While 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 21
- Affordable Housing Trust, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, May 26
- Conservation Commission site visits, 8:15 a.m.
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m.
Thursday, May 28
- Board of Health, 3 p.m.
- Joint School Committee, 6 p.m.
No June Annual Town Meeting
Rather than gamble on conditions being right for a June gathering, the select board agreed Monday with Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe that the annual town meeting should take place in the fall.
Beebe said plans to address the Nauset Regional High School building project in the fall — possibly on Sept. 21 or 28 — rather than the spring “was what really committed us to the fall. Do we really need two town meetings in a time when we’re already totally challenged? Any day in September or October is fine as long as we can take a vote [on the project] at the ballot box at the November election.”
The state is allowing towns that decide against a June meeting to spend 1/12 of their current fiscal year’s budget on a month-to-month basis after the fiscal year ends June 30, until town meeting is held.
The town election is still on for June 23, with polls open from noon to 6 p.m. Applications for mail-in ballots are going out to all households in hopes of avoiding a crush at the ballot box.
Aquaculture License Revoked
With shellfishing members Al Cestaro and Jared Collins recusing themselves, the three remaining select board members voted unanimously Monday to revoke the aquaculture license of Nathan Davis and suspend his commercial shellfish permit and that of David Howe.
Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said complaints were made that soft-shell clams had been placed on Davis’s new grant, and that an investigation by the shellfish constable and the state environmental police confirmed the allegations.
“An entire shellfish aquaculture community could be damaged by placement of product from another source,” Beebe said. “It’s one of the most fundamental rules of aquaculture.”
The town administrator read a communication from Davis, who said he had been unable to take the day off given that “the fishing industry is very unstable,” but hoped “to appear before a non-biased arbitrator” and “clear my name of false allegations.”
“A lot of people out there are doing things correctly,” board chair Aimée Eckman said. “If all their grants get contaminated, shame on us if we don’t step in to stop this kind of behavior.
Rock Harbor Improvements
The Rock Harbor parking and ramp project may be completed as soon as mid-July, harbormaster Scott Richards told the select board Monday. “Everything has to be fabricated,” he said. “Companies for fabrication were furloughed” because of the pandemic but will now be able to get back to work.
The town has three commercial slips on the Orleans side of the harbor, and the fire dept.’s boat “will go in this weekend,” the harbormaster said, next to the historic Coast Guard rescue boat’s spot. —Ed Maroney
It’s OK to Play on Field of Dreams
Eastham Recreation is keeping the basketball and pickleball courts at the Field of Dreams open, Director Christine Mickle told the recreation commission May 13. They’ll be available, she said, as long as people abide by social distancing guidelines.
The courts and playground were built with $500,000 in community preservation funds, approved in 2016. In 2018, $71,000 was added for phase two: new dugouts at the baseball/softball fields, landscaping and rock removal, and a 10-foot protective fence along the walkway. Rec committee chair Ed Casarella said Cape Cod Tech had won the bid for construction, but the pandemic has disrupted scheduling.
The commission has an article in this year’s town meeting warrant to tap $375,000 in community preservation funds for playground improvements at Wiley Park. “I don’t envision any problem of the article going through, but we have to wait for town meeting,” Casarella said.
Although summer recreation camp was approved for seven weeks at the high school, Mickle wasn’t sure it will happen. She said the department’s seasonal hires are on hold, and she couldn’t say when the beach sticker office will open. Ordinarily, stickers aren’t required for town bay beaches and ponds until June 20. —Ryan Fitzgerald