By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday, 12/5, the Fairhaven Board of Public Works interviewed and hired two employees for the Highway Department.
Before the meeting, the Highway Department had two Heavy Motor Equipment Operator (HMEO) positions open. BPW Chairperson Michael Ristuccia met with both candidates prior to the BPW meeting. He said that both men were highly qualified for the positions.
The first person the board interviewed was Marco Machado, who explained to the board that he lives in Fairhaven and has been driving tractor trailers for years.
“Working for Fairhaven would be a great opportunity for me and my family,” Mr. Machado said.
Board member Robert “Hoppy” Hobson explained to Mr. Machado that 75%-80% of the job was running chainsaws and landscaping, not just driving truck. Mr. Hobson said he wanted to make sure both candidates understood that driving trucks was only a small part of the job.
Public works Superintendent Vincent Furtado said he explained to both candidates the duties of the job, and also gave them copies of their pay, and benefits information.
Board member Kathy Sturtevant* asked Mr. Machado why he chose to pursue a job in Fairhaven with a slightly lower pay than he is currently receiving at his present job.
Mr. Machado said he wanted to work for Fairhaven because of the job security, as well as it being closer to his home.
The board then met with the second candidate Tom Perry.
Mr. Perry explained that he has been driving trucks since 2004. He said that he has been a laborer his whole life, working in construction, and asphalt. He also has driven for Fairhaven Lumber.
“Hard work is in my blood,” Mr. Perry said. “I’m not afraid of work.”
Mr. Hobson told to Mr. Perry and Mr. Machado that working in the Highway Department means they must work when it snows because they are considered emergency personnel.
Both Mr. Perry and Mr. Machado nodded.
“These two are the most qualified candidates we have had in a long time,” board member Brian Wotton said.
Mr. Wotton made a motion to hire both Mr. Machado and Mr. Perry for the two open HMEO job positions in the Highway Department, and the board approved the hires.
In another matter the board discussed signing an agreement with Stantec Inc. to fix the sewer line underneath the Fairhaven Bike Path between Shaw Road and Weeden Rdoad.
Mr. Furtado explained that the structural integrity of the sewer line is gone. He also explained that Mattapoisett would be paying for 30% of the repair costs.
The board agreed that the repair was necessary and voted to approve.
In other business, Mr. Hobson mentioned that Sippican Street has a lot bumps and pot holes that should be filled, especially with winter approaching. He said that there are residents who live there year round who are concerned about the conditions of the street.
Mr. Hobson also mentioned that he has been looking into the snow parking bans in other cities and towns in the area. Both New Bedford and Acushnet only have snow parking pans when a snow storm is in the forecast. Fairhaven has a parking ban for the span of the winter months from December to March.
Mr. Furtado explained that the parking ban has been discussed among the Police Chief and the Highway Superintendent, but no decision has been made to change anything.
Administrative Assistant Kathy Tripp said that it has to go to town meeting to be changed.
Ms. Sturtevant mentioned that Eaton Road and Waybridge Road have pools of water that gather in the ruts and holes when it rains. The pools of water stay for almost three days.
Mr. Furtado said he believed there have been issues there before, but he would contact someone to take a look at it again.
Board member Jarrod Lussier mentioned that on Alden Road, at the left turn onto Howland Road he has noticed that some cars do not pay enough attention to the bike lane. He said as cars are turning left, cars behind them try to pass on the right, cutting into the bike lane, which is dangerous for cyclists.
Mr. Lussier suggested putting up a sign to remind drivers that there is a bike lane there.
Before the meeting concluded to go into executive session Mr. Wotton took a minute to thank Ms. Sturtevant for her years of service in Fairhaven.
Two weeks ago Ms. Sturtevant sent a letter resigning from the BPW, naming 12/5 as her last meeting.
“I just want to thank Kathy for her many years of work,” Mr. Wotton said, adding that she would be missed on the board and that he and the town of Fairhaven were grateful for her years of service. •••
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