Mattapoisett Selectmen extend tax dates, close public spaces
MATTAPOISETT — Recreation options dwindle for those who want to get outside in the face of coronavirus, as Selectmen closed the tennis courts on April 15, and the skate park on April 16, but Selectmen praised both the townspeople and first responders for an otherwise solid response.
The majority of the discussion at an April 16 virtual meeting was on the social aspects of coronavirus, but Selectmen did extend the due date for real estate and personal property taxes and for statutory exemptions to June 1.
Town Administrator Michael Lorenco said that there are currently some confusions on how interest articles are handled, and asked Selectmen to hold off on waiving those for residents until he could resolve those.
Selectmen pushed dates back because they were “cognizant of the adverse impact that strict social distancing orders, necessary to prevent the unchecked spread of covid-19, have had on the finances of taxpayers in the Town of Mattapoisett,” as they stated in the executive order they passed to move the dates.
The Mattapoisett Road Race committee notified Selectmen that it would postpone its 50th road race until July 4 2021.
“For many, it is a town family reunion. In that celebration, social distancing is not only the last thing on anyone’s mind but is impossible,” wrote Bill Tilden, one of the race’s organizers in a letter to Selectmen.
Selectman Paul Silva asked for feedback from the Police Department on how people are handling social distancing in Mattapoisett.
Lorenco said that police had seen some congregating on the tennis courts and at the skate park, both of which would be closed after April 16.
But, in general, he said people have done a pretty good job of keeping distance.
“The best thing for people to do is try to keep their distance to keep amenities open,” Lorenco said.
Silva cautioned that “a few people can ruin it for everyone,” however his fellow Selectman Jordan Collyer noted that people are “starting to self-police a little more.”
One exception that Collyer had seen was the bike path.
“Anyone who is using the bike path, that is the biggest area of contention for people who have been out there,” he said. He asked people to “make your way and pass safely or stay back. The last thing we want to do is close something like that.”
Former Town Administrator Michael Gagne was at the meeting and praised the Board of Health, Town Health Agent, Health Nurse, Fire Department, Police Department and Emergency Medical Services for their exceptional work.
“I wanted to say how proud I am that they have performed so well,” Gagne said.
Collyer, who is a captain in the fire department and has been on multiple planning calls a week in that role, said that first responders are going to start looking ahead at re-entry plans to return to normal in a few weeks.
Mattapoisett residents can find information on the new tax policies on the town website or by calling the treasurer’s office.