Some meetings in Provincetown are in person, some are online, and some are both. Click on the meeting you want to attend on the calendar at provincetown-ma.gov for a link to an agenda and details.
Thursday, May 26
- Board of Assessors, 11 a.m., Town Hall
- Public Pier Corp. Board, 4 p.m.
- Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Friday, May 27
- Airport Commission, 2 p.m., Municipal Airport
Wednesday, June 1
- Historic District Commission, 3:30 p.m.
- Harbor Committee, 5 p.m., Town Hall
Thursday, June 2
- Council on Aging Board, 10 a.m., Veterans Memorial Community Center
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Fencing in the Old Reliable
Town officials agreed on May 23 to investigate the cost of putting a fence around the perimeter of the former Old Reliable Fish House at 227R Commercial St., where a fire broke out on April 24.
The suspected cause of that fire, the second in seven years, was a cigarette butt left in an abandoned car, where people were likely taking shelter. Two vehicles, clothes, bottles, and drug paraphernalia were found in the wreckage of the fire. The grounds of the former restaurant and the hulking building itself have attracted vagrants for years. The fire seven years ago was also caused by people living inside the former restaurant.
This is why neighbors including Rob Anderson, owner of The Canteen next door to the Old Reliable property, have been calling for the area to be secured, Anderson told the Independent last month.
The owner, Bradford Rose, has not responded to the town’s orders to secure the property. Developer Christine Barker, who hopes to buy the parcel pending resolution of a lawsuit with another neighbor, Patrick Patrick, owner of Marine Specialties, has said she is unable to maintain a property that she does not own.
That leaves the town to pursue security at taxpayer expense. Town Manager Alex Morse told the select board on May 23 that he is doing a cost-benefit analysis of putting a lien on the property to force the new owner to pay the expenses of locking up the property. Obtaining a lien, however, comes with hefty court costs, Morse said.
So far, the town has spent $7,000 clearing the property and boarding up the building. Morse said town staff patrol the area regularly with some success. Fewer people congregate there than they did before the fire, he said. But fencing, he said, would be costly.
“There must be some simple way to protect it other than a fence,” said board member Louise Venden, suggesting lighting and a motion sensor.
Board member Leslie Sandberg pushed Morse to find out the cost of a fence.
“What if we had another fire,” Sandberg said. “People are very concerned. People would like it torn down, and I am not going there yet. We are liable if it’s sitting there like that, because we know it’s open and we know it is a hazard.” —K.C. Myers