Chatham News

CHATHAM – Last summer's “Shark Smart” education program at Lighthouse Beach was a success and will be expanded to other locations this coming summer. Marianna Long, Education Director at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, told park and recreation commissioners last week that while the exact number of people who stopped by to listen to interns talk about great white sharks three mornings a week was not track...

CHATHAM – A variety of projects, ranging from salt marsh preservation to bike path mile markers, have been submitted for funding through the Community Preservation Act. Sixteen proposals, totaling $1,460,050, will be reviewed by the community preservation committee, which is charged with making recommendations on the projects to voters at the May 11 annual town meeting. According to Finance Director Alix He...

Concerted Effort Needed To Save Town's Oldest House

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM – Without intervention from town officials, one of the oldest houses in Chatham and a direct link to founder William Nickerson, could be lost. Historical Commission Chair Frank Messina appealed to selectmen last week to pull together a group of stakeholders to brainstorm ways around roadblocks that could lead to the demolition of the home at 68 Shell Dr. “It's not that we want to break the law, but ...

Locals Lobby To Keep Buoy; Coast Guard Is Listening

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The U.S. Coast Guard has extended the public comment period on a proposal to remove the “C” buoy, a key navigational aid marking the location of Chatham Harbor. Locals hope the move signals the agency's willingness to revisit or abandon the plan, which they say would endanger public safety. The Coast Guard had set a deadline of this week to receive public comments about the proposal to remove the lig...

CHATHAM – The historic Coast Guard boathouse that once sat on the shore of Stage Harbor is now the subject of a legal battle in the town of Hull. The 30-by-60-foot boathouse once sheltered the famous CG36500 motor lifeboat used to rescue the crew of the Pendleton on Feb. 18, 1952, still considered the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. Like the CG36500, which ended up under the ownership of the...

A Frustrating Milestone For Fish Pier Deck

By: Alan Pollock

A Year Since Project Began CHATHAM — A year ago, when the town signed a contract with Sciaba Construction Corporation for the construction of a new fish pier observation deck, there didn't seem to be any reason the job wouldn't be done well before Memorial Day. That gave plenty of time for the pier and packing house to be ready for high season for commercial fishing, and for the deck to be ready for the annual...

CHATHAM – Building activity in town slowed somewhat in 2019, with fewer permits issued for additions and new homes. The total estimated value of construction, however, rose slightly higher than in 2018. The number of permits for new houses dropped by 26 percent, from 42 in 2018 to 31 last year. But the average construction value of new dwellings reported on building permits rose nearly 8 percent, from $779,825...

CHATHAM — Acknowledging that road construction along Route 28 is likely to keep some people from visiting local stores and restaurants, selectmen are looking for ways to send the message that West Chatham is open for business during the upcoming roadway project. The board took action to make it easier for area businesses to obtain temporary signs and is encouraging the business community to come together to ...

CHATHAM – For the 680 voters who attended the Jan. 4 special town meeting, the process of checking in was just a little bit different. For one thing, rather than lining up alphabetically by last name, voters could check in at any of six stations, which greatly expedited the process. And at each of those stations, for the first time, iPads were used to check everyone in. It was the first time the Poll Pad sy...

Town Clock In Need Of Facelift

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The town clock is in need of an overhaul. Located in the tower of the First United Methodist Church, the clock's four faces can be seen throughout much of the downtown area. That's both a benefit and a detriment. At its height, it gets the brunt of everything that nature throws at the town. “It's clearly above the tree line, so definitely is exposed to all of our conditions,” said Principal Projec...

Goldsmith Proposes $32.7M Operating Budget

By: Alan Pollock

Selectmen: Focus More On Project Management CHATHAM — Town Manager Jill Goldsmith has proposed a $32,733,626 operating budget for fiscal 2021. Designed to keep the current level of services, the budget is up nearly 6 percent over the current year’s spending plan and includes the equivalent of five new full-time employees. Selectmen praised Goldsmith and Finance Director Alix Heilala for the budget, and se...

CHATHAM – For 13 years, Robert Moss admired the old house at 154 Champlain Rd., where the street bends at a right angle and commands a panoramic view of Stage Harbor. He walked past it whenever he was in town, and often encountered people taking photos or just enjoying the view. “It's just such an enjoyable spot,” he said. Five years ago Moss offered to buy the historic home, known as Starboard Light, and f...