Sandwich May Need More Money for Town Neck Renourishment Project

CCB MEDIA PHOTO The dunes of Town Neck Beach in Sandwich are carved from severe erosion.

The dunes of Town Neck Beach in Sandwich are carved from severe erosion.

SANDWICH –  It looks like Sandwich will have to come up with more money than originally approved to replenish Town Neck Beach with material dredged from the Cape Cod Canal.

An agenda was posted yesterday for a special Board of Selectmen meeting Thursday night that includes an item indicating a shortfall in beach funding.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened bids for the project Tuesday morning without publicly releasing the numbers.

The agenda for the special meeting was posted a short time later, but an email from Town Manager Bud Dunham said no additional information would be available until Thursday night.

Voters approved $1.2 million in Community Preservation Funds for the project last month. The state is kicking in another $1 million.

Sandwich received the final permit it needed in September from the Army Corps of Engineers to start the re-nourishment. It calls for 150,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from the canal to be placed on the beach on town owned property.

Sandwich Department of Natural Resources Director Mark Galkowski previously said the dredging was expected to start the first week of December.

The project has been plagued by delays. Earlier this year, private property owners along the beach refused to grant the Army Corps of Engineers permanent easements over their land earlier this summer.

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

Town officials continued to discuss a solution to get the sand after the deadline for the permanent easements had passed.

Earlier this month, a Land Court judge ruled against a group of neighbors seeking to block the re-nourishment project.

The neighbors filed a preliminary injunction stating that the town was acting in spite by choosing to place 150,000 cubic yards of sand dredged from the Cape Cod Canal solely on Town Neck Beach instead of in front of the neighbors’ properties.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which is dredging the canal and agreed to the place the sand on the beach, required permanent easements from the neighbors. The neighbors claimed that the permanent easements were not necessary and would devalue their properties.

In his ruling, Judge Keith Long opined that the neighbors “likely now regret this refusal” to provide the easements.

The Judge also wrote, in part, “I cannot say that the plaintiffs’ harm outweighs the Town’s.” He stated that the town was operating on a tight deadline from the Army Corps so as not to lose the opportunity for the sand entirely, which played into the decision to place the sand only on town-owned property.

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