Chatham News

CCIF Sees Surge In Requests

By: Caoe Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – A second round of applications, with an increased assistance cap, has resulted in a surge of requests for help from the Chatham Coronavirus Impact Fund. Last week saw 33 applications approved and a total of $42,388 disbursed from the fund set up to help Chatham residents suffering economically because of the pandemic. Based on those numbers, “there's quite a lot of need out there,” said fund founder ...

Chatham Holds Historic Outdoor Town Meeting

By: Tim Wood

Voters Quickly Approve Budget, Postpone Senior Center CHATHAM – In his three-plus decades as town moderator, William Litchfield acknowledged, he's sometimes been accused of being “out in left field.” “In fact, finally, tonight I am,” he said during Monday evening's annual town meeting, held in the outfield at Veterans Field. With 202 mostly masked voters social distanced across the field, the town held i...

Historic Town Meeting Ends In Record Time

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Monday saw two historic firsts: the first annual town meeting held outdoors, and the quickest meeting in recent memory. As fog drifted in and out of Veterans Field in typical Chatham fashion, 202 voters acted on a pared-down warrant with little debate, passing operating, school, water and capital budgets while postponing other significant — and potentially controversial — measures until a planned fal...

CHATHAM — A working group has issued its recommendation on creating a one-way traffic pattern downtown to allow better social distancing for pedestrians: scrap the idea. Instead, the 18-member group recommended leaving current traffic patterns in place, but creating three small no parking zones to allow pedestrians to stay distant from one another by stepping off the sidewalk when necessary to pass other...

CHATHAM – A stripped-down annual town meeting warrant, reduced from 39 to 14 or 15 articles, should significantly shorten the session scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. next Monday, June 22, outdoors at Veterans Field. Voters will be seated in the baseball outfield in pairs of socially distanced chairs facing the left field baseline, where Moderator William Litchfield, Chairman of Selectmen Shareen Davis, Town Manag...

Impact Fund To Contribute As Demand Grows Threefold CHATHAM – In the past three months, the number of people served by the small food pantry at Chatham Elementary School has tripled. Given the demand, the pantry, which usually closes when school ends, will continue providing groceries to local residents through the summer. “We obviously have a desperate need that is not going away,” said Principal Robin Mil...

CHATHAM — Saying it would only worsen the crush of vehicles and pedestrians there, selectmen last week rejected a pilot program that would have allowed fishermen to sell their catch directly to customers at the fish pier. The proposal by fisherman Nick Muto sought permission to allow direct retail fish sales for a limited time at the fish pier, building on the success of similar programs in other locations, ...

CHATHAM – When Matthew Hillman arrived at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge as its new manager, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the town had just gone through a controversial review of the refuge's comprehensive conservation plan (CCP). While aspects of the final document still rankle some in town, Hillman found working with town officials and residents one of the most satisfying parts of the job. It's ...

Chatham Waterways Projects Make Headway

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Despite the disruptions to life on land, the town is making good progress on several key waterways projects. The new trap dock at Old Mill Boat Yard is complete and is already being used by commercial fishermen, the long-awaited observation deck at the fish pier is basically finished, and there’s a plan for completing the dredging at Stage Harbor. In a recent update for selectmen, Health and Natura...

CHATHAM – Because of declining enrollment, there will be only one kindergarten class at Chatham Elementary School next year. The continuing drop in the number of Chatham elementary-age students has also created a disparity between the per-pupil costs at Chatham and Harwich elementary schools, which may require adjustments to the way the Monomoy Regional School District funds its early education program. “Th...

Sun, Surf And Social Distancing

By: Alan Pollock

Chatham Beaches To Open As Planned, But Schoolhouse Pond May Be A Problem CHATHAM — Though it’s anybody’s guess how may people will flock to the sand and surf this summer, or how many of them will fit on the beaches given new social distancing requirements, beach permit sales will continue as normal this summer. Well, almost normal. With the permit office closed to the public, resident beach stickers are ...

Chatham Plans 'Virtual' July 4 Parade

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – The annual Independence Day parade is the biggest event of the summer. For more than 100 years, thousands of people — local residents, summer folks and visitors from throughout the region — have gathered to mark the nation's birthday with a processions sometimes stretching from one end of downtown to the other. Recent parades have included more than 100 floats, bands and other entries and hundreds of ma...