Chatham News

CHATHAM — Following the recommendation of the working group it created to study the idea, the select board Tuesday lent its support to a plan to let the board of health regulate short-term rentals in town starting in the 2024 summer season. Owners would pay an annual $50 fee and fill out an application providing details of the number of approved bedrooms in a rental along with information on available p...

Rockland Trust To Close Downtown Branch

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Starting with the Chatham Trust Company, there's been a bank at the Chatham rotary continuously since 1955, but that could change when the current tenant, Rockland Trust, completes its lease in April. If no other bank takes over the space, it would be the first time in decades that Chatham has had only one full-service bank in town. Rockland Trust has petitioned the state and federal regulatory autho...

Paid, Timed Parking Gets Thumbs Down

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – If one conclusion came from last week's parking solutions forum, it was that virtually no one is in favor of paid or time-limited parking either downtown or at the fish pier. Chamber of commerce and merchants association members favored having the Cape Cod Commission study the issue this summer, as well as working with town officials to develop a way to encourage downtown employees not to park on Mai...

What Happened To Selectmen's Badges?

By: Tim Wood

“ Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!” – From “Blazing Saddles,” in homage to “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” Once upon a time, members of boards of selectmen had badges. Exactly when board members began carrying badges is lost in the mists of time. Apparently, they were used for identification when selectmen had other duties that could necessitate the production of a badge to prove that they were o...

CHATHAM — Before they can make a recommendation about parking at Cow Yard town landing, the waterways advisory committee needs a plot plan to show them exactly where it's located and how large it is. Meeting last week to start its task for reviewing parking at Cow Yard and other shoreline access points, the committee learned that some town landings likely haven't been surveyed for around 50 years. It's often n...

Goldsmith Proposes $37.8M Operating Budget

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Town Manager Jill Goldsmith presented the select board with her draft budget summary for fiscal 2024 last week, floating a $37,761,514 operating budget. The spending plan represents an increase of 7.6 percent over the current year's plan, but would be funded without the need for a tax increase. While Goldsmith had a preliminary plan that would add more than 12 new full-time employees, the most recent...

CHATHAM — The Dec. 23 and 24 coastal storm that caused unusual shoreline flooding came with plenty of warning, and residents of the Little Beach neighborhood are no strangers to flooded roads. Still, first responders had to rescue four people from the flood waters, three who were in stranded vehicles and a fourth who was wading out to assist. Town officials took a number of steps to get ready for the storm, pr...

CHATHAM — In its community risk assessment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has downgraded the Cape and the rest of the state from “high” to “medium,” recognizing a general drop in case numbers and hospitalizations for COVID-19. But the widespread prevalence of the new XBB.1.5 subvariant of the virus, nicknamed Kraken, is raising new questions. In Barnstable County, the average daily incidence r...

CHATHAM – Recent adjustments to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan free up catch limits for cod — ever so slightly — but also drop limits on the amount of haddock that can be caught. Under Framework 65, approved last month by the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC), the annual catch limit for Georges Bank cod increases 54 percent, while the Gulf of Maine catch increases 3 percent. ...

COVID Continues To Impact Monomoy School Budget

By: Tim Wood

Draft Spending Plan Shows 3.6 Percent Increase Many of the same factors that are contributing to cost of living increases for residents, businesses and municipal government — continued fallout from COVID including supply chain problems, utility increases, labor shortages — are also driving up the school budget. The draft $44 million Monomoy Regional School District budget for the upcoming fiscal year approved ...

CHATHAM – Building on successes in Harwich and Orleans, Town Manager Jill Goldsmith is seeking new ways to expand the reach of human services programs in town. As part of a package of more than 12 full-time positions she’s considering for the fiscal 2024 budget, Goldsmith has included four part-time seasonal community service officers to work with police, and one or two clinical social workers to help citizens of...

CHATHAM — Whether it’s done by the town or by private property owners, airport officials hope that the removal of trees in the Chatham Airport approach paths will be underway by summer, if not sooner. On Oct. 3, the town sent certified letters to 21 property owners to let them know about the obstruction removal project and to ask them how they intended to proceed. Once the specific trees are identified in a su...