Ptown may merge with Nauset, Eastham may get Orleans' water

BannerBergman charged with attempting ‘hostile takeover’
Town manager’s plan to send PHS students to Nauset takes many by surprise

By Pru Sowers, Banner Correspondent

Keith BergmanPROVINCETOWN — Provincetown school authorities were shocked on Feb. 8 when they received a five-page memo from Town Manager Keith Bergman (on right), complete with footnotes, maps and charts, answering several questions posed by the Finance Committee about merging the local high school into the Nauset Regional High School in Eastham.

And they were shaken to their core when they found out on Tuesday that Bergman had placed a draft article on the proposed warrant for April’s Town Meeting that would take the proposed school merger to the next level.

Article no. 5 was submitted to the Provincetown Board of Selectmen Monday night when the Town Meeting warrant was opened. The draft article, which has not been discussed or approved by the selectmen, calls for the School Committee and the selectmen to ask the Nauset school system to hold a formal conference to discuss accepting Provincetown’s high school students.

“It’s a hostile takeover,” said Terese Nelson, School Committee chair, about draft warrant article no. 5. “The only way we’ve been able to have information is that I was told by the chair of the Nauset School Committee that this was a done deal.”

Nauset School Committee chair Rick Wood had written a letter to the School Committee, sent on Feb. 10, that outlined transition plans to accept Provincetown students grades 9-12 into Nauset Regional High School in the fall of 2007. When he saw the confusion his letter caused, Wood asked Nelson if her School Committee had discussed the transition issue and was told that the discussion of closing the high school had begun only a few days before... Read the rest of this Banner story here, and comment below.

Orleans offers Eastham water supply for $2.7M
Amount is half of what its own town wide system would cost
By Emily Sussman, Banner Staff

EASTHAM — Though a $4.8 million limited municipal water supply system may still come before voters at Town Meeting in May, the joint water boards here are now considering a very different — and perhaps cheaper — source of public water: Orleans.

Orleans Board of Water Commissioners member Ken McKusik had made the tempting offer at last month’s joint Waste Water Management and Water Resources Advisory Boards meeting here.

As a town that pumps an average of one million gallons per day for its residents, McKusik said that Orleans could feasibly provide Eastham with 500,000 gallons of water daily from its $7 million water treatment facility, which was built last year.

Eastham residents currently get their water from private wells, which, according to the results of a three-year, town-wide testing program, are increasingly testing at threshold-level nitrate contamination, and are often tainted with high, though not dangerous, levels of iron.

As proposed by Orleans, the inter-town water would be run from a 12-inch water main spanning from the Orleans rotary five miles north to Cable Road. Installing that infrastructure, Orleans Water Supt. Lou Briganti estimated at last month’s meeting, would set Eastham back about $2.7 million.

And though $2.7 million is no small chunk of change for any town on the Cape, it’s just over half of a whopping $4.8 million that the town would have to shell out for installing a limited municipal water supply of its own. (Eastham is currently the only town on Cape Cod without either a limited or full public water supply system)...Read the rest of this Banner story here, and comment below.

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