By Mary Chasse, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 1/9 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works hired for the Highway Department, discussed FY 2024 budgets, hydrant flushing, and chose a representative for the Community Preservation Committee. Board member Marcus Ferro was absent from the meeting.
The board interviewed Reed Fournier-Amaral for the job of full time laborer for the Highway Department.
Public Works Superintendent Vinnie Furtado said that Mr. Fournier-Amaral was currently a part time/ temporary laborer and has been working for the Highway Department since July. Highway Superintendent Joshua Crabb and Mr. Furtado said they both highly recommend Mr. Fournier-Amaral for the position.
BPW Vice-Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said he has met Mr. Fournier-Amaral at the recycling center a few times and he was a great help. Mr. Hobson asked if Mr. Fournier-Amaral was interested in advancing and getting his Class 2 license and he said he was.
The board voted unanimously to hire Mr. Fournier-Amaral for the permanent laborer position for the Highway Department.
In another matter the board briefly discussed the Fiscal Year 2024 budgets. Mr. Furtado presented the board with the packet of budget information and suggested the board take it home to review, and discuss it in detail at the next meeting to give everyone time to read through it.
Board member Anne Morton-Smith asked a question about the money for the bike path overlay. She said she was curious if the money for that project was in the budget or coming from the Community Preservation Community (CPC).
Mr. Furtado said he did ask for money in the budget for the bike path overlay and he is also asking the CPC for money. He said he will be meeting with the CPC about it in a month or so. He said is hoping with money from both they will be able to do the whole bike path.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton told the board to take the budget information home and read through it so they can discuss it at the next BPW meeting.
In another matter the BPW needed to elect a new board member to be a representative on the CPC because board member Marcus Ferro is no longer able to do it.
Board member Travis Rapoza said that he would be interested in being the BPW representative for the CPC, and the board voted unanimously to appoint him.
In another matter Mr. Furtado said he and Mr. Crabb met with landfill engineers about the cleanup for the area for the recycling center. Mr. Furtado said the design should be done soon. After that they will go out for bid hopefully by May and then break ground as soon as possible.
Mr. Furtado also briefly discussed the fire hydrant rupture on Pilgrim Avenue before Christmas which created some dirty water. He said it is that time of year where pipes freeze and can cause these types of issues.
Mr. Furtado said the water is safe to drink and the town is working to upgrade the filters soon. Meanwhile they are working to hire someone under contract to proactively do hydrant flushing,
Mr. Furtado explained that right now the town is only flushing reactively when something goes wrong. He said the Water Department employees are too busy doing their day to day jobs and emergency repairs to be able to proactively flush, which is why the town is looking to outsource and contract with a company that can come in to do it.
Mr. Furtado said he wants to create a public service announcement for the town on cable access to explain the water situation and what the town is doing to help with water. Mr. Furtado said they hav $300,000 to hire someone to proactively do flushing at night, but they will not be able to flush when it is very cold. The proactive flushing will help until the town is able to upgrade the water filters.
Mr. Rapoza suggested the town use social media more often especially for things like this to keep the public informed. Mr. Rapoza suggested that the public service announcement Mr. Furtado creates for cable about the water situation also be put on social media. Mr. Rapoza said using social media to show some of the BPW processes might help reach a wider audience and help people understand what is going on so they do not have so many questions/complaints.
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