By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
The Fairhaven Board of Public Works met on Monday, 7/25, to dis-cuss a range of issues, including trash pick up at the parks and a new hire for the Sewer Department.
Antone Medeiros met with the board seeking a Driveway Waiver at 18 Church Street. He explained that he wanted to install a driveway and a sidewalk from the property line to Fort Street. Mr. Medeiros also confirmed that, with this project, he was willing to pay for the materials himself.
The BPW was impressed that Mr. Medeiros was willing to pay for the project himself. They also commented that he had done a beautiful job on the house in the past three years. They agreed that the sidewalk would be a great finishing touch to the property and approved the project.
The board also interviewed John McGilvray for a Sewer System Maintenance position. Mr. McGilvray explained that he did not have the grade 5 license, but was willing to go for it.
“I already have the book and I have started to look it over,” he said.
The BPW seemed impressed by the references on Mr. McGilvray’s resume, as well as his experience with waste water management, trenching, and plate factory experience.
Board member Robert “Hoppy Hobson said that Mr. McGilvray should get his sewer license and class 2 license to plow.
Mr. McGilvray agreed and said he has already started the process to get licensed.
“It would be great to work for the town and to further my skill set,” he said.
“It would be a plus to get someone in here willing to go for their license and willing to stay,” board member Kathy Sturtevant.
The board voted unanimously to hire Mr. McGilvray. He was the only applicant for the job.
In another matter, the board discussed the possibility of using Chapter 90 funds for a stop sign study on West Island.Chairperson Mike Ristuccia, who lives on the island owns property on the island, explained that West Island has around 42 intersections, but only two or three stop signs on the island.
Mr. Ristuccia said that although he believed the lack of stop signs was an issue, especially on Causeway Road, he said he was not sure if the town could use Chapter 90 funds. Criteria include 6,000 cars per day and significant crash records (three or more crashes in a year).
Pubic works superintendent Vincent Furtado explained that a traffic study is necessary, to find out how bad it really is. He said first they hire the company to do the traffic study on West Island for a week or two, then they see the results, then they send it to the state and wait to see if a stop sign is approved.
The board agreed that the study was necessary and unanimously passed a motion to order the plan.
The board also discussed the cleanliness of the town parks, such as Livesey Park and Fort Phoenix, as well as the issues with trash pickup.
Board member Jarrod Lussier brought up the concerns with Livesey Park. He said that the picnic tables at the park have been demolished. He expressed concern with the broken pieces lying around being dangerous and that he would like them to be removed and hopefully replaced by new tables in the near future.
The BPW agreed that the tables should be removed and replaced. But Mr. Lussier and other board members expressed concern over children, teens, and even young adults who are running around town playing the new game called “Pokemon Go.”
Board members wondered whether or not the demolished picnic tables were due to the recent influx of people playing the game.
The mention of Pokemon Go brought up other concerns by the board.
Mr. Hobson mentioned his concerns with trash pickup at Fort Phoenix. He said he went there Thursday and Friday nights and it was packed with people all playing the game.
Mr. Furtado said that they have already added more trash barrels to the area and that they pick up trash every Thursday and Monday. But Mr. Hobson said it needs to be picked up on the weekends, because that is when it is most busy.
Mr. Ristuccia also expressed concern with ABC Disposal, which has been taking anything that people put outside near their trash barrels. ABC is only supposed to take what is in the barrels.
Mr. Ristuccia explained that when they signed the contract with ABC, they had specific rules stating that only what was in the barrel should be taken. The point of the new barrels was to decrease trash and increase recycling. If ABC takes everything, even what is outside the barrels, then residents have no incentive to recycle.
“People know, but are not following the rule,” said Mr. Furtado.
In a follow-up phone interview, he said that the health agent said recycling numbers dropped down.
Residents may call the town or ABC directly if they have a bulky item, such as a couch or chair, and ABC will take it. But regular trash that is just overflowing should not be picked up.
If the recyclable material is separated and put into the bins with the orange cover, there should be room in the trash barrels (with the blue cover) for the trash.
The board will contact ABC and remind them not to pick up the extra trash.
The board also continued a discussion from the last meeting. Ms. Sturtevant has requested a re-vote of her request to participate in the meetings remotely and vote.
The change requires a positive vote by the BPW and by the Selectboard. This past spring the BPW voted to allow the change, but the Selectboard did not allow it on a 2-1 vote.
The Selectboard now has a new member, Daniel Freitas, who won his seat against Geoffrey Haworth. Mr. Haworth was a “no” vote for the change. Mr. Freitas, who was a BPW member at the time, supported the change.
Mr. Furtado said he discussed the topic with someone from the Selectboard and it was suggested that they do a re-vote for the record and that Ms. Sturtevant does not have to abstain from the vote.
Mr. Hobson suggested the BPW vote immediately, but both Ms. Sturtevant and Mr. Ristuccia disagreed.
With board member Brian Wotton absent from the meeting Ms. Sturtevant said, “I want the whole board here.”
Mr. Ristuccia also said that the board could not vote on Monday, because it was not on the agenda for. The item will be on the 8/8 agenda.
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