By Mary Chasse, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday 3/27 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works hired two new employees for the Highway Department, discussed work being done on Hedge Street and met with a resident about a sewer tie-in on West Island.
The board first held a public hearing for the Hedge Street Community Development Block Grant project. BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado explained that phase three of project will be starting in April, and the hearing was for neighbors to voice questions or concerns. Phase of the project will be from Main Street to Adams Street.
Resident Beatrice Kirklewski said she has lived on Hedge Street for 40 years and she is very pleased with the work being done.
Hedge Street resident Dawne Babbitt said she was concerned about the speed of cars coming down the street, and wanted to know what can be done to slow them down.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton suggested that residents call the non-emergency Police Department line and speak with the safety officer.
In another matter the board held interviews for two Special Motor Equipment Operators for the Highway Department. Mr. Furtado said they had two applicants for the two positions.
David Farland told the board he currently works two jobs since he started working for the town. He said he is hoping for a pay bump so he can only work one job.
Mr. Furtado said Mr. Farland has all the required licenses and was highly recommended for the position.
Mr. Wotton said he only has great things to say about Mr. Farland.
BPW Vice-Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said he would like to see Mr. Farland hired at the highest step possible without causing a union grievance.
Mr. Furtado said a junior position cannot pass a senior position on the pay scale, but they can have equivalent pay which would be step 7.5.
The board voted unanimously to hire Mr. Farland at step 7.5.
The board interviewed Robert Frias for the other SMEO position.
Mr. Furtado said Mr. Frias has all the licenses and was highly recommended. Mr. Frias would need to be hired on a different pay scale because he has his CDLA which is a higher license. Mr. Hobson said he would like Mr. Frias to get paid the most he legally can. Mr. Wotton said that Mr. Frias could be hired at step 7.2A. The board voted unanimously to hire him at that step.
In another matter the board met with Nancy Santoro of 148 Dogwood Street about a possible sewer tie-in.
Ms. Santoro explained that she plans to add an addition to her house in the form of an attached or detached garage depending on what the board’s recommendations are. She said she wants to build a garage and have a bonus room or in-law apartment above it. She said she wants to tie into the sewer but is unsure about if her property has one or two stubs.
Mr. Furtado said the property only has one stub, and according to the law it is unlikely they would be able to tie in with a detached garage.
Ms. Santoro asked if an attached garage would be possible.
Mr. Furtado said it might be, but they need to speak with the town attorney and the building inspector and see the building plans for it.
Mr. Wotton said Ms. Santoro should send the plans to the building inspector to get his thoughts on it.
Mr. Hobson said if that was approved a lot of people might want to start adding garages like it to their properties. Mr. Hobson said he is an abuttor of Ms. Santoro and he could do the same thing she is trying to do.
Mr. Wotton said he did not know Mr. Hobson is an abuttor of Ms Santoro’s property, and said Mr. Hobson needed to recuse himself from voting on anything to do with this matter.
Mr. Hobson agreed to recuse himself, but did not leave the room.
Mr. Furtado said he would like to talk with the town attorney about the issue, but he though they will not be able to tie in. He also said Ms. Santoro could ask the Board of Health if they would approve of a septic system.
Mr. Wotton told Ms. Santoro that they will be sending all the information to the building inspector and the town attorney and get back to her.
In another matter Mr. Furtado said Harvey Waste and Recycling (formerly ABC Disposal) asked if the town would like to change the method for bulky item pickups. Bulky items are picked up on their regular routes, and the company is asking if they would like to change the pickup system to residents calling and scheduling a day for bulky item pickup.
Mr. Wotton said he thought they should think about it and discuss it for the next contract.
The board voted to leave it as it is.
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