Orleans News

ORLEANS — The Nauset Regional School Committee approved an assessment of $25,305,688 last week for the fiscal year beginning July 1, a 2.49 percent increase that “has the potential of meeting the desires of our sending selectmen and finance committees in terms of expectations for the budget,” Superintendent Tom Conrad said March 4. The budget, which includes expenditures for the middle school, high school, a...

ORLEANS — Is the Governor Prence Inn property the hill affordable housing advocates want to die on? In a joint meeting Tuesday night, the affordable housing committee and affordable housing trust board considered what advice to give the select board the following evening about acquiring the parcel for housing and other uses. By March 15, the select board must decide whether to ask this spring’s town meeting ...

ORLEANS — The town charter lays out how the town works – but is it working for everyone? Every seven years, a charter review committee takes a look at the document (readable and searchable at ecode360.com/14345881). Under the chairmanship of former selectman Jon Fuller, the current committee is determined to reach out not only to department heads, elected officials, and appointed board members but also to th...

ORLEANS — With a structural deficit no longer looming in next fiscal year’s budget, the select board considered last week what programs and services could be added back into the spending plan. A projected unused tax levy capacity of $640,000 allowed the board to develop a list of potential additions ranging from increased hours for a part-time video technician to creation of a part-time recreation coordinato...

ORLEANS — With site plan approval in hand, Pennrose, LLC, which plans to build 62 affordable housing units at the former Cape Cod 5 operations center on West Road, is moving toward a March 17 review by the zoning board of appeals. Proceeding under a “friendly” Chapter 40B zoning procedure, the developer has been reaching out to various town boards and the community for comments on its proposal, and the zonin...

Enterprise Funds To Reveal True Costs Of Services

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Town meeting will see a different budget approval process this May. Services such as the transfer station and beaches will be presented as separate, mostly self-funding enterprise funds outside the annual operating budget. The new approach is intended to show the true costs of the operations, including indirect costs, and the amount of subsidy needed from property taxes as the funds transition to full...

ORLEANS — Is it worth it to the citizens of the four member towns of the Nauset school system to pay for a revamped high school that will serve their children but also hundreds of students from other Cape communities which will not help pay for the project? That’s a question that has caused deep divisions in Brewster, Eastham, Orleans, and Wellfleet, including split votes on a couple of finance committee...

ORLEANS — Moving ahead on collecting and treating wastewater required buy-in from a wide variety of town committees and other groups of citizens. Now some are feeling the need for a professional coordinator devoted to monitoring progress and keeping everyone on track as initiatives expand to encompass areas outside downtown, including ponds, and innovative treatment methods. “There are a lot of policy decisi...

ORLEANS — The conservation commission is ready to approve an alum treatment for impaired Uncle Harvey’s Pond. The board closed public comment Feb. 16 and scheduled a vote on an order of conditions for March 2. The treatment, recommended in a study by the UMass Dartmouth Coastal Systems Group that was seconded by the town’s marine and freshwater quality committee, would reduce available phosphorus in the pond...

Sidelined under the Trump administration, the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission seems poised for a comeback. Last Thursday, Congressman Bill Keating, D–9th District, reintroduced legislation to reauthorize the commission, which has been disbanded since its previous authorization ended in 2018. The bill is the same one Keating introduced in the last Congress, which passed in the House in November 2...

ORLEANS — Isaac Snow was no Anglophile. The Eastham native, twice imprisoned by the British during the Revolutionary War, returned to America with the help of the French. In 1797, when the south parish of Eastham became its own town and needed a name, Snow urged that the new community be called Orleans in honor of the revolutionary spirit of a Gallic aristocrat who became known as “Citizen Equality.” Just a ...

Nauset Superintendent Tom Conrad To Retire In June

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS  — Tom Conrad’s long service to the Nauset Public Schools, first as principal of the high school and then as superintendent, will end with his retirement in June. Conrad shared the news at a joint meeting of the Nauset school committees Feb. 3. “I have been truly blessed to be in public education over 43 years, 29 of which in the Nauset system,” he said. “I am totally grateful to be able to work in a ...