Public Works Facility Approved, Beach Repairs Forthcoming...
Bourne voters had a town meeting last night, and numerous actions were voted on. This is a very important town meeting, as it is the one performed just before the summer people show up and vote No on everything. It is an annual tradition in Cape Cod towns, and a series of heated town meetings were held from Provincetown to Pocasset.
The big ticket item at the Bourne town meeting concerned a long-debated public works facility. This one has been kicking around for some time, but it was pretty much laid to rest last night as voters approved funding for the project. The vote tally was 232-22, with over 90% of the town voters favoring it.
This will lead to a 40,000 sq. foot complex being built in Bournedale. It's going up near the Elementary School. It will have room for offices and maintenance areas. The town has 180 vehicles or so, and they will be stored/fixed here.
Voters rejected the project last November, but the proponents hung tough and their efforts led to a landslide YES vote from the 254 people who showed up. As always, this column urges citizens to keep informed and offer their votes when the opportunity presents itself. Bourne has a bit more than 18,000 residents.
They also approved a $6.3 million debt exclusion, although the project will need an override on the May 21st town ballot. Overrides must be approved at both a town meeting and a town election.
The project has an estimated retail value of $11 million. If you live in Bourne and own a $300,000 house, you'll pay roughly $36 more dollars on your taxes the first year, and your annual payments on it will go down over the next 20 years of the debt.
Also on the menu last night:
- Votes approved $200,000 for Sagamore Beach storm repairs. A series of powerful winter storms did major damage to the beach and parking areas, which will now be fixed up for summer time. Sagamore Beach faces nor'easter-prone Cape Cod Bay.
- Firefighters will be happy, as $255,000 in raises were approved by the town's voters.
- Voters approved $4 million in capital improvement projects. Among these are upgrades to police and fire department equipment, a technology upgrade at Bourne High School, and renovations at the Hen Cove pier.
- Part of that $4 million will be used to get generators for the Bourne Veterans Memorial Community Center, which will allow it to be used as a shelter during storm emergencies. Keep in mind, I went to a dedication ceremony last year where they unveiled a high-water mark sign for the 1938 Great New England Hurricane, and that water mark would put about 4 feet of water in the VMCC.