ORLEANS – Voters dug deep into their pockets Tuesday to fund the central core of a downtown sewer system and a new building for Cape Cod Regional Technical High School. They also backed spending $600,000 for HVAC upgrades at the town's elementary school.
By a margin of 1,102 to 412, townspeople agreed to borrow $3.68 million to put in sewer pipes and connectors to property lines under Main Street between Academy Place and Old Colony Way, taking advantage of the state's willingness to hold off for a year on its intersection improvement work in the same area. Had that work proceeded, it could not have been dug up for another five years.
Several voters interviewed as they left the polls cited timing as a deciding factor in approving the current sewer work, but some said they're impatient to get going on the entire system.
Ventilation and boiler work at Orleans Elementary School drew a "no" vote from a resident who served on a finance committee in another town.
"It should have been in the operating budget and never been bonded," she said. The ballot question was approved 1,360 to 159.
The small sample of interviewees all voted to pay the town's share of the new Cape Tech facility, which was $2,088,635 of a district-wide total of $128,062,881 (that figure may change; see story on page 1). The question was approved 1,246 to 266 in Orleans.
One local couple, who have been struggling to get a rental's roof repaired since spring, said tradespeople are very important to keep on Cape Cod.
"An investment in our kids is an investment in our future," another voter declared.