By Mary Chasse, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday, 5/9/22, the Fairhaven Board of Public Works hired summer help for West Island Town Beach, promoted an employee from the Highway Department, and discussed bat boxes to be built on the Fort Phoenix bike trail by a local Eagle Scout.
The board first took a moment of silence in memory of the passing of former Selectboard member and former BPW member Daniel Freitas. Vice Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said that he knew Mr. Freitas for many years and although he was controversial he was a great guy.
The board discussed a bat box project that Eagle Scout Ethan Nault proposed to be built on the bike trail. Mr. Nault could not attend the meeting because he had a baseball game, but Mr. Nault is a junior at Fairhaven High School and he proposed that he would like to put six bat boxes on the bike trail. The boxes will benefit the bats but also benefit the residents as these boxes will be a habitat for the bats. The bats also help by eating mosquitoes.
Mr. Hobson said he appreciates Mr. Nault’s project and loves the idea, adding you do not see kids doing things like this anymore. Mr. Hobson said he was impressed.
Board member Anne Morton-Smith agreed with Mr. Hobson and said the project sounded pretty cool.
The board voted unanimously to allow Mr. Nault to build six bat boxes on the Phoenix Bike Trail.
In another matter the board interviewed Kyle Jones to Heavy Motor Equipment Operator.
BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado said Mr. Jones just has been a temporary employee for the Highway Department since November and has just received his CDL. Mr. Furtado said now that Mr. Jones has his license they would like to hire him as permanent truck driver.
The board voted unanimously to hire Mr. Jones as HMEO.
In another matter the board discussed summer help for West Island Town Beach. Mr. Furtado explained to the board that they would be rehiring six employees from last year and then hiring two new employees as gate/parking attendants.
Mr. Furtado said that Gary Lavalette will not be working at Town Beach as a parking attendant this summer. Mr. Furtado said the beach will have a police detail on busy weekends like the Fourth of July.
Board member Cameron Durant asked if they should hire another parking attendant or have an employee from the Highway Department helping out.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton said he felt it was not necessary and that the beach and parking have calmed down. He suggested that they see how it goes and maybe have an on call schedule for employees in case the beach attendants need help.
Mr. Hobson suggested that on busy weekends to have employees in the parking lot, one acting as the gate attendant and one acting as the parking attendant.
Office Manager Becky Vento said she would also like to hire two more lifeguards if possible just in case employees are unavailable or leave midsummer.
Mr. Furtado explained that they had two candidates to interview for the gate/parking attendant positions that night.
The board interviewed Danica Andersen for the position first. Ms. Andersen said she is a sophomore from Fairhaven High School and she is available to work all summer except for one week where she will be away on vacation.
Mr. Furtado recommended her.
Mr. Hobson asked if Ms. Andersen felt comfortable being stern with people about parking. Ms. Anderson said yes.
Mr. Furtado said he would be haolding an orientation for all employees before the season starts.
The board then interviewed Cailin Aubut for the same position as gate/parking attendant. Ms. Aubut said she is a college student but should be available the majority of the summer.
The board unanimously to hire both women as gate/parking attendants.
In another matter the board voted unanimously for Mr. Hobson to remain the BPW’s representative on the Marine Resources Committee.
In other business, the board:
• Approved waivers for two driveways at 33 Nancy Street, and one driveway at 58 Wilding Street.
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