Overflow Crowd at Sandwich Town Meeting Approves $1.2 Million Beach Nourishment Project

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Shawn Murray of Popes Meadow, Sandwich,speaks at Town Meeting in favor of a plan to use Community Preservation funds for beach nourishment.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Shawn Murray of Popes Meadow, Sandwich,speaks at Town Meeting in favor of a plan to use Community Preservation funds for beach nourishment.

SANDWICH – Sandwich residents spoke loud and clear at Town Meeting last night that they want sand dredged from the Cape Cod Canal to go on Sandwich beaches not dumped out in Cape Cod Bay.

A massive crowd of more than 800 Sandwich residents filed into the auditorium at Sandwich High School for an emergency Special Town Meeting with just one article on the warrant: to use $1.25 million in Community Preservation funds to pay for beach nourishment.

An overflow crowd of people who did not fit in the auditorium watched the proceedings from a television set up in the gymnasium and took votes from that room.

The meeting was delayed for a half hour as people continued to arrive for the meeting.

Sandwich Town Manager George “Bud” Dunham said he was not surprised about the number who turned out to the meeting to express their feelings about the beach nourishment project.

“No one wants to see that sand disposed of at sea. After all we’ve been through, it would be a complete waste. Hopefully this is just the first of several projects but we’re also realistic that these things don’t happen that often,” he said.

The last-minute effort by Sandwich town leaders to save the project appears to have been successful. The project seemed all but doomed earlier this summer when private property owners along the beach refused to sign paperwork granting the Army Corps of Engineers permanent easements over their land for the sand.

The Army Corps said the permanent easements were necessary for the project to go forward.

But after deadlines were missed for the signed paperwork, Dunham and other town officials continued to work on a solution.

The new plan is for 150,000 cubic yards of sand to be dumped on only town-owned property, not on any private property. Rather than split the cost with the Army Corps, the town must pay the entire amount.

The Army Corps needed the payment before it opened bids for the project, and the only quick way the town could see to get the cash to the Corps was by using Community Preservation funds.

The Sandwich Community Preservation Committee held an emergency meeting and voted unanimously to use $1.25 million in funds for the project.

The Sandwich Finance Committee also held an emergency meeting and approved the spending of the money.

All that was left was for Town Meeting to weigh in.

For the rest of the week, Dunham said he will ensure the town has signed the necessary paperwork to get the money to the Corps for the project.

The Corps has been delayed in the bidding process for the project and now plans to open the bids in October, he said.

The dredging and beach nourishment project needs to take place between November and March.

By LAURA M. RECKFORD, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

Comments

  1. Bill Murphy says:

    Newly deposited sand sure to be washed away and wasted if no sand is placed adjacent to it starting at Horizon’s restaurant and Eastward. Sand standing 200 feet out into the ocean will have no protection from storms originating in the West. Let go of the ire against the waterfront home owners and look to save the entire town for the long run. Lets not forget those homeowners are taxpayers too…

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