The DPW Decision in Truro
To the editor:
On Oct. 21, the citizens of Truro will be asked at a special town meeting to approve a number of articles that are critical to meet the needs of the community. Among these are a land use article requiring a two-thirds majority vote and a borrowing authorization of up to $35 million to fund the construction of a new DPW facility and related expenses.
Voters will also be asked to consider a petitioned article to explore an alternative proposal by a self-appointed four-member “DPW study group.” This group purports to offer a significantly cheaper alternative at an approximate projected cost of $15.5 million. The savings are primarily derived by maintaining the current facilities at Town Hall Road versus the select board’s recommendation to develop a town-owned parcel on Route 6.
The finance committee and select board have reviewed this proposal. While there may be some merit that can be incorporated into the current design by Weston & Sampson, the town’s contracted consultants, we find many of the assumptions and assertions in the alternative proposal to be problematic.
The request for borrowing authority for a new DPW facility is not made lightly and is supported by years of data. The town’s Request for Qualification to advise on the scope and scale of the project, issued in 2018, required respondents to meet specific criteria, including current Mass. licensing and experience. The citizen DPW study group does not include professionals either licensed or experienced in building municipal facilities in the Commonwealth. Their proposal is conceptual, and their $15.5-million figure does not represent the true cost of the project.
Please take the time to review the information available on the town website and review the finance committee and select board meetings to make an informed decision.
The writer is chair of the Truro Finance Committee.
Provincetown and the Seashore
To the editor:
In “Del Deos Accept 5-Year Permit for ‘Frenchie’s’ ” [Oct. 5, front page] there is the assertion that Sal’s late wife, Josephine Del Deo, “played a major part in persuading Provincetown voters to endorse the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961, according to her obituary in the New York Times by David W. Dunlap.”
The Birth of the Cape Cod National Seashore, a detailed account written in 1977 by Francis P. Burling, casts doubt on the implication that the citizens of Provincetown were enthusiastic about the CCNS proposal. Burling was managing editor of the Cape Codder during the years when that proposal was being debated.
According to Burling, although there were supporters of the Seashore idea, there was a movement in town to set aside several hundred acres to allow some expansion of the town. That proposal limiting the extent of the Park was rejected at a town meeting in March 1961, according to the Provincetown Advocate.
Burling’s thorough investigation mentions no other vote that would have indicated general local approval of the CCNS idea. (Any endorsement or show of disapproval would not in any case have been binding.)
Burling’s chapter titled “Local Opinion” shows that both Truro and Wellfleet strongly disapproved of the Seashore proposal. In a questionnaire sent to Truro residents, about 80 percent disapproved. And “of all the towns, probably Wellfleet showed the greatest opposition,” with Charlie Frazier, dubbed “Mr. Wellfleet,” leading the charge against.
It’s a great irony that the Park, long seen as one of the best things to ever happen to the Outer Cape, was so strenuously opposed locally when it was proposed. Do Provincetown’s residents in fact deserve credit for exhibiting more wisdom and farsightedness than their neighbors?
Editor’s note: The writer is correct in suggesting that the 1961 town meeting vote referred to in David W. Dunlap’s obituary for Josephine Del Deo was not technically an endorsement of the creation of the National Seashore but a rejection of the taking of the Province Lands by the town.
Turning Up the Heat
To the editor:
I just returned from Amsterdam, where bikes are lined up in rows four deep to head to work, shopping, taking kids to school. Although it was in the mid-60s and low 50s at night, our hotel didn’t have the heat turned on yet. They’re careful with energy use.
Returning home to Truro, we celebrated our anniversary in Provincetown at the Red Inn, where we had a beautiful room overlooking the bay and a wonderful dinner. At check-in, the employee said, “We keep the heat up, so if you are hot at night, just open some windows.” I didn’t think to ask how hot they kept the hotel at night, but it felt like high 70s. We opened windows and were still hot.
In the morning, I talked to a different employee at the front desk, explaining that we opened windows and wondering whether they might turn the heat down at night. He suggested that we turn on the air conditioning in our room.