By Mary Macedo, Neighb News Correspondent
At its meeting on Monday, 7/24, the Fairhaven Board of Public Works voted on appointing a liaison to the Marine Resources Committee, discussed the some resident concerns at Cooke Park, and approved of a new food truck at the town beach.
The board met with Albert Benac to discuss recent activity at Cooke Park. A group of residents commissioned to have a ground penetrating radar study to try and detect if any bodies are buried there.
Mr. Benac explained that the studies of the ground penetrating radar showed that the park is a burial site. He asked the board if it is possible to put up a sign or plaque at the park stating that the area is “John Cooke Memorial Cemetery Burial Hill Oxford Village.”
BPW Superintendent, Vincent Furtado explained that although they do have the results of a ground penetrating radar study, the BPW has not officially declared the park a cemetery yet.
Mr. Benac asked the board what the BPW’s next step is with Cooke Park.
Mr. Wotton explained that the town attorney and the state archeological department are in talks. He said that before deciding, a second opinion may be necessary, but they do not have all the findings back yet.
“All activities at the park have been halted,” Mr. Wotton said, explaining that no celebrations, festivals, or any activities will be allowed at Cooke Park just in case it is a cemetery.
Mr. Wotton told Mr. Benac that the BPW will keep him notified of the progress and news at the park.
In another matter, the BPW met with Marine Resources Committee Chairperson Frank Coelho to vote on appointing a BPW member to be a representative on the MRC.
Robert “Hoppy” Hobson, who has been on the Marine Resources Committee for eight years was recently informed by the Selectboard that he was not allowed to be on another board if he is on the BPW.
The issue came up when Keith Silvia got appointed to the BPW and was forced to resign from his position on the Zoning Board of Appeals.
At a recent meeting, the Selectboard unanimously voted to allow a member of the BPW to be appointed as a liaison to the Marine Resources Committee. The BPW is responsible for deciding if they want a liaison to that committee and then to appoint someone.
Mr. Coelho explained to the BPW on 7/24 that he respects all of the members of the BPW and would love to have any of them appointed to the committee, but his recommendation would be Mr. Hobson because he has always played a huge part in the marine industry and has served on the committee for eight years.
BPW Vice Chairperson, Brian Wotton, who conducted the meeting in the absence of the chairperson, said that he was glad that the Selectboard voted to allow a BPW member on the MRC.
“We believe a BPW member should be on the committee,” Mr. Wotton said.
He explained that Mr. Hobson was the founder of the committee, which used to be called the “Hoppy’s Landing Committee.” Mr. Wotton recommended Mr. Hobson be appointed to the MRC.
Mr. Silvia explained that he too was interested in representing the BPW on the MRC.
“I would be happy to have more than one BPW member,” Mr. Coelho said.
Mr. Wotton made a motion to appoint Mr. Hobson as the representative on the Marine Resources Committee with Mr. Silvia as his alternate. Mr. Wotton also stated he would like to add a regular item onto the agenda for the Marine Resources Committee so Mr. Hobson can give a report on MRC news. The motion passed unanimously.
In another matter Mr. Hobson suggested that the recycling center be open one hour earlier to avoid having such long lines on Saturday mornings. He suggested that the center be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Board members agreed that the extra hour might help the overflow of people coming to bring recycling on Saturday mornings. The motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Silvia brought up an issue with a street light at the 7-Eleven on the corner of Huttleston Avenue (Route 6) and Alden Road. He explained that the light will not stop flashing, and asked if there is any way someone could fix it.
Administrative Assistant Kathy Tripp explained that the contractor would not just come to fix one light, so the town will have to wait until more lights in the area need to be fixed.
Mr. Wotton explained that the light is very distracting, like a strobe ligh, and suggested that the light be shut off until it can be fixed.
In a follow-up interview, Public Works Superintendent Vincent Furtado said that the contractor would fix the one light that has the strobing effect. He said he called Coviello and they agreed not to wait because of the nature of the complaint.
The board also met with Carlos Motta who was looking for approval to take his food truck, Vovo’s Kitchen, to the Fairhaven Town Beach to sell food on Saturdays and Sundays.
Mr. Hobson asked where the truck would be located.
Mr. Motta explained that he can put it anywhere the BPW wants him to on the town beach.
Mr. Hobson said he had no problem with it and thought it was a good idea.
Board member, Keith Silvia agreed that the food truck would be great at the town beach.
The motion passed unanimously.
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