Chatham News

CHATHAM – Until this past October, a large section of the Chatham Elementary School playground, an area known as the field, was alternatively a dusty or muddy mess, often unusable. But after a cooperative project last summer between the town and the school department that involved fixing drainage, bringing in irrigation, topsoil and seed, the area now has grass, for the first time in years. “It seems like a sm...

Chatham Proposes Real Estate Transfer Tax

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – If the town continues to sock away $150,000 a year toward its post-employment benefit (OPEB) liability, it will take more than 110 years to meet its full obligation of more than $16 million. Selectmen are eyeing a somewhat shorter timeline; they want to full fund the OPEB trust in 10 to 15 years, less if possible. To meet that goal, the board last week instructed staff to prepare town meeting arti...

CHATHAM – A zoning bylaw prohibiting retail marijuana shops may not go before town meeting this May. On a tie vote, the planning board last Tuesday failed to endorse the amendment, with several board members saying they saw it as overreach. “It doesn't have the serious consequences you're thinking it will have,” said board member Robert Wirtshafter. Selectmen will decide Tuesday if they will submit the z...

CHATHAM – For eight Monday evenings this summer, Main Street in downtown Chatham will be turned into Music Street. Similar to the long-running and successful Port Summer Nights in Harwich Port, Mondays on Main will feature bands, musicians and other entertainers performing in scattered locations from the rotary to the Chatham Wine Bar at 359 Main St. Local businesses will sponsor performers, and restaurants an...

CHATHAM — Seventy years ago tomorrow, the RCA wireless transmitter in South Chatham first crackled to life, sending messages around the globe. Its bank of 24 transmitters put out around 20,000 watts of power each, occasionally causing the lights in the village to flicker. It was those transmitters, rather than the more visible receiving station in Chathamport, that earned station WCC international renown. Th...

CHATHAM – Members of the community preservation committee have rejected a request for $400,000 toward construction of a new observation deck at the fish pier, saying it didn't qualify as a recreation project. Recreation is one of the four areas for which funds raised under the Community Preservation Act (CPA) can be spent. While the fish pier deck replacement was presented by the natural resources department a...

What's An Upweller?

By: Tim Wood

Constable Gives Primer On Shellfish Grow-out System by Tim Wood CHATHAM – A recent proposal to construct a new shellfish upweller on Stage Harbor raised an important question: Just what is an upweller? “I had folks who came up or called and wanted to know what's an upweller,” said Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. “Some of my mother's friends were saying 'What the heck's an upweller?'” At Dykens' request, ...

CHATHAM – Selectmen agreed Tuesday that a proposed bylaw that bans balloons should go before voters at the spring town meeting, but they sent the measure back to town counsel for some wordsmithing to clarify that the prohibition would not apply to balloons at birthday parties, weddings and other private functions. The board also decided to pull the plug on a bylaw governing street performers and buskers, sayin...

CHATHAM – While terns did well on the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge last summer – the refuge remains the largest common tern colony on the eastern seaboard – the number and nesting success of federally-endangered piping plovers fell below expectations. A total of 48.5 pairs of the small, sand-colored plovers nested on the refuge, a decrease from 52 pairs in 2016. Most (46 pairs) nested on South Monomoy, one...

CHATHAM – A sign at the transfer station warning that single-stream recycling will no longer be accepted as of Jan. 31 has led to confusion among residents about the status of the town's recycling program. The ban only applies to waste haulers who bring in large loads of mixed recycling, and is the result of market trends that reach across the country and around the globe. Officials stress that there's been no...

CHATHAM – Selectmen Tuesday unanimously rejected a change to the regional school agreement that would have allowed a realignment of elementary school grades. After hearing from a number of residents who vehemently opposed the change proposed by the Monomoy Regional School Committee, board members agreed they had to uphold the promise made to residents when schools were regionalized five years ago to maintain a...

CHATHAM – Selectmen Tuesday unanimously rejected a change to the regional school agreement that would have allowed a realignment of elementary school grades. After hearing from a number of residents who vehemently opposed the change proposed by the Monomoy Regional School Committee, board members agreed they had to uphold the promise made to residents when schools were regionalized five years ago to maintain a...