Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Water Issue Passed At Eastham Town Meeting

The Eastham Annual Town Meeting was held last night at the Nauset Regional High School. For the most part, it was a very positive affair, with only one item on the packed warrant defeated (see Article 18, below). Here is a summary of some of the interesting articles addressed last night.....
  • Article 8 - Municipal Water - this is known as Phase 1 of the ultimate water system, to cover the affected area plus run pipes throughout the town for fire protection. Cost is $45.8M. It passed overwhelmingly with 858 'yes' and 140 'no' votes. It needed a 2/3 vote. Passed.
  • Article 17 - Rock Harbor Dredge - a project split with Orleans to dredge Rock Harbor. Passed.
  • Article 18 - Rooms Tax - to impose a 4% tax on summer rental homes. This would require the state legislature to approve it prior to any collection of taxes and would have first been applied to 2015 rentals. Defeated. 
  • Article 21 - Sign Code - long overdue regulations for signs in Town. Passed.
  • Article 22 - N. Eastham 'Overlay' Zoning District - a complicated new zoning district, that will cover the varied area mostly between Rt 6 and the bike path from Arnold's Restaurant to the northern junction of Nauset Rd and intended to encourage innovative development and more 'home town friendly' areas, such as shops, cafes, walking paths, Senior housing, etc. Passed.
  • Article 31 - Buy 3.41 acres of Bay-front land adjacent to the Town property at the end on Dyer Prince Rd. The Town had a right of first refusal on the land and voted to purchase it at just under $1.5M. This will expand an area known in Town as 'Dog Beach'. Passed.  
  • Article 35 and 36 - Private Road Maintenance and Plowing - designed to provide improved access to areas of town where the private roads are in bad shape. Primarily to provide access for emergency vehicles. Passed.
  • Article 38 - Brackett Organic Common Fields - this was a petition to encourage the Town to set aside an acre of land for towns-folk to plant 'victory' gardens. The work would be entirely volunteered. This has been the pet-project of Nate Nickerson, the owner of Arnold's Restaurant, who recalls when that area was completely planted with Eastham turnips. Passed.
The meeting dragged on until shortly after 11 PM, and lacked the unruly nature that recent meetings have had. Very tedious, but civilized. Democracy at work.

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