Chatham News

Petitions Would Limit Use Of Airport

By: Tim Wood

Select Board: Proposals Likely To Be Ruled Illegal CHATHAM – Proponents of two petition town meeting articles that seek to restrict use of Chatham Municipal Airport say the measures are compromises that aim to ensure the safety of both pilots and people on the ground. Pilots and airport officials, however, said the proposals would make the airport less safe, and attorneys for the select board and airport co...

Split Board Favors Using Ellis Property For Housing

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — On a 3-2 vote, the select board will be urging voters to use a town-owned house and barn at 127 Old Harbor Rd. for affordable or attainable housing. The property was bequeathed to the town by the late Marion Nickerson Ellis, whose will stipulated that the property should continue to be used for a playground and that no buildings other than the existing house and barn should be placed there. Used fo...

Select Board: Runway Zoning Plan Won’t Fly

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Saying the article is unclear and unlikely to win support at town meeting, the selectmen last Tuesday sent a proposed runway protection overlay district back to the planning board for more work. The night before, the planning board held a lengthy public hearing on the zoning bylaw amendment and failed to reach a majority vote on whether to recommend approval, with one member endorsing the article, ...

Select Board Favors Middle Ground For Middle Road

By: Alan Pollock

Supports Both Housing And Open Space CHATHAM — With dueling town meeting articles seeking to map out the future of 17 acres of town-owned land on Middle Road, the select board this week threw its support behind a compromise plan that sets aside four acres to create housing units, saving the remainder as conservation land. Both articles will be on the annual warrant, so the town’s voters will have the final s...

CHATHAM — One hundred years ago this year, Chatham decided it was time to get tough on crime. Voters debated the idea carefully before deciding to create the town’s own police force, and throughout 2022, the Chatham Police Department will be celebrating its centennial. Cape Cod in the 1920s was not exactly a hotbed of criminal activity. Orleans, Harwich and surrounding towns routinely appropriated $100 annua...

CHATHAM – Members of the council on aging board want nothing to do with the former Chatham Health and Swim Club property. On Monday the board voted unanimously against adding the shuttered health club on Crowell Road to a feasibility study now being conducted on two sites where a new senior center could be located. Board members said linking the health club property to a new senior center could endanger a posi...

CHATHAM – The community preservation committee is recommending that significantly less money be devoted to the town's affordable housing trust fund than the trust board requested. Town officials had asked that 80 percent of this year's community preservation act revenue – $1.2 million – be directed to the trust, but last week community preservation committee (CPC) members voted to recommend that voters provide...

Select Board Wary Of Fish Gear Storage Plan

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The select board is less than enthusiastic about a plan seeking up to $200,000 to create a new gear storage area for a small handful of commercial fishermen. Voters at the May annual town meeting will see an article seeking an as yet undetermined amount of money for the project, which relocates the fishermen’s storage area from its current site at the airport to a proposed new location by the waste...

CHATHAM – The Eldredge Public Library is already a beloved institution. The goal of a new five-year strategic plan release last week is to make it even more of a centerpiece of the community. The plan, required in order for the library to qualify for state and federal grants, includes five broad goals with specific actions identified by the staff to meet the goals. “Some of this is already in progress,” sai...

Commissioners: Neglected Cemeteries To Get TLC

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — In recent months, the town’s cemeteries have been buried in challenges: intermittent maintenance, a lack of leadership, spotty landscaping and a shortage of support staff. But the town’s cemetery commissioners say they’re ready to start digging out from those problems, thanks to some renewed attention from the town. The select board took up the topic last week at the prompting of resident Judy Patter...

CHATHAM – After four years in office, select board member and current chair Peter Cocolis has decided not to seek re-election. “This has been a third career, in a lot of ways,” Cocolis said of his time with the board. It's kept him busy, but he said it's time to step back and devote more time to his family, especially his four grandchildren. Cocolis' term on the board is up in May. His decision leaves at le...

Select Board Backs Preschool Grant Program

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Calling it a potential game-changer for young working families, the select board Tuesday threw its support behind a plan to provide grants to help defray the cost of preschool for families of three- and four-year-olds. Modeled on a similar program in Orleans, the proposed Chatham Preschool Family Support Program would provide up to $10,000 annually for four-year-olds and $5,000 for three-year-olds, t...