By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday, 2/27, the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed parking near fire hydrants, a sewer extension to Sunset Beach Road, and created a procedure for tabled matters.
The BPW first met with Donald Spooner, who told the board that he has noticed a lot of cars in town are parked too close to fire hydrants.
Mr. Spooner explained that the fire hydrants are not marked and do not show how far away a car should park from them. He suggested that the town mark the distance from the fire hydrant with a yellow line, indicating how far away to park. He also said that it would be a good project for the Boy Scouts or another youth group.
Mr. Spooner told the board he had done some research and found that in New Bedford the fire hydrants are labeled by district; Fairhaven’s are not. He said that by labeling the hydrants it would be easier to identify them when one is broken or a car is parked illegally next to one.
BPW Chair Mike Ristuccia said that it was something to think about and to discuss with the fire department.
Board member Robert “Hoppy” Hobson explained that it would be tough to paint near all the fire hydrants in town because there are so many.
Board member Brian Wotton suggested that the town paint a certain amount of fire hydrants every year, that way they all get done eventually.
“I appreciate you bringing this to us,” Mr. Ristuccia said.
“We will check into it and tell you what our findings are,” added Mr. Wotton.
In another matter the board met with James Wing about a sewer extension on 10 Sunset Beach Road. Mr. Wing explained that when he bought his house over a decade ago he purchased two lots, one at the house he currently lives in and one next to his house that he plans to build on.
Mr. Wing explained that the empty lot he plans to build on is where his septic tank for his house is located. He told the board that he is currently trying to sell his house, because in recent years his wife has become ill and is unable to climb the stairs.
Mr. Wing would like to sell that house and build a one floor house on his empty lot where the septic tank is. He told the board that he has been having a lot of trouble selling his house because the septic tank is on a separate lot, which is why Mr. Wing has decided to address the board to request a sewer extension for the house.
Mr. Wing said that in order to sell his house, he has to get rid of the septic tank on his other property. Then he has to have the house tied into the town’s sewer line.
Mr. Wing’s house is #10, the sewer line ends a few houses up, close to Sconticut Neck Road.
Mr. Wing explained that he could put a line from the house through his empty lot and into the street to meet the main sewer line.
Mr. Ristuccia explained that if the line goes through the town layout, it would be an issue.
“Whoever buys your house will be using your sewer line,” Mr. Ristuccia said.
“You’re okay with that,” Mr. Wotton asked.
“Yes, absolutely,” Mr. Wing said.
Mr. Wotton said he had no problem with the extension because it will be going through Mr. Wing’s own property and Mr. Wing understands what needs to be done.
Mr. Hobson suggested that the sewer line be extended for the whole street, so they could attach everyone to the main line. Mr. Hobson said he was concered with the possibility of other residents on that street wanting to attach to the main sewer line.
Generally, when a sewer line is extended, it is placed down the middle of the road with nubs for all houses to attach to it. Mr. Wing wanted to put the line on his property for only his two lots to take advantage of the sewer line.
Mr. Hobson made a motion to table the issue to get Mr. Wing’s exact building plan and to see if other residents on the street want to be tied into the sewer line.
No one seconded the motion.
Mr. Ristuccia said that there really is no issue with the extension. He said Mr. Wing will take the sewer line through his own property, pay the sewer betterment fee, cut into the street and get an easement to go from his house lot through his empty lot.
Mr. Wotton made a motion to allow the line with the restrictionss of getting the easement, paying two betterment fees, making sure the street pavement is repaired properly, and making sure the line is on Mr. Wing’s property (eight feet away from town layout.)
The motion was seconded and agreed upon by everyone except Mr. Hobson, who explained that he felt like he needed more information.
In another matter the board discussed the procedure of tabling certain discussions at BPW meetings.
Mr. Wotton suggested that the BPW add a line at the bottom of the agenda for tabled matters.
“I don’t mind a tabled matters section, but it has to say what the tabled matter is,” Mr. Hobson said.
Mr. Hobson explained that if town residents are looking on the agenda for a specific topic, they may want to come and speak on an issue. If the issue is not listed then no one will come. Mr. Hobson said he wanted the tabled matters to be listed so that if any town residents want to come and speak on an issue they know which meeting to come to.
Mr. Wotton made a motion to add a line item on the agenda for tabled matters, where it will list each issue that has been tabled for the week. If no one speaks on the issue at the next meeting the tabled matter will no longer be on the agenda and another appointment for the matter must be made and placed onto the agenda.
The motion was seconded and agreed upon by the entire board.
In another matter, board member Keith Silvia asked about the progress with the digester in the Sewer Department. The digester has not been working for a few months now and has been getting worked on over the winter.
Mr. Ristuccia explained that the digester is fixed and ready to run, but at the moment it needs food, aka, sewage, to start running again and right now there is not enough to give it.
BPW Superintendent Vincent Furtado explained that the digester would have to run every day at 100 degrees. The weather has not been warm enough consistently, and it is the low season for waste, so there is not enough sewage to feed the digester to keep it running. He said that as spring approaches and the weather gets warmer, the digester will start to run again.
Click here to download the entire 3/2/17 issue: 03-02-17 CoggeshallHouse_REV