Mattapoisett holds off on formation of roadway project committee

Jun 26, 2024

MATTAPOISETT — Official town approval of a committee to advise and review a project to redevelop and reconstruct certain streets in Mattapoisett Village has not yet been granted.

Mattapoisett Select Board members Jodi Bauer and Jordan Collyer decided Tuesday, June 25 to not yet approve the committee because all three select board members were not present.  Select board member Tyler Macallister did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

At Mattapoisett’s May 17 Town Meeting, residents voted 107-81 to establish the committee following over an hour of, at times, heated discussion.

The committee’s charge is to “review, comment upon, and make recommendations for design and construction” of a project to reconstruct Main, Water and Beacon streets as well as Marion Road with Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks, stormwater filtration systems and to allow for the replacement of an aging gas line.

The project has generated discussion in the town in part because it would require the removal of 27 trees that line the streets of Mattapoisett Village. 

There are ten people interested in serving on the committee, according to Mattapoisett Town Administrator Mike Lorenco. 

No decisions regarding membership have yet been made, but the committee will consist of seven members. Qualifications for membership on the board have not yet been set.

Bauer asked if there were any approaching meetings “that it’s so important that they have a committee right away?”

The answer was no, according to Highway Surveyor Garrett Bauer, who will serve as an ex-officio non-voting member on the committee.

“There isn’t anything to discuss until the 25% plans are approved,” he said.

Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation held an informational meeting to discuss and solicit public comments for the 25% design stage of the proposed project.

“There’s no rush in making a committee to talk about something that’s not even approved yet,” Garrett Bauer said. 

Mattapoisett Select Board Chair Jordan Collyer said his position was to “move forward and get the committee appointed and established as quickly and as efficiently as we can.”

“We will move forward, and we will move forward as quickly as we can,” he said.

Collyer also said he’d like to have VHB, the project’s design consultant, appear before the select board later this summer “to talk about their subpar service on this project.”

“We’re overdue to hear from them, and they’re probably overdue to hear from us,” he said.