Topics: Orleans news

ORLEANS – When Joanna Meager takes the stage at this year's Rock To Stop Homelessness event, she'll be doing more than entertaining a crowd. The Harwich native and mother of two will embody the event's cause. About six years ago, Meager, her husband and children were forced to find a new place to live on short notice. "Our landlord at the time sold the house out from underneath us, and we had 30 days to get ou...

ORLEANS – Local officials hope a new outdoor entertainment license application will help the town steer clear of the complaints and confusion that frustrated some businesses and residents last year. The board's decision last spring to allow live outdoor music at the Barley Neck Inn led to a dispute between the Beach Road restaurant and some abutters who complained about noise and parking problems at the establ...

ORLEANS – A new town position and committee are being recommended to help steer economic development efforts downtown and in the area of Town Cove. Creating an economic development and tourism director position and corresponding committee was among several recommendations in a draft economic development plan presented to the planning board last week. The planning board has been working with Streetsense Cons...

ORLEANS – After almost 70 years, Orleans may soon have a new library. Steven Gass, who chairs the Snow Library's board of trustees, made his pitch to the select board March 23 to allocate north of $20 million in capital improvement spending over the next three fiscal years to build a new library. The trustees proposed spending $150,000 for a feasibility study in fiscal 2025, $1 million for a design contract in...

ORLEANS – Sewer rate projections were presented to the select board last week, but members questioned how those numbers will hold up once the town's new treatment plant and wastewater collection system is up and running. The 1,105 anticipated sewer users downtown are expected to begin tying into the system in September when the new plant on Overland Way goes online. Tom Daley, the town's public works director,...

ORLEANS – An override request is heading to this spring's town election to offset the town's higher-than-anticipated contribution to the Nauset Regional School District budget for the coming fiscal year. Orleans has 27 additional students attending Nauset schools for the coming 2022-2023 school year. As a result, the town's share of the regional school budget is $627,032, or 2.3 percent, higher than what the t...

ORLEANS – A request for funding to restore the Orleans Community Center on Main Street will not go before town meeting voters this spring as hoped. But advocates behind the project aren't about to throw in the towel on plans for the historic building. "We are committed to making this happen," Alan McClennen, who chairs the town's community center renovation task force, told the select board March 16. McClen...

ORLEANS – As the town's first fire station, there's no arguing the historic value of the Main Street Community Center. But the community preservation committee wasn't sold on the need to spend $2 million to restore the aging building. The committee voted 5-4 March 10 against endorsing the use of Community Preservation Act funds to make improvements to and bring up to code the building at 44 Main St., which dat...

ORLEANS – Parking restrictions and fees could be in the cards for additional town landings, but not in time for the coming summer season. Select board members on March 9 said they didn't see a wide enough window to expand the restrictions and implement fees in time for this spring's annual town meeting, the warrant for which closes April 6. Restrictions were put in place last year at Cove Road Landing, Wild...

ORLEANS – Can equity in sewer betterments be achieved for users downtown and in the area of Meetinghouse Pond? If the select board's public hearing on the matter March 9 is any indication, it doesn't seem likely. "I think what we can take away from all of this is there is no fair and equitable way to assess a betterment in this town," Finance Director Cathy Doane told the board at the conclusion of the two-hou...

ORLEANS – If Orleans wants to boost its economic profile, it needs to make better use of its waterfront and downtown areas. That's according to the consulting firm Streetsense, which the town hired in the fall to steer its economic development plan. The planning board was updated on the firm's findings to date at its Jan. 25 meeting. Streetsense's work began in November with a tour of the town's downtown ar...

ORLEANS – Water quality experts say that sewering is likely the best option for treating phosphorus loading in Baker Pond. The marine and fresh water quality committee was presented Jan. 24 with a draft final study on the 28-acre pond, which is on the Orleans-Brewster town line. The pond is the last of four waterways in town the committee has identified for study, with management plans already underway for Unc...

ORLEANS – By most accounts around town, the planned renovation of the Main Street Community Center represents a noticeable improvement to the existing building. But the Orleans Historical Commission has more specific concerns, namely whether the proposed work constitutes a historic restoration of the property. Commission members voted 5-0 Jan. 26 to find that they lacked the information needed to make a recomm...

ORLEANS – Is it a boat, or is it a sign? The zoning board of appeals on Feb. 2 will again take up the status of the boat out in front of Atlantic Workshop, even though the business' owner already won an appeal of an order calling for its removal in 2020. Scott Feen, who owns and runs the business out of his home at 94 Main St., is appealing a letter he received in November from the town's building commissio...

ORLEANS – If the town wants to move ahead with dredging the Nauset Estuary, some important questions need addressing. Questions include the location of the town boundary in the project area separating Orleans from Eastham, and can the boundary be moved? Town Counsel Michael Ford summarized for the select board Jan. 19 where things stand regarding the boundary as it relates to plans to follow through on the dre...

Orleans Due State, County ARPA Funds

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – Between state and federal COVID-19 funding and anticipated revenue from two recreational marijuana shops due to open in town, more money is coming to Orleans. But town officials need more guidance on how to spend it. The select board on Jan. 19 had a preliminary discussion on what the town can expect from state and county COVID-19 relief funding and tried to get a sense of how that money can and cann...