Orleans Town Meeting: Yes On Wastewater, No On Sipson Island

By: Ed Maroney

Andrew Burling rises in opposition to the Herrick Landing acquisition and the purchase of a conservation restriction for Sipson Island. Both articles were defeated. BARRY A. DONAHUE PHOTO

ORLEANS Town Meeting agreed Monday to spend $47 million on wastewater infrastructure over the next three decades, pending a favorable debt exclusion vote at the town election May 21, but rejected spending $1.5 million to acquire a conservation restriction on 18 acres of Sipson Island.

“We have the Main Street sewers in the ground,” Paul Davis said from the floor, “on time and under budget. This article tonight asks us to build the rest of the collection system, to build the sewage treatment plant and to install the disposal field. We've laid the foundation; let's build the house, the house that gets us clean water for this town.”

Only a couple of “no” votes were voiced as the article was passed by well more than the needed two-thirds majority.

Following a lengthy debate, the Sipson Island article fell short of the two-thirds requirement, with 372 for and 231 against.

The meeting opened with the sad news of the death on Friday of longtime selectman and school committee member Margie Fulcher. “You all know Margie,” Selectman Chairman Alan McClennen said. “She has been involved in local government in this town probably since she was old enough to vote.” A moment of silence was observed.

As 10 p.m. rolled around, the presence of a quorum was questioned and found lacking. Town meeting resumes Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Nauset Regional Middle School with 30 articles left to complete, including one calling for a resident parking sticker and seasonal parking enforcement program.