Orleans News

ORLEANS — “Wastewater TP” doesn’t mean what you think it does. When consultants recommended this week that Orleans “consider reduction of wastewater TP as the most reliable approach to attain restoration of water quality in Crystal Lake,” they weren’t referring to toilet paper but to “total phosphorus” flowing from septic systems to the lake and creating phytoplankton blooms. That’s a big reason the state...

ORLEANS — Even on a cold and windy day, their warm feelings about the Main Street Reconstruction and Village Center Streetscape project came through. Planning and Community Development Director George Meservey and DPW/Natural Resources Director Tom Daley took another close-up look last week at the results of a years-long effort to reorder traffic flow and provide amenities such as seating and pocket parks on t...

ORLEANS — The consultant retained to answer questions about the potential re-use of the Governor Prence Motel had plenty of her own for town leaders last week. The select board, affordable housing committee, and affordable housing trust board met Dec. 10 with Judi Barrett, owner and managing director of Barrett Planning Group LLC. “Who’s struggling to stay in Orleans?” she asked. “What kinds of households, age...

NORTH EASTHAM — Traditional town meetings next spring may not be a sure thing, but one thing is certain: the Massachusetts School Building Authority is not offering an extension beyond May 31 for its financial support of a redeveloped Nauset Regional High School. With a $36 million state contribution to the $132 million project on the line, the regional school committee voted last week to abandon plans to brin...

COVID-19 Challenges Mounting In Orleans

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — As December began, COVID-19 cases climbed to 31 confirmed and 13 probable, “quite a jump for Orleans,” health agent Bob Canning told the select board. Fire Chief Geof Deering reported that three members of the department were exposed to the virus during an emergency call and are quarantining; tests are negative. “We have seven active cases in Orleans today,” Canning told the select board Dec. 2. “We’...

ORLEANS — Even as contractors are digging into downtown streets to install sewer pipes and excavating the foundation for a wastewater treatment facility, town officials are digging into the details of the second phase of the massive project: designing and building a collection system to remove all the nitrogen in Meetinghouse Pond. The town is under a mandate to reach a Total Maximum Daily Load of zero in the ...

ORLEANS — “Nearly every usable piece of land owned by the Town of Orleans is being used for a public purpose,” Director of Planning and Community Development George Meservey reported in a letter to Town Administrator John Kelly last month. At the select board’s Nov. 18 meeting, the planner reviewed three of those properties: the former American Legion Hall across from town hall at 139 Main St., the former highway...

ORLEANS — Voters agreed Tuesday to proceed with a renovation/expansion feasibility study of the fire station, the purchase of a new pumper truck, and the expenditure on design and permitting for dredging work in Nauset Estuary and Pleasant Bay. Turnout was 25 percent for the special election held to exempt the measures, which had been backed at the Oct. 31 town meeting, as debt exclusions from the tax levy l...

ORLEANS — After just his first meeting as a member of the state’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, commercial fisherman Bill Amaru had good news for fellow supporters of dredging Nauset Estuary. “We are going to discuss a new survey of fish stocks in the estuaries where dredging will be taking place to see if the window for dredging can be expanded,” Amaru wrote in an email. “Certain species that were abu...

ORLEANS — Today (Dec. 3) at 4:30 p.m., the community preservation committee will begin sifting through more than 20 requests for funding, including $2 million to help acquire the former Cape Cod Five operations center for community housing. Among other requests on the list is the recreation advisory committee’s “Orleans Outdoors” initiative, a $189,636 package covering amenities from bike and kayak racks to ba...

Conrad: Pandemic Made Nauset Schools Stronger

By: Debra Lawless

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” is how Nauset Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Conrad might sum up the past few months in the school system that has been profoundly changed by the coronavirus pandemic. “With change comes change. Do not be afraid of it,” are words that Conrad frequently speaks to his staff. Conrad gave the keynote speech during the Orleans Chamber of Commerce’s 31st annual m...

“We are in a moment right now where it has never been more apparent that housing equals health care,” Andrea Aldana, director of Housing Advocacy for Community Development Partnership (CDP), said last week during an Orleans Citizens forum on affordable housing. “Our ability to control the pandemic is really closely tied to access to safe, decent and affordable housing that allows people to shelter in place and pr...