Voters approve two bike path items at Town Meeting

By Tanner Harding | May 09, 2017

Mattapoisett — Mattapoisett voters passed two agenda items at Town Meeting to keep moving forward with the town’s bike path.

One item asked voters to give the town permission to take action to make sure it has the right of way for the one and a half mile stretch between Mattapoisett Neck Road and Depot Street. The second asked for approval to declare the area a multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians.

Both items are requirements of the state and federal governments.

Some residents were concerned about having to pay for parts of the path that the town may not own, but both Town Administrator Mike Gagne and resident and State Representative Bill Straus assured them that the payout would be minimal, if anything.

“Even though someone might be an owner of one of these parcels…in terms of what they can do with it, there is very little value,” Straus said. “Some appraisals came up for a couple thousand dollars [last time], but some people said ‘don’t even bother, it’s yours.’ There is enough known that tells you if there’s a number out there for costs, it’s very modest.”

Gagne also added that if a situation arose where the town would have to pay someone for their land, the money would have to be approved back at Town Meeting anyway.

“The town in the past has reserved some monies for some of the land they knew they’d have to take, so we have some money in reserve for that,” he said. “If an appraisal finds there’s a portion of land we do not have ownership of, we’d have to appropriate the money at Town Meeting in the fall.”

The second bike path article, designating the path as a bike path, passed without comment.

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