By Mary Ann Bragg, Banner Staff
PROVINCETOWN — A steady decline in government cash reserves in the last five years has kept the town’s bond rating the lowest of the 15 towns on Cape Cod, an analyst for Standard & Poor’s said this week. And on Monday, Town Manager Keith Bergman defended town government spending, which is the highest on a per capita basis on Cape Cod.
More than triple what Bourne spends
The town spends $5,913 per year-round resident from the General Fund, which includes police, schools and public works, according to the latest data from the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue. By comparison, the town of Bourne spends the least of any town on Cape Cod: $1,895 per year-round resident.
For General Fund spending that excludes schools, Provincetown is the highest at $4,669 per capita versus the lowest, Bourne, at $988 per capita.
And for capital spending Provincetown is also the highest per capita, at $2,864 per year-round resident. Sandwich is the lowest, at $28 per year-round resident.
In response, Bergman said use of a year-round population figure in the calculation does not capture the seasonal swing Provincetown experiences each summer, and the amount of government services required to support that influx. By his estimates the town’s population swells from 3,450 to between 30,000 and 60,000 visitors each summer. “I don’t know if there is any comparative data for the other towns,” Bergman said. “Does Yarmouth’s population grow ten- and twenty-fold, or does it merely double?” ... Read the rest of this Banner story here, and comment below.
Harsh Winter, Odd Jobs, Night Flights
January 24, 1918
HARSH WEATHER HAMPER’S FISHERMEN’S LIVELIHOOD
What with fish scarcity, high prices for bait and bad weather conditions, the present season’s shore trawl fishery appears doomed to failure. Half ended, this season’s work has proved very unprofitable to the many dorymen. They have double cause for disquiet in the continued absence of the cod and haddock schools and the prevalence of weather of unwonted severity. It is doubtful if worse weather than that of the past two months has been experienced by local shore trawling dories for a corresponding period during the past 40 years. To date, few dories have made much more than enough to cover running expenses, it is claimed. Gale has succeeded gale with but little intermission. Meanwhile, household upkeep costs more than at any time since the civil war days and unless weather conditions improve and the cod species multiply hereabouts quickly, it is feared there may be many destitute families in town by spring.
All fishing work is dangerous and full of hardships. Dory trawling in winter is, perhaps, the most dangerous and painful of all forms of fishing work. If any body of workers deserves rich reward it is the men who handle iced trawls far from shore in wintry gales. We fervently hope for the speedy, simultaneous advent of good weather, and many cod in the bay, whereby the fishermen’s fortunes may be repaired and they and their families be made glad. Read the rest of this Banner feature here, and comment below.