By Mary Chasse, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 2/27 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed beautification at Cooke Park and updates on the new recycling center. The board also briefly discussed which roads they would like to see fixed for next year.
The board first met with Joe Ingoldsby about the beautification of Cooke Park. BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado said Mr. Ingoldsby was for a letter of approval/support for grants to help pay for plants and flowers at Cooke Park. Mr. Furtado said the board has sent the letter in previous years.
Resident Gary Lavalette said that he watered the plants faithfully after Mr. Ingoldsby left. Mr. Lavalette said he did not mind taking care of the perennial plants, but the annuals were hard for him to maintain.
Mr. Ingoldsby said that last year he had an eagle scout helping to maintain the plants, but the young man left and for school. He said he did not realize all the work Mr. Lavalette put into maintaining the plants and thanked him for it.
Mr. Ingoldsby said he had spoken with the New Bedford Garden Club and they have offered to maintain all the plants at the park so Mr. Lavalette will not have to do it anymore.
The board voted unanimously to send the letter of support.
In another matter the board discussed tree removal at. Mr. Furtado explained that the Tree Warden is asking for the board’s consent to take down two trees at Cooke Park that are rotted.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton told the board the Tree Warden will plant two new trees in their place.
The board voted to allow the removal of the trees.
In another matter the board met with Highway Superintendent Joshua Crabb to discuss the new recycling center. Mr. Crabb said they have been cleaning the BPW yard to make room for the new recycling center. He said he had made a sketch of what the recycling center will look like.
The recycling center will be reduced in size significantly to fit in the space. The recycling bins will be 30×60, which is very small. It will limit the recycling center’s capacity significantly. Mr. Crabb said the small bins will fill very quickly, so they might need to discuss who they accept material from as well as what materials they will be accepting.
He suggested having days quarterly to drop off electronics, mattresses, etc., that way those items are not coming in daily and taking up space.
Mr. Crabb said no formal engineering has been done and the sketch of the new recycling center is just based on aerial imagery.
Mr. Wotton said they might need to change the recycling center hours or slow down hours to catch up with bins being filled more quickly. He said once the new center opens they will know more and figure out what will work and what will not work.
Mr. Wotton said he wants to do more research before making any decisions and look into different avenues for usage of a grinder for the recycling center.
Mr. Crabb said the sewer treatment plant will break ground this summer and he would like to be able to open the new recycling center for spring cleanups, hoping to open it around April.
BPW board member Marcus Ferro asked what is going to happen with the Bridge Street land.
Mr. Furtado explained that the state conditionally approved the land to be used, but only if the town does a big cleanup of the site. He said the town does not want to do the cleanup, which leaves the land unusable. There is a good possibility that the land will be cleaned up at some point because the state is now asking for it. However, it could be years though before it happens.
In another matter the board discussed which roads they are considering to be fixed in the upcoming year. Mr. Furtado explained to the board that they are looking to work on two paved roads and to pave one gravel road. The number one road on the list is Hathaway Street. There is also a petition for Chase Road which is gravel.
Mr. Wotton said if they do Hathaway which is the first pick that would leave them with $149,000 left. He said Chase Road will cost $56,000 and it only has two or three houses on it. Mr. Wotton siad it would not leave them with much money and he did not think it is worth it. He suggested they give Chase Road some love, but not pave it completely.
Mr. Crabb agreed that they could do gravel, spread, and grade Chase Road for a lower cost.
Mr. Wotton suggested doing Hathaway Street and the number four street on the list from Beechwood Street to Bonney Street and the street off of it. Mr. Wotton said that would help 23 homes.
Mr. Furtado suggested Alpine Avenue because it is in North Fairhaven. Mr. Wotton said he liked the idea of helping out residents in North Fairhaven.
BPW Vice-Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson suggested that they think about it and decide on the roads at the next BPW.
The board voted to accept the $425,000 for road work for Hathaway Street and potentially Alpine Avenue.
Mr. Crabb told the board he is also requesting $100,000 to try cold in place recycling for paving roads, which would be an alternative to traditional paving. He said that type of paving is more aggressive, has more structural integrity, one third of the cost of traditional paving, and has a longevity of 15-20 years.
He said it cannot be done on any road, but Causeway Road or Sycamore Street would be great candidates.
The board voted to allocated $100,000 to $100,000 to try cold in place recycling.
In another matter Mr. Lavalette met with the board to discuss usage of Cooke Park. He said he knows that it will need to be put on an agenda for a future meeting, but he just wanted to bring it up to the board first.
He explained that two years ago the board granted a resident permission to hire archaeologists to conduct ground penetrating radar to look for graves at the park, but no bodies/ graves were found.
Mr. Lavalette said now that they know no bodies have been bured there, he was asking the board to consider opening Cooke Park up again to events and festivals.
Mr. Wotton said he agreed with Mr. Lavalette, but did not want to discuss it any further that night. He said he wanted to put it on an agenda of a future meeting.
When it was time to set the date and time for the next meeting, Mr. Hobson said he wanted the next meeting to be at 6 p.m. instead of 5:15. He said no other board meets before 6 p.m. He said he does not want the meeting changed for one person. They changed the meeting time for one person and that person still leaves early.
Mr. Furtado said that that board member leaves early because he has to work.
“Then he shouldn’t be on the board,” said Mr. Hobson.
The board voted for the next meeting on 3/13 to be at 5:15, with Mr. Hobston voting against it.
Marcus Ferro is the boar member who leaves early because he co-hosts a radio show on WBSM every weekday night at 7 p.m.BPW discusses recycling center, Cooke Park
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