtado explained that he did not know. He said it depends on how much damage they see when they get in there.
In another matter the board briefly discussed collaborating with the Tree Warden. Mr. Furtado said he had a nice conversation with the Tree Warden and that he is trying to make everything work the best he can.
Mr. Furtado said that it sounded like the Tree Warden did not know what he was getting himself into.
Mr. Durant said he understood that hiring and cost is a problem, but the BPW has the same problems.
Board member Marcus Ferro noted that people voted for this Tree Warden because he kept saying he wanted to merge with BPW and work together. Mr. Ferro said the Tree Warden went back on his word, which is the main issue.
Mr. Ferro said it would be beneficial to have the Tree Warden at the next BPW meeting to discuss working together and collaborating to see if they can get on the same page.
Mr. Durant agreed and that the Tree Warden should meet with the board and fix this issue and fulfill his campaign promise.
Mr. Furtado said he would invite the Tree Warden to the next meeting.
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