Mattapoisett Fire, Police, Harbormaster present budgets, capital plans to Select Board

Feb 5, 2024

MATTAPOISETT – Mattapoisett’s Fire, Police and Harbormaster departments presented their fiscal year 2025 budgets and capital plans to the Select Board at a Feb. 5 meeting.

Chief Andrew Murray shared the Mattapoisett Fire Department’s operating budget, which contained a $2,000 increase in communications and repair expenses, due to new radios.

The price of the radios used by the department increased from about $800 each to $3,000 each, according to Murray. 

“The new radios are very expensive,” Murray said.

For capital plan purchases in 2025, the fire department is looking for $8,000 to replace a pump on its forestry truck, which has failed multiple times according to Murray. The truck had been stored outside for more than a decade before moving indoors to the new fire station.

“Being stored for 12 years outside and having the snow and ice that have been sliding off the roof just wreaks havoc with it,” Murray said.

Murray also said that the department needs to replace fire helmets and certain water supply lines, amounting to $11,000 and $18,000 respectively. That equipment must be replaced within 10 years of the date of manufacture to comply with regulations, according to Murray.

Marine Resource Officer Isaac Perry said the two increases in the Harbormaster Department operating budget are a 2.5% harbormaster salary line increase pending contract negotiations and to the buildings and ground line. 

That add is for “increased cleaning services” at public bathrooms at the harbor and Ned’s Point.

“I’d like to make improvements to the existing building to just better facilitate use of the space,” Perry said. ”Currently we rely on space heaters for the bathrooms.”

The department’s capital purchases for 2025 included $10,000 for an outboard for a pumpout boat.  

“That’s one of those things that’s, it’s just an outboard – it’s just a pumpout boat, but if that goes down, I’ve got a problem,” Perry said.

The Mattapoisett Police Department’s operating budget presented by Chief Jason King included a $4,000 increase for maintenance and $1,500 for costs associated with the fee rate for appearing as a witness in court.

For 2025 capital plan items, King said purchases include a new ambulance “because it’s a two year build, so we need to secure the funds so we can order the ambulance for two years out.”

That new ambulance would also need an electric stretcher, which is required by the state Office of Emergency Medical Services.

Town Administrator Mike Lorenco said those items would be “paid by the ambulance fund.” 

“All those items won’t hit the taxpayer,” Lorenco said.

The capital plan for 2025 also contained a low-speed vehicle with a stretcher, to be used by both the police and harbormaster departments.

King said the Harbormaster Department is “looking for something to use down the wharf that’s small that they can turn around and take equipment down the wharfs without having to use [Marine Resource Officer Isaac Perry’s] truck.”

The Police Department, meanwhile, has had several instances in which it has “needed something to get out into the woods,” King said. One of those recent instances involved a missing hunter in Mattapoisett, in which Marion police assisted by utilizing a similar vehicle “which was huge,” according to King.