Chatham News

CHATHAM – Based on spending approved at the May annual town meeting, town officials estimated that the tax rate would increase by about 16 cents. But after factoring in new growth, revised property values and increased local revenue, the rate increased by just one cent. As they do every year, selectmen last week voted to retain a single tax rate for all property classifications. Later in the week the state dep...

CHATHAM – The planning board will hold a series of planning sessions in the coming weeks focusing on affordable housing and the West Chatham Roadway Project. The housing discussions are aimed at developing zoning bylaw amendments for the West Chatham, Cornfield and Crowell Road village centers, where mixed uses, including housing and businesses, are to be concentrated, according to the town's comprehensive lon...

CHATHAM — Today's firefighters don't need to be reminded of the horror and heroism at the World Trade Center 15 years ago; it's part of their collective identity. But for the next generation of firefighters, born too late to remember the terror attacks, just outside the front door of the Chatham fire house there's a concrete reminder. Steel, actually. The torn and twisted floor beam from one of the Twin T...

Skydive Suit Moves Forward

By: Alan Pollock

BARNSTABLE — Opponents of skydiving at Chatham Municipal Airport will have the chance to continue their legal battle against the town, after a Barnstable Superior Court judge Tuesday declined to throw out the case. Judge Robert Rufo denied the town's request to dismiss the suit under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, which will now become the focus of the litigation. Rufo decided that the plaintiffs, a grou...

Mitchell River Bridge Closed For Painting

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM -- The Mitchell River Drawbridge will be closed through Thursday while final painting is completed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The same detours will be used as were in place during the two-plus years that the bridge was under construction.  The bridge is closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The work is expected to be completed on Thursday,  The drawbridge span will...

Fifteen Years After The Terror, Franz Helps Tell The Story

By: Alan Pollock Location: Flight 93 National Memorial

It's a tale of unspeakable evil, unbelievable tragedy and unforgettable heroism. And, 15 years after 9/11, it's a tale that needs to be told again and again by people like Rob Franz. Best known in Chatham as one of the organizers of the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day commemorations, Franz was recently featured on the front page of the New York Times for his work as an interpretive ranger at the Flight 93...

CHATHAM – For the second year in a row, the historic Avis Chase cottages in the heart of the Old Village were vacant this summer. “It's sad that they're not being used,” neighbor Ken Miller said of the cottages, two of which overlook Mill Pond. Ownership of the homes – which have a combined assessed value of nearly $6 million – is currently tied up in a court battle between the former YWCA of Philadelphia, ...

Hermine Dampens Labor Day, But Causes Little Damage

By: Alan Pollock

It provided an interesting diversion for throngs of Labor Day weekend beachgoers and sightseers, but the storm called Hermine left the Lower Cape virtually unscathed. First a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, Hermine emerged in the Atlantic as a tropical storm but quickly lost its tropical characteristics, earning it the unwieldy title of “post-tropical cyclone.” It caused sustained winds of less than 50 mph, g...

Chatham Cautiously Moving Ahead With E-permitting

By: Tim Wood

For a number of years now, local boaters have been able to renew their mooring permits online. While the system has worked, in a limited way, for the public, for staff on the back end of things, it's been a nightmare. “We have not realized the efficiencies we had hoped for on the staff side,” is how Robert Duncanson, director of the department of natural resources, which includes the harbormaster's department,...

Shark Week In Review

By: The Cape Cod Chronicle

Great white sharks continue to prowl the shores of the outer Cape, with several alerts issued in the past week for sightings close to shore. Alerts were issued through the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's Sharktivity app for sharks seen off beaches in Wellfleet, Orleans and Chatham. At one point Wayne Davis, the spotter pilot used by the Conservancy and the state division of marine fisheries for their sha...

Town, USFW Reps Meet On Monomoy Western Boundary

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Town officials met last week with representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in ongoing talks to work out a solution to the dispute over the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge's western boundary. The agency has proposed that the two parties enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) calling for joint management of some of the resources within the western boundary area, which enc...

Methodist Church Exterior Restoration Work Begins

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Scaffolding went up over the front facade of the First United Methodist Church last week in preparation for a major restoration project on the historic Main Street structure. Work was scheduled to begin this week to remove old vinyl siding, replacing it with more durable material, and install a new front entrance on the 1849 building. The project was funded by $226,000 in community preservation funds...