Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Town Meeting

Good news for Lighthouse fans from last night's town meeting.

There were two articles on the warrant that directly concerned Old Scituate Light. One concerned the repair of the storage room damaged in the Boxing Day blizzard, the replacement of the decaying oil burner, and the restoration of the west most wing or utility room. That wing is loaded with old wiring and has only two walls that are properly sided. The ceiling is falling in places and there is a 1950's era TV antenna tucked into that same broken ceiling. This work was approved with the majority of the funding coming from Community Preservation funds. I can't wait to be able to use that room during the open houses as it was once a store and will provide me the opportunity to talk about the twentieth century keepers and caretakers in a new way.

The second article that directly affected the Light concerned improving the foreshore protection in front of the Tower. This was also approved by acclamation. Regular readers know of the need for this; anyone stumbling on this blog needs only to check the older posts to learn of it. Once again the Community Preservation Committee brought this proposal to the Town Meeting, having combined a Town proposal with a Historical Society proposal during their deliberations. Should a study (with an allowed $50,000) determine that a seawall of some sort would better protect the Light and Cottage then funding would be made available to do that work up to an amount totaling $425,000. The timetable for the project is unknown just now but the hope here is that the study will be expedited. Next winter could be a winter of breathing easier and enjoying the wild storms in a unprecedented way.

Indirectly benefiting Cedar Point and the Light were two proposals concerning funding seawalls. The capital budget included a line item of $400,000 to address walls damaged and failing throughout the winter. There was also money proposed in an override question that would be dedicated to seawall maintenance going forward. The seawall that protects the neck of Cedar Point is more than one hundred years old; tests have shown that it has been reduced to sand at its center. To have a mechanism in place for its replacement has been a long desired goal of Cedar Point residents. It was fantastic to find that the rest of the town recognized the need for this work and were willing to include it in the override question. The next step is a referendum question scheduled for Saturday, May 7. While many will be focusing on the impact this vote will have on school staffing, I will be looking at it through a lens of better protection for the Light and increased safety for my neighbors.

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