Orleans News

ORLEANS — A district-wide vote to approve the $132 million Nauset Regional High School building project will be held in the four member towns on March 30. The date was approved by the regional school committee Jan. 7 following consultation with town clerks. The one-day balloting decision was a response to the uncertainties of the pandemic, which prompted worries that Brewster, Eastham, Orleans, and Wellfleet...

ORLEANS — Sometimes, floating an idea means just that. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty member is testing an experimental solar-powered data buoy known as PEARL that's anchored in Deep Pond. Last month, Professor Olivier L. de Weck answered questions from the conservation commission about the device, which is a prototype of a larger version to be deployed in the ocean. The floating p...

ORLEANS — A preference survey of potential new uses for the Governor Prence Inn property is open for responses until Jan. 9 and available online here . Results of the brief opinion poll created by the town’s consultant, Barrett Planning Group, will be available Jan. 12 at 5:30 p.m. during a joint public meeting of the affordable housing committee, affordable housing trust board, planning board, and select b...

Wanted: Candidates For Elected Boards In 2021

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Who isn’t running for town offices next May is as interesting as who is. After many years on the elementary school committee, Josh Stewart won’t run again. He’ll remain on the regional committee. The three incumbents whose seats on the library board of trustees are up for election – Carolyn Dowd, Mary Beth Fincke, and Mary Reuland – will have served two consecutive three-year terms and will have to...

Orleans Stays On Course Through A Stormy Year

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — “The story of 2019 is how different it was from 2018.” Darn. We should have saved last year’s lead for this year’s annual round-up. In 2020, a pandemic swept the world like a nor’easter that wouldn’t quit. Every day, it blew down another familiar part of the landscape: in-classroom learning, committee meetings at town hall, the day program at the senior center, the annual police block party, the...

ORLEANS — Pennrose LLC’s plan to create 62 units of mixed income and affordable housing at the former Cape Cod Five operations center underwent an informal review by the site plan review committee Dec. 16. There were compliments for the effort but some concerns as well. “This is an awesome project, very much welcomed by the fire department,” said Fire Inspector Greg Baker. “We’re looking forward to a large c...

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 ...