Orleans Moves Forward With Nauset Beach Agreement Extension

ORLEANS – Following a lengthy negation period, selectmen from Orleans have approved a draft agreement for the long term management of Nauset Beach with their counterparts in Chatham.

The two towns have quibbled for years over costs associated with beach management, over who is allowed to patrol where, and over over-sand vehicle usage and fees.

During the meeting, Orleans Town Administrator John Kelly indicated that Chatham officials have been somewhat less than cooperative throughout the process.

“We asked them how they’re going to take over the management, patrol, and enforcement of their mile of beach beginning in May,” Kelly told the board, “The letter that we got back indicated that they’re not a position do any of that until the two subcommittees of both towns meet.”

Under the agreement, Orleans would continue to be responsible for the operation of the gatehouse, while each individual town would handle patrols on their respective portions of the beach. A barrier would be set up to separate the two sides of the beach.

Orleans officials say that only patrolling their side of the beach will save them money, allowing them to better cope with the more than $130,000 they lose each year operating their ORV program.

Kelly told selectmen that with Chatham refusing to engage, Orleans had little choice but to move ahead.

“Given the information we’ve gotten from them I don’t know how you are able to make any other decision,” he said, “since they are continuing to reference in their order of conditions that Orleans is responsible for their beach, and that’s what they continue to reference in there communications with this board.”

Following the unanimous vote from Orleans Selectmen, the draft proposal was sent over to Chatham for their consideration. If approved, the agreement would be in place through April 2019.

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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