From wellfleet-ma.gov, hover your mouse over a date on the calendar on the right of the screen, and click on the meeting you’re interested in to open its agenda. That document will provide information about how to view and take part remotely.
Thursday, Aug. 13
- Housing Authority and Housing Partnership, 10 a.m.
- Nauset School Committee, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 14
- High Toss View Development-Proprietors, 6 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 17
- Energy and Climate Action Committee, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 18
- Emergency Management Team and Select Board Community Update Calls, 10 a.m.
- Open Space Committee, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 19
- Conservation Commission, 4 p.m.
As of Aug. 9, Wellfleet had four active cases, seven cleared cases, and one death as a result of the coronavirus.
Beach Crowd Control
The select board extended the required date for beach stickers to Sept. 27 in a unanimous vote on Tuesday. “The intent is primarily to help control potential crowds,” said board member Ryan Curley, who first pitched the idea of extending the date at the Aug. 4 emergency management team meeting. Hurley said the rental agency We Need a Vacation told him they are seeing a 25-percent increase in fall rentals compared to last year. He added, “We know that September is one of the busiest months in terms of shark safety; in terms of public safety, it’s really beneficial to have lifeguards on beaches in the month of September.” Beach Administrator Suzanne Grout Thomas supported the idea, saying the extension is worth it just to keep lifeguards on the beach. She added that the move is unlikely to yield the town any additional revenue.
New Committee in Town
The Rights to Public Access Committee is Wellfleet’s newest regulatory committee. The select board voted unanimously to establish the group at Tuesday’s meeting. The task of the committee will be to maintain, establish, and improve public access to town landings. The group’s primary focus will be on re-opening access to shellfish tidelands, according to select board member Ryan Curley, who proposed the committee’s formation to the board. “We just need a dedicated body to take on this responsibility,” he said.
Chair Mike DeVasto supported the idea, explaining that shellfishing is allowed on private tidal flats, but some can be accessed only by trespassing on private property. Former member Kathleen Bacon opposed the new committee. “We have committees in place to deal with these issues,” she said. “They may need more help or more members, but I’m kind of against forming another committee.” Shellfish Constable Nancy Civetta disagreed, saying, “A lot of committees work on this, but we need one committee working on this so it’s all in one place. My department cannot do it; we do not have the resources,” Civetta added.
Play Structure Dismantled
The wooden structure at the Wellfleet Elementary School playground has been deemed unsafe after a child was recently injured on it, according to select board member Ryan Curley. The Dept. of Public Works is in the process of dismantling the structure. Curley added that the cleared space will be used for outdoor learning when classes start again on Sept. 16.
A Major Land Gift
The Wellfleet Conservation Trust (WCT) received a gift on Aug. 5 of 18.5 acres overlooking the Herring River on the east side of Chequessett Neck Road. The land is the major portion of a 20-acre parcel purchased by the donor, Jacqualyn Fouse, from the Chequessett Yacht and Country Club Trust last week for $6.7 million.
“We really love the land, and we are grateful to get it,” said Dennis O’Connell, president of the trust. It is the largest gift of land the WCT has ever received.
The property had been part of the club’s plans to renovate its golf course, according to a statement from the trust. Most of the land could have been built on, said O’Connell.
“WCT will keep the area in its natural state, preserving the habitat and natural functions of the land,” said the trust’s statement. “The Trust will create limited walking trails to scenic views across the Herring River valley.”
Fouse owns a house adjacent to the new conservation land. She also donated 30,000 square feet of undeveloped land on Chequessett Neck Road, worth about $40,000, to the trust in 2015. She has been the CEO of Agios Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge-based developer of anti-cancer drug therapies, since February 2019. —Devin Sean Martin