By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Selectboard received updates on the Master Plan and the town’s particpation in the Greater New Bedford Opioid Task Force on Monday, 10/2.
Town Planner and Economic Development Director Bill Roth and Planning Board Chairperson Wayne Hayward told the board that the Master Plan was on schedule and on budget. The town hired a consultant to help draft the plan that will direct a variety of areas, including building, zoning, and business bylaws in the town for the next 20 years.
The PB master plan committee was scheduled to hold its third public meeting on Wednesday, 10/4, past press time, to give members of the public a chance to weigh in on the various aspects of the plan, which is in draft form.
Mr. Roth said there would be other opportunities for residents to weigh in and have their voices heard before the plan is finalized.
The years-long process is reaching its final stretch, though, so residents are encouraged to learn about the plan and provide input to the town.
“So, this has been a process,” said Mr. Hayward after tracing back to the start.
The plan is comprensive, and will affect every aspect of town.
“It’s amazing. Everything is tied to the next item,” said Mr. Hayward. “Wehn you move ont thing, it affects another.”
He said the project was right on target with the money and was 167 pages, and growing.
It has been 20 years since the town created a master plan.
However, the plan itself is the easiest part of the process, taking about 12 months, said Mr. Roth.
“It’s the implementatin that will go on for years,’ he said.
Mr. Hayward reiterated that the committee still needs input from residents, not just on Wednesday. People who cannot make it to meetings can still have their voices heard.
The various boards and committees in town will take the lead in the areas that their committees are responsible for. Those meetings will be open to the public.
“We need input,” said Mr. Hayward.
MP documents are available on the town’s website at http://www.fairhaven-ma.gov/pages/FairhavenMA_MasterPlan/index or through Mr. Roth’s office, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 508-979-4082 Ext. 122.
The board also heard from the Board of Health on the town’s participation in the Greater New Bedford Opioid Task Force.
BOH chairperson Peter DeTerra, Vice chair Jeannine Lopes, and Health Agent Mary Freire-Kellogg, told the board that Fairhaven has been attending meetings and working with Seven Hills to learn about ways the town can combat drug addiction in town.
The group does not yet have a “formal charge” or written rules on how to operate, said Town Administrator Mark Rees, but so far has been working well to share information.
The Task Force is working on a variety of programs, including crisis intervention services and school programs.
“It’s not just a family problem; it’s a community problem,” said Ms. Freire-Kellogg.
The Task Force has set up a drop-in center for those struggling with addiction, family members and friends at the Pilgrim United Church, every fourth Thursday, from 6–8 p.m., 634 Purchase Street, New Bedford. Representatives from various agencies are available to connect people to local resources. For more information, call 508-993-6242. The Task Force also has a Facebook Page.
In another matter, the board approved changes to the rules governing quahog dredge boats in Fairhaven waters. Dredge boats will now be allowed to work seven days a week, instead of just Monday through Friday.
On the west side of Sconticut Neck, boats will also be able to go farther north than Baxter Avenue, up to Egg Island. They are still not allowed to dredge in water that is shallower than 12 feet at mean low tide in any given area.
Harbormaster Timothy Cox told the board that the state has “no issues” with the boats quahogging in the new area.
For details on the changes, contact the Harbormaster’s office at 508-984-4529, Ext. 124
The board began the evening with a moment of silence for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting and for Ann Fostin, who was the mother of Town Hall custodian Frank Fostin and building inspector Wayne Fostin.
The board also met in executive session to discuss litigation strategy in a lawsuit against the town by a homeowner on North Street involving a right of way.
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