Chatham News

Goldsmith Proposes $30.4M Operating Budget For FY19

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Thanks to a strong property tax base, a recovering economy and the town manager’s tight purse strings, selectmen Tuesday heard some good news about the draft FY19 town budget. Town Manager Jill Goldsmith is proposing an operating budget of $30,427,418, an increase of 0.57% over the current year’s spending plan. The draft budget not only stays within the constraints of Proposition 2½, but leaves alm...

Bikeways Committees Wrestle With Rail Trail Branding

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The name “Old Colony Rail Trail” is a nice tribute to the railroad that once serviced Harwich and Chatham, but it doesn’t communicate some key information: where the trail goes. “I see bikers between Thompson’s Field and [Route] 137 looking at maps and trying to figure out where they are,” Harwich bikeways committee member Shanna Nealy said. Nealy and her group met last week in a rare joint session...

CHATHAM – After months of negotiations between developer Eastward Companies and neighbors along Ocean Port Lane, the planning board last week approved a 13-lot subdivision off Barn Hill Road. The seven-acre Hunter's Rise development is one of the largest new residential subdivisions in town in recent years. The board approval came after Eastward Companies agreed to a 20-foot buffer strip along the subdivision'...

Cold, Seasonal Closures Delay Chatham Dredging

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The recent cold weather, coupled with seasonal habitat restrictions, will delay dredging near Fox Hill and Pleasant Bay. Planned dredging of the entrance to Mill Creek in the spring should still be on schedule, said Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon. The Barnstable County dredge Codfish was due to clear shoals from the channel between Pleasant Bay and Ryder's Cove, off Fox Hill, a few weeks ago,...

CHATHAM – For 27 years the Cape Cod Commission has been evaluating the economic and ecological health of the Cape. On Jan. 14, Paul Niedzwiecki, executive director of the commission, delivered a lecture at the community center about the ways that climate change is likely to affect the economic and ecological health on Cape Cod and what the commission is doing to protect it. The lecture, titled “The Price Tag: Eco...

Stage Harbor Rd. Historic District Dropped

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The historical commission has decided to end its effort to declare Stage Harbor Road a National Historic Register District after an overwhelming majority of property owners in the neighborhood said they opposed the nomination. “There's no question of the historical significance of the street,” commission chairman Frank Messina said Tuesday, but without the support of a majority of the people who own ...

Public Shares Vision For Eldredge Garage Land

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Citizens still have more than a month to sound out on the future of the former Eldredge Garage property, but so far, public parking and rest rooms seem to be the most popular suggestions for the town-owned parcel. Last Thursday, more than a dozen neighborhood residents and other citizens shared their visions for the property with the Eldredge Garage property planning committee. The group will conti...

CHATHAM – Allegation of conflict of interest were leveled last week against a member of the historical commission who is proposing to demolish an 80-year-old home on Stage Harbor Road. Neighbors of 372 Stage Harbor Rd. said commission member Tim Smith was present at a Dec. 29 on-site hearing at the house and was actively advising the current homeowner while members of the commission inspected the 944-square-fo...

CHATHAM – A sculpture of the Tree of Life, a gift to the town by the Women's Club of Chatham to mark the organization's centennial, was dedicated before a cold but appreciative crowd Sunday afternoon. The steel sculpture, by local artist Faye Anderson, hangs on the wall of the Eldredge Public Library to the left of the Library Lane entrance. “This is a big milestone for us,” club president Lorraine Cocolis ...

Selectmen Vow 'Vigorous Defense' Of Skydiving

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — With federal regulators now firmly in their corner, selectmen are vowing to come out swinging when a suit brought by skydiving opponents goes to trial in March. Saying they were acting in the benefit of public transparency, the board issued a statement announcing its position following an hour-long closed-door session Monday evening. The town has been in litigation over the issue of skydiving fo...

No Special Election To Fill Vacant Selectman's Seat

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Saying the costs simply don’t justify the benefits, selectmen Monday voted to wait until the May annual town election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of board member Amanda Love, rather than calling a special election. “There’s a potential cost of at least $6,000 to hold a special election,” board Chairman Cory Metters said. And according to the town clerk, the earliest a special ele...