Town Hall is closed to the public. Meetings are being conducted remotely. Go to eastham-ma.gov/calendar-by-event-type/16 and click on a particular meeting to read its agenda. That document will provide information about how to view and take part remotely.
Thursday, May 7
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 9
- Eastham Public Library Board of Trustees, 9 a.m.
Tuesday, May 12
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, May 13
- Recreation Commission, 3 p.m.
- Finance Committee, 5 p.m.
Roundabout Discussion of T-Time
The T-Time Development Committee, which is expected to think outside the box about the town-owned property at 4790 State Highway, heard one such thought from Town Planner Paul Lagg when members met online April 28.
With left turns into and out of the property a potential headache, Lagg suggested building a roundabout to channel traffic in both directions. “I think the roundabout option on Route 6 alleviates the left-hand turn issue,” he said.
The meeting featured updates from the community development, economic development, and infrastructure subcommittees, with the first two focused on uses such as a community-recreation center, a senior center, mixed-use housing, and co-working space. Nothing is off the table yet.
Most of the conversation centered on traffic and access in and out of the site, a concern of the infrastructure subcommittee. Lagg was doubtful about using an access road for utilities at the rear of the property to connect to Brackett Road.
“I think running a road along the power lines would be difficult,” he said, noting that it would be hard to work with Eversource on that.
Another option would create a road to Brackett Road through adjoining properties. Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said the town needs to come up with a plan and have a discussion with neighboring business owners, which Beebe said she hoped could be professionally facilitated either by the Cape Cod Commission or some other entity to bring the businesses together in a creative way. The result could be a new kind of “main street,” if all businesses in the area came to agreement.
Town Meeting and Finances
The select board has not set a date for town meeting. Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe’s Plan A was to hold a shortened annual meeting in June to deal with essential budget-related articles and then a special town meeting in October to vote on the rest, including the Nauset Regional School Committee building project. Plan B would be to hold one town meeting in October. Both plans would take advantage of the Presidential election on Nov. 3 to address ballot questions.
The board has discussed two options for a June meeting: the 15th or the 29th. If it’s the former, that decision must be made by May 18.
The town “is fortunate in some areas,” Beebe said, “because we did not plan to spend any of our short-term rental tax. A month ago when people [in other towns] started panicking over revenue because they were using it this year, let alone next year, we didn’t have to. Our revenues are fine. Property taxes are coming in fine. We’re still providing all normal inspectional services. The only thing we’re not taking money for right now is short-term rental applications,” but the town is processing them. In addition, revenue from residential beach stickers is healthy.
Going with only a fall town meeting would mean delaying hiring for new positions until November or December and reduce expenses further.
Boat Lottery Storage on TV Friday
More than 170 applications were received in the town’s vessel storage lottery, and the winners will be drawn Friday at 10 a.m. with live coverage on Channel 18 and streaming video. “We’ll try to have as much fun with it as we can,” select board chair Aimee Eckman said May 4.
Shellfish Areas Reopened
The state has lifted shellfish taking closures, with the exception of blue mussels and Moon snails, for Nauset Harbor, Mill Pond, Town Cove, Nauset Marsh, and Salt Pond in Eastham and Orleans. The Div. of Marine Fisheries found that the level of biotoxins no longer exceeded standards.
Beer and Wine OK’d for Mac’s
The select board approved a beer and wine license last month for Mac’s Market and Kitchen at 4680 State Highway. The revised application confined consumption to on-premises; a plan to serve on the patio was withdrawn.
While praising the information provided as “fantastic” and the application as “setting a standard,” select board member Jamie Rivers said “the board should look at the number of licenses and make sure the framework set for the town is in line with our perspective, that the maximum number is a fair number, but not too high or low. We may want to look at that next year.” —Ed Maroney
A day after the board of health met and discussed issuing a mask-wearing advisory, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a statewide requirement that masks or other face coverings be worn, indoors and outdoors, whenever people are unable or choose not to maintain six feet of separation.
At the board’s April 30 meeting, Health Agent Jane Crowley said her department was working on signage for town beaches. “Particularly for our beaches, we’re going to need some kind of social distancing sign,” she said. “The whole topic is really important to our town, and we are trying our best to be proactive.”
The town’s beaches remain open to the public with no plan yet in place for the summer, Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said via e-mail.
Stewart Case Rescheduled
A pretrial conference in the case against Bill Stewart, owner of Stewart’s Restaurant, has been rescheduled for July 7 in Orleans District Court. The conference was originally scheduled for May 4 but was postponed due to the state of emergency for Covid-19, according to court dockets.
Stewart was accused by six women who were former employees at his restaurant of sexual harassment, but a magistrate hearing in 2019 found that charges could be brought by only one of the women. In April 2019, Stewart pleaded not guilty to charges of accosting a person of the opposite sex, threats to commit a crime, and assault and battery. —Ryan Fitzgerald