Mattapoisett moves forward on Holy Ghost grounds, plans subcommittee

Dec 7, 2022

MATTAPOISETT — A group of seven Mattapoisett residents will be charged with studying possible uses for the newly-funded Holy Ghost property in Mattapoisett.

“People want to know what the property will be used for,” said Select Board Member Jordan Collyer. “The fundamental first step is ‘what do we think the property can, will and should be used for.’”

The Holy Ghost property is a 7-acre parcel of land off Park Street that the town acquired in 2016.

Initially, the subcommittee will consist of five people: A member of the Capital Planning Committee, Recreation Committee, Planning Board, someone recommended by the Council on Aging and someone who has ties to the proposed Mattapoisett dog park.

Following a survey asking residents about possible uses for the property and a public information session, two more citizen members will be chosen to sit on the subcommittee. 

“[What if we open] up a request for people who are interested in participating [and] we evaluate the respondents,” said Select Board Member Tyler Macallister, who went on to say that different citizens may be well suited to different parts of the project. 

“Once we understand the direction we want to go, we can start dipping into the talent pool in Mattapoisett,” said Macallister. 

Each potential member will need to submit a letter of intent to the Town Administrator Michael Lorenco. 

There will also be a number of “ad hoc” members of the subcommittee who are called in when their expertise is needed. These members could include the Mattapoisett town administrator, a member of the highway department, chief of police and building commissioner. 

The Holy Ghost grounds have long been a point of interest for the people of Mattapoisett. 

At Mattapoisett’s Special Town Meeting, the town voted to allocate $150,000 of free cash to construct bathrooms on the Holy Ghost property,

Since the property’s purchase, Lorenco said that it has remained vacant, though the town has done some work to improve the roof and the siding of the building on the site so that it could remain “structurally sound.”

The request to build the bathrooms came after Lorenco spoke with department heads at Old Colony Regional Technical Vocational High School, whose students provide labor on projects such as this free of charge.

“We don’t have an organized plan from the town, but I believe if we build the bathrooms it will lead to this building being used for good purpose,” said Lorenco.

Going forward, the core group of five subcommittee members will be chosen by the Select Board and will prepare a draft survey about the Holy Ghost property.