Bike Path Extension in Hands of Mattapoisett Voters
Bike path advocates are urging Mattapoisett residents to show up at a Special Town Meeting tonight to correct a technical mistake that could delay construction of a long-awaited trail section.
Last fall, Town Meeting voters approved nearly $1.7 million in local spending -- but the warrant article tied the spending to receipt of a Mass Works Grant and a US Economic Development Grant totaling $1.47 million. The town did receive a federal grant in the amount of $750,000, but did not receive the state MassWorks grant, making the prior vote invalid.
Tonight's Special Town Meeting article uses more generic language, according to the weekly Mattapoisett Wanderer. Voters will be asked to approve bike path funding in the amount of $1,665,000. But it will specify that the town's share of the project "must be matched dollar for dollar from Federal and State Grant Funding sources to be used toward the project."
Town Administrator Michael Gagne reportedly told the Finance Committee that two separate projects "should not have been bundled together" in the prior bike path warrant article.
The organization South Coast Bikeway, which advocates for the expansion of multi-use trails, took to Facebook last week encouraging people to show up.
"Mattapoisett residents we need your vote on TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 @6:30! A quick Special Town Meeting (one article) at the Old Hammondtown School needs a quorum of fifty Mattapoisett residents to correct a technicality from the unanimous funding vote at Fall Meeting," the group wrote. "In order to accept awarded grants, the Town must unbundle the specific projects." However, a representative from South Coast Bikeway did not respond to a request for comment from WBSM News.
The Special Town Meeting agenda can be found on the Town of Mattapoisett website.