Barnstable County Commissioners Reauthorize Funding to Keep Route 6 Rest Area Open

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County Commissioners again voted to provide funding to the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce to keep the Route 6 rest area open during the tourist season in the short-term.

Commissioners are allowing $40,000 from the Cape & Islands License Plate funds to be used by the chamber to maintain the facility, which is visited about 100,000 times per year between Memorial Day and Columbus Day.

County Commission chairman Leo Cakounes, who lost bid for re-election, said the rest area, which is located between exits 6 and 7 eastbound, has been a thorn in his side and wishes a long-term solution could have been resolved during his tenure.

“I think it is very important that we keep this rest area open, but I am also going to publicly encourage my two fellow commissioners that you continue to do everything in your power to get a long-term solution for that rest area.”

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation licenses the operation of the rest area to the county on a year-to-year basis.

A long-term lease for the rest area would require federal approval.

County Administrator Jack Yunits said keeping the rest area open is important.

“For $20,000 a year to support 100,000 visitors it is obviously a great investment for Cape Cod,” Yunits said.

Discussions have been underway for the last several years about trying to get a public/private partnership for the operations of a rest area. Plans would be to have the country sublease the property to a commercial organization to operate a convenience store or fast food restaurant that would maintain the property and restrooms.

The Cape’s legislative delegation has worked with the state’s federal delegation to lobby the Federal Highway Administration for support and approval.

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