By Beth David, Editor
At its meeting on Monday 7/11 the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed a water abatement issue at Hampton Inn, discussed the interview team for the Highway Superintendent position, and hired for the Highway Department.
The board first met with an engineer for the Hampton Inn to discuss an issue with a recent water bill. BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado explained that the general manager of the Hampton Inn would like to ask if the BPW will abate the sewer charges of their water bill that was $45,000 due to water running because of a clog in the pipe that they did not know about.
Water Superintendent Jeff Furtado explained that the Water Department noticed that the usage of the hotel had increased by double on May 3rd and informed the hotel that there was high water usage and no leak was found. He said on June 13 the hotel found a high flow rate and shut it off.
Jeff Furtado said they warned the hotel of the issue a month prior and the hotel waited a month to find the source of the problem.
BPW Vice Chairperson Robert “Hoppy” Hobson said the board has very strict rules about abatements.
BPW Chairperson Brian Wotton said that the issue is that the water went through the building and out which means the water went through the sewer. He explained that the only way to get a sewer abatement is if the water does not go through the sewer, but with this case the water did go through the sewer.
Mr. Wotton said the hotel’s water issue happened around the time the new water meters were being put in, so it is lucky that the Water Department caught the high usage. Mr. Wotton said he did not agree to any abatement. He said the town alerted the hotel of the high usage and they should have reacted faster.
In another matter the board interviewed Chris Sobral for the Highway Department Laborer position. BPW Superintendent Vinnie Furtado explained that Mr. Sobral has been temporary help for the last four years, and that he is a good person and good employee and that he could not recommend him more.
The board voted unanimously to hire Mr. Sobral as a Highway Department Laborer at Step 2.
The board also discussed the interview team for the upcoming Highway Superintendent position. Mr. Furtado said that they had 15 applicants interested in the position. He said suggested that the interview team should meet to go through the applications and narrow the candidates down to about half. He also suggested that the team interview about six or seven of the candidates and then present their top two or three to the board.
Mr. Furtado said the interview team included himself, Mr. Wotton, and current Highway Superintendent John Charbonneau. Mr. Furtado said he would like the board to nominate one more board member to be on the interview team.
Mr. Hobson showed interest in being on the team. Board member Cameron Durant nominated Mr. Hobson to be on the interview team. Mr. Wotton agreed that Mr. Hobson is a good judge of character.
The board voted unanimously to appoint Mr. Hobson to the interview team.
In other business, the board also voted unanimously to allow RotoRooter Service Company to install new water and sewer drains.
In another matter Mr. Hobson asked if there had been any progress with the new recycling center.
Mr. Furtado said an environmental assessment was done and that they are contemplating the clean up, as well as contemplating if they want to use that space for the recycling center or not.
Mr. Furtado and Mr. Wotton announced to the board that board member Marcus Ferro has a new radio show that is on at 7 p.m. which is why he was absent from the meeting. Mr. Wotton suggested possibly changing the times of the the BPW meetings to accommodate Mr. Ferro.
Mr. Wotton suggested the board schedule the next meeting for the usual 6 p.m. and they can talk to Mr. Ferro in the coming weeks to see if the board can come up with a time for that will work for all board members.
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