By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Tuesday, 6/9, the Fairhaven Board of Public Works discussed how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting such beach capacity this year, as well as the reorganized of the board. The meeting was available to the public via Zoom, and is available on demand at www.fairhaventv.com
The board voted to reorganize, because it was the first meeting after the 6/8 election. The board also has a vacancy because Keith Silvia was elected to the Selectboard.
Board member Rober “Hoppy” Hobson motioned to keep current Chairperson Brian Wotton as the chair. Mr. Hobson said Mr. Wotton has done a great job, pays attention, is involved with the town, and Mr. Hobson said he really respects him The motion passed unanimously.
Board member Cameron Durant made a motion to keep Mr. Hobson as Vice-Chairperson and the motion passed unanimously. Board member Frank Coelho motioned to keep Mr. Durant as the clerk and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Hobson said it was great to have young people like Mr. Wotton and Mr. Durant so involved with the town.
Public Works superintendent Vinnie Furtado opened the beach pass discussion by suggesting that the town provide season passes only to residents due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Mr. Furtado said all surrounding towns are only allowing residents on their beaches. He also suggested they only sell the passes at the BPW building.
Mr. Coelho said he thought the fees should stay the same this year because people are struggling financially.
Mr. Wotton said he did not think they should limit the cars in the lot and tell people they cannot go in, especially because they paid for a season pass to go. He said they should try to fill every other parking space at first and they fill the rest as needed.
Mr. Wotton also suggested that they provide a transferable pass for people who rent out properties and might need to give a pass to their renters or vacationers. He suggested having property owners pay extra for the transferable pass.
He also suggested they allow walk-ins because walk-ins are not a parking issue, but the resident’s name needs to be printed on the pass for verification.
The board voted unanimously to sell regular season passes and walk-in season passes for $30 to Fairhaven residents only; sell senior citizen season passes and senior walk-in season passes for $5 to Fairhaven residents 60+ years old; and sell the transferable pass for $75.
In another matter Mr. Furtado said that Town Meeting has been moved to July 25th because the town is hoping they will be able to hold the meeting in person.
Mr. Furtado said if the meeting is held in person all 50 or so articles will be discussed and there will be no need for a September Special Town Meeting.
Mr. Furtado said that the Finance Committee tried to push the Sewer Capital Fund to the September Town Meeting at first, but Mr. Furtado informed them that the article needs to go at the first Town Meeting because they need to meet the DEP timetable.
Mr. Furtado said that the Finance Committee has not voted to have that article in the first meeting yet, but it might not matter if the July 25th Town Meeting happens in person, then all the articles will be discussed.
Mr. Wotton said it does not matter what the Finance Committee thinks or wants, the town needs that article to go through now for the DEP regulations. Mr. Wotton said the government does not care and the sewer project needs to get done by the DEP deadline. He said he will find out who is on the Finance Committee and come for them because they need to figure this out.
The board also met with Tammy Lagasse about a sewer issue at her home on Harding Street. Ms. Lagasse explained that on May 22nd her p trap was overflowing, so she called the emergency town line for town employees to come to her residence and look at the issue. Ms. Lagasse said that no one came within an hour, so she called Roto- Rooter and they were there very quickly.
Ms. Lagasse said Roto-Rooter cleaned out her line to stop the p trap from overflowing for $514. She said the town never contacted her until about four days later and the town employees came to her residence and said there were no issues with the town sewer line.
Ms. Lagasse said she then contacted Mr. Furtado and he said that the town had the wrong phone number for Ms. Lagasse. When the town called the number before heading out to her residence they got no answer, which is why they did not go to the house.
Mr. Furtado explained that the town employees call before going out to residences to make sure someone is home or it is not a hoax call. He said that moving forward they should change that policy and the town employees should go and check no matter what.
Mr Coelho said he agreed that they need to change the policy
Mr. Furtado said that this mistake reflects poorly on the town.
Board member Robert Hobson suggested they pay Ms. Lagasse’s whole Roto-Rooter bill.
Mr. Durant said that he did not think they should pay Ms. Lagasse’s whole bill because it seemed like the clogged pipe was her private line and not the town’s.
Mr. Durant made a motion that they pay half the bill for Ms. Lagasse for the inconvenience and the motion passed unanimously.
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