By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Select Board held two public hearings at its meeting on 5/23/22, approving changes to the aquaculture license of Blue Stream Shellfish, and approving expansion plans for A&A Auto.
Dale Leavitt, one of the co-owners of Blue Stream Shellfish, which operates an oyster farm on the north side of the causeway, asked the board for an amendment to their license. Mr. Leavitt said they want to install a small nursery to grow oysters from seed. He said they need a floating upweller, aka a FLUPSY, but need an amendment to their license for it.
The system will be completely solar powered and not reliant on connection to the grid.
Harbormaster Timothy Cox spoke in support of the project. He said oysters help keep the waters clean.
One oyster, he said, cleans 50 gallons of water a day.
“It just helps our waters,” said Mr. Cox.
Mr. Cox said Blue Stream has made many improvements to the property that was formerly Taylor Seafood at 53 Goulart Memorial Drive, adjacent to Hoppy’s Landing.
He said he was excited that the company has plans to clean up the property.
“It’s been a dumping ground for years and years,” said Mr. Cox.
Mr. Leavitt told the board that the FLUPSY solar system is one he designed and is being used at Roger Williams University.
There will be two floats, each 8×20 feet. They will be on the stern end of the processing barge.
There was no public comment, and the board unanimously approved the request.
The board also held a public hearing for A&A Auto, which is acquiring the adjacent property that had a Lukoil gas station on it. A&A asked the board to amend their license to add 44 display spaces.
The company plans to renovate the existing building for offices. No repairs will be done on the site.
Engineer David Davignon, speaking for the owners, said the site will be secured with fending all around. The Planning Board approved the plan.
Neighborhood concerns about repair cars parked on the street will be alleviated he said because the fence will make it clear where the property lines are.
Drivers also use the property to cut through to get to the streets behind A&A and Lukoil. The fencing will prohibit that, alleviating another neighborhood annoyance.
Because of the history of the property, which was once a gas station, excavation is limited. But Mr. Davignon said they would be able to repave the lot.
The company will also plant trees and shrubs for screening.
There was no public comment, and the board approved the license unanimously.
In another matter, the board accepted a gift of $3,425 to the Beautification Gift Account from Stevie’s Wine and Spirits. The company held a fund-raiser auctioning off expensive bottles of whiskey.
The money will be used for litter clean-up in Fairhaven.
The board also voted to have Town Administrator Angie Lopes Ellison send a letter on behalf of the board to the Steamship Authority, which is running a pilot program to provide freight barge service from New Bedford (Fish Island) to Nantucket. The SSA did not include language in the license to restrict trucks from going through Fairhaven’s residential neighborhoods. The board’s letter will state for the record a request to restrict the routes to New Bedford, and voicing the board’s concerns with the route.
The board held off on voting for committee appointments.
SB Chairperson Stasia Powers said she wanted to see the attendance reports before voting, and she wanted to get feedback from the chairs of the committees about who they might want appointed.
Ms. Ellison will draft an attendance policy for committee participation.
The board also wanted to hold off on voting for constables, when SB member Bob Espindola noted that one person on the list had passed away.
A note at the end of the list read: “**All names have been vetted and verified by the Fairhaven Police Department.”
“If that slipped through then I have questions about the vetting,” said SB member Leon Correy.
The board voted to approve the names pending the verification of the person in question, because the current appointments expire in 5/31.
In another matter, the board approved the flag policy with some changes. The requirement that the request be made to the SB at least 60 days in advance remains.
The policy defines the difference between a flag and a banner, and clearly states that the flagpole is not for use by organizations. The flags and banners will hang on the town hall.
Only flags acknowledging proclamations by the federal government or the state, and those announcing local events are allowed, as long as those events are not political, commercial, or religious.
During the public comment period, Rick Trapilo addressed the board to make his pitch for running in the Democratic primary against Rep. Bill Straus, who has been endorsed by all five SB members.
In another matter, the board designated the carriage house door of the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society as surplus property. The carriage house is being restored, but the WMFS believes the door can be sold. The proceeds will go to the carriage house renovations.
In other business the board:
• Appointed Seth Baumgartner to the Sustainability Committee
• Announced the town received a $250,000 Community Compact grant for municipal fiber.
Click here to download the entire 5/26/22 issue: 05-26-22 HuttlestonMP
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