By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At their meeting on Monday, 9/12, the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed a wide range of topics, including the hiring of a Treatment Plant Operator, as well as recent issues at Livesey Park.
The board met with Robert Foster of the Fairhaven Tennis Association. He was seeking a Communitiy Preservation Committee grant to repair and repaint all the tennis courts at Cushman Park.
The FTA has fixed up the courts around town for the past few years. Mr. Foster said they fixed the basketball courts, the tennis courts, and the hockey rink at Livesey Park.
He told the board that the project to repair the Cushman Park courts would cost around $25,000. The FTA is willing to contribute $7,500.
“I think he is doing an excellent job,” said board member Robert “Hoppy” Hobson.
Jarrod Lussier agreed, saying, “I saw what you did at Livesey and it looks great.”
The board voted to support Mr. Foster’s application with the CPC.
In another matter, the board interviewed two people for a Treatment Plant Operator position in the Sewer Department.
Victor Oliveira told the board he had been working for the Sewer Department for six years and worked for the Highway Department for two years.
He said, “This job is a step up and that is what I am looking for.”
“This will be a tough choice; I might have to go with the seniority thing,” said Mr. Hobson.
Both candidates held a Grade 5 license, which filled the requirement.
The other candidate, Matt Manzone, has worked for the town for 12 years and has been in the Sewer Department for a little over five years.
“I am looking for advancement,” said Mr. Manzone. “I’m looking to do this for the next 30 years.”
He also stated that he was currently studying for his Grade 6 license.
“They are both clearly qualified,” said Mr. Hobson.
He said his main concern was seniority. He asked public works superintendent Vincent Furtado who had more seniority overall.
Mr. Furtado gave the exact dates of when the men were hired. Both candidates were hired within a year of each other. Mr. Oliveira held the seniority by barely one year.
The candidates left the meeting while the board continued to discuss their applications.
BPW Chariperson Mike Ristuccia and Mr. Furtado explained that Sewer Department Superintendent Linda Schick recommended Mr. Manzone for the position, which should be taken into consideration.
Mr. Lussier compared each candidate’s reasons for wanting the job. He said Mr. Oliveira’s reasons were about promotion and pay raise, where Mr. Manzone’s reasons were about advancing and learning, which Mr. Manzone described in detail on his application.
Mr. Wotton agreed with Mr. Lussier that Mr. Manzone seemed more energetic and excited about the possibility of advancing his career.
Mr. Hobson was concerned about the seniority issue.
“Both are good workers and qualified but if we go against seniority, this might come back to us,” said Mr. Hobson.
“I wish I could give two jobs,” said Mr. Ristuccia.
Mr. Wotton made a motion to hire Mr. Manzone. It passed with only Mr. Hobson voting “no.”
In another matter, New England Pipe Restoration Inc. met with the board to discuss work on lining sewer pipes on Main St. near the Royal Nursing Home. The board met with the piping company to ensure that if there is a break in a pipe or any problems while the company digs, that New England Pipe Restoration will fix it or pay someone to fix it.
The company assured the board that they have had no incidents in 16 years and that they do not plan on digging at all.
The board voted to have the company sign an agreement to fix any breaks.
The board also discussed a grease trap problem at the Pasta House. Mr. Ristuccia and Mr. Furtado explained that they have looked at the Pasta House’s internal grease trap and it is always loaded with grease.
Mr. Lussier said he was surprised that the restaurant did not have an external grease trap.
The board agreed that they should invite the owner, Mario Ribeiro, to the next meeting.
The board also discussed problems at Livesey Park. Football games have already begun and trash has become a problem, especially on game days.
Board members noted the overflow of trash near the concession stand and the football field. Mr. Furtado said they have added more trash barrels. The board talked about putting a dumpster there.
“A dumpster would be a good idea for games for the season,” said Mr. Lussier.
Mr. Ristuccia said that the board should look into it for next year.
Mr. Lussier also explained that the football area is not the only area loaded with trash; the skate park has become an issue as well. He said there are not many barrels there and the kids just don’t want to walk the 50 feet to the trash can.
Mr. Hobson suggested having trash pickup more often.
Mr. Lussier also mentioned that parking at the park is an issue. He said he has noticed people parking all over the grass, as well as too close to driveways. The board agreed that it has become a problem and discussed the possibility of creating a parking lot for Livesey Park.
Mr. Hobson opened a discussion to the board about back taxes in Fairhaven. Mr. Hobson explained that Fairhaven has over a million dollars in back taxes and water and sewer fees. Newspapers in other towns and cities have put residents who owe back taxes in the paper to get them to pay. He told the board that Fairhaven should consider doing that, as well.
The board agreed that it is an issue that needs to be dealt with, but it is not really the BPW’s job.
Mr. Furtado said he would look into it to see what he can do.
Before the meeting came to a close administrative assistant Kathy Tripp asked the board to send her the rules and regulations they would like to add regarding Kathy Sturtevant’s ability to vote remotely, so they can discuss it at the next meeting. •••
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