By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 8/17 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed issues with driveway waivers, town trees, and the beautification of Cooke Park
BPW Vice-Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson announced at the beginning of the meeting that Chairperson Brian Wotton would be absent from. Mr. Hobson chaired the meeting. New board member Marcus Ferro was also absent from the meeting.
The board first met with Jostein and Else Mjolhus about a driveway waiver for their house on Spring Street. BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado explained that the Highway Superintendent John Charbonneau went by the property and noticed the newly developed driveway and realized that the contractor did not take out a permit with the town.
Mr. Hobson said that there is a $300 fine for not taking out a permit.
Mr. Mjolhus said that the contractor was supposed to pull a permit and did not.
Administrative Assistant Becky Vento explained that the contractor that did the driveway was not an approved contractor for the town of Fairhaven.
BPW member Frank Coelho explained that the contractor is not licensed in the town.
Mr. Hobson suggested they charge Mr. Mjolhus the $300 fine and let Mr. Mjolhus go after the contractor.
Mr. Mjolhus said he would rather just pay the fine than go after the contractor.
BPW member Cameron Durant suggested that they contact the contractor to inform him that he cannot be doing work in the town until he applies to be an approved contractor.
Mr. Coelho noted that at a previous meeting they charged both the contractor and the home owner $300 each.
Mr. Furtado explained that the fine is not supposed to be more than $300 total and that they made a mistake by doing that at the previous meeting. He said they could split the $300 fine between contractor and the homeowner, but the total fine cannot be more than $300.
Mr. Coelho said the board needs to be more consistent and charge the same fine for everyone.
Mr. Durant made a motion to charge the homeowner a $150 fine and the contractor a $150 fine. Mr. Durant said they should reach out to the contractor as well.
The motion passed with Mr. Coelho voting no.
Mr. Coelho said he did not understand the fine and that the board needs to discuss the fine and charge the same fine every time.
Mr. Hobson said not to argue about it now. He suggested they discuss the fines at a future meeting.
In another matter the board met with Matt Bussiere about a sewer issue at his property on Green Street.
Mr. Bussiere said he went in front of the board at the end of June to discuss his sewer issue which they determined was because of a town tree. He said the BPW got in contact with the tree warden to get the tree taken down, but the tree is still there and it has been almost two months.
Mr. Bussiere said he does not know what to and he feels like the tree warden does not exist. Mr. Bussiere said he came to ask the BPW if they had any pull or if they could help get in contact with the tree warden.
Mr. Hobson said that it is easier to get in contact with the president than the tree warden. Mr. Hobson said the BPW has no authority when it comes to the trees and the tree warden. Mr. Hobson said the tree warden does not report to anyone except himself.
Mr. Furtado said the BPW can only touch trees if they interfere with a BPW project.
Mr. Durant said at the fall town meeting they should petition to have the tree warden be part of the BPW, that way BPW workers can help take trees down.
Mr. Bussiere asked what he can do to get the tree warden to come and do his job.
Mr. Coelho suggested that Mr. Bussiere schedule a meeting with the Selectboard and tell them that he cannot reach the tree warden and neither can the BPW.
In another matter the board met with Pasquale LaMarre about getting an external grease trap waiver.
Mr. LaMarre explained that he owns a Subway and is moving the location to the old D’angelo’s building in Fairhaven.
Mr. LaMarre said that the new building already has an internal grease trap, but it is old. He said he would like to replace the old one with a new internal grease trap.
Mr. LaMarre said that he has no use for an external grease trap because Subway does not require any cooking; everything is precooked when it arrives. He said the only grease would be from some of the sauces or toppings.
Mr. Hobson said he was glad to see a restaurant coming to Fairhaven rather than leaving. The board agreed that an external grease trap was not necessary and made a motion to allow Mr. LaMarre to have an internal grease trap only. The motion passed unanimously.
In another matter the board met with Joseph Ingoldsby about the beautification of Cooke Park. Mr. Ingoldsby said that last year they did a restoration of the drainage basin, weeded it, put dirt around the perimeter, and planted spring bulbs.
Mr. Ingoldsby said that it has been hard maintaining the plants because it has been so dry this summer. He said he would like to buy some new plants that do not need much care and that will survive in the dry area.
He said he has put together a wish list and is hoping that the BPW could help financially or help with raising money for the project.
Mr. Coelho suggested running a hose from the nearby pumping station for easy water access.
Mr. Furtado said that the BPW can add an article for the fall town meeting to get a small budget for Cooke Park.
Mr. Hobson said that putting an article in is a great idea and that residents will love it.
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