Town Hall is closed. The meetings listed below are still posted but may change. Check the town’s website, www.eastham-ma.gov, for information on meeting schedule changes and how to view and take part remotely.
Monday, March 23
- Select Board, 5:30 p.m., Earle Mountain Meeting Room, Town Hall
Tuesday, March 24
- Conservation Commission, 8:15 a.m., 555 Old Orchard Road
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m., Earle Mountain Meeting Room, Town Hall
Wednesday, March 25
- Finance Committee, 5 p.m., Earle Mountain Meeting Room, Town Hall
- Open Space Committee, 6:30 p.m., Small Meeting Room, Town Hall
Thursday, March 26
- Board of Health, 3 p.m., Earle Mountain Meeting Room, Town Hall
- Joint School Committees, 6 p.m., Earle Mountain Meeting Room, Town Hall
Select Board Conducts Virtual Hearing
Monday’s select board meeting had some of the trappings of an old-time séance, with disembodied voices speaking through the ether. The voices were those of the finance committee, and they were coming out of a device board chair Aimee Eckman described as “our little Starship Enterprise phone.”
With town hall closed to the public, business went on, if not quite as usual. The board and committee held their required hearing on the capital budget for the coming fiscal year and the capital plan for FY2022-26 as well as the proposed operating budget. Eckman encouraged viewers on cable Channel 18 to call the number on their screen (the meeting was also being streamed on the town’s website) and leave a voice message or text. No one took her up on the offer.
Eckman said the website will have more information shortly on how to obtain permits and inspections. “You can call or email department members,” she said. “Someone will get back to you regarding permitting.” She noted that, while Cape schools are closed, food will be served at the elementary school between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Before adjourning the meeting, Eckman said, “Be kind to one another and stay well.”
T-Time Teams Get to Work
The T-Time Development Committee, charged with making recommendations for use of the 11 acres of town-owned land at the former driving range on Route 6, broke into three working groups last week to study the site’s potential community development, economic development, and infrastructure.
Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said the community development group could look at ideas such as a community center, housing, and anything else related to human services, while the economic development subcommittee could examine options for private business, such as “a rental situation for the town” that creates income or a public-private partnership with a non-profit organization. The infrastructure group, she said, could address access to the site, utilities, and “what we want or don’t want there.”
In introducing the concept, chairman Scott Kerry said the subcommittees would report back to the full membership regularly. The next committee meeting is set for March 31.
No Joint Meeting for Nauset Town FinComs
There won’t be an extraordinary joint meeting of the finance committees of the four towns in the Nauset system after all. Eastham Finance Committee Chair Jerry Cerasale said the notion of gathering the boards to review the high school rebuild project never got beyond the discussion phase because of virus-related restrictions on gatherings.
Don’t Drop In; Call Instead
The town is asking citizens to avoid the lobbies of the police and fire departments for non-emergency matters. You can call the police at 508-255-0551 and the fire dept. at 508-255-2324. In an emergency, call 911.
A green energy package in the long-range capital plan has been moved forward to the next fiscal year’s capital budget. “It’s a wonderful opportunity we have through CVEC [Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative] and other suppliers to have new electric vehicles including charging stations,” Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said Monday. “There’ll be two [stations] at town hall and one at the library. The one at the library will be open to the public. Both town hall charging stations will be open to the public during business hours and charging our two new electric vehicles at night.”
According to CVEC, Beebe said, some of the solar power generated at the library, which is already at net-zero energy use, can be used to run the charging stations at no cost to the town.
The shift in years was made possible by the community preservation committee’s vote to recommend funding for improvements to town hall, a project that had been in the capital budget.
Bottle Battle Resolved
After some discussion, the select board approved a municipal plastics policy that prohibits the town’s purchase of single-use plastic bottles of water and their sale on town property. That would apply to private vendors who sell water at the town’s beaches and at Windmill events.
Select Board Chair Aimee Eckman pushed to include other liquids in the ban, but the board agreed to alert vendors to that possible change rather than require it now.
Town Meeting Warrant Is Tweaked
The proposed Family Support Package will be accomplished in two steps at town meeting in May, according to a reordering of the warrant reviewed by the select board and finance committee Monday.
Article 9 would create an education, housing, and human services special purposes stabilization fund with $495,000. Article 10 would transfer all but $100,000 of that amount to the general fund, where it would be used for preschool payments, free lunch programs, and other efforts to support working families. The $100,000 remaining in the stabilization fund could be called on by the affordable housing trust once it identifies an appropriate project.
An article just added would transfer 21 town-owned acres in the National Seashore around the District H well to a permanent conservation restriction. “There are nine vernal pools in that area,” Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe said. “There are some beauties that look like ponds.” —Ed Maroney