East Falmouth Residents Voice Ideas, Opinions & Questions At Annual Meeting

The East Falmouth Village Association met Thursday, July 31, night for its annual meeting at the East Falmouth Elementary School “in effort,” as president Paul D. Brodeur said, to give the village a voice. Topics ranged from a discussion on the new CVS/pharmacy and traffic light planned for the Davisville Road and East Falmouth Highway intersection to a speech from town clerk Michael C. Palmer that encouraged residents of the village to get out and vote.

Selectmen Mary (Pat) Flynn and Susan L. Moran were in attendance and town manager Julian M. Suso joined the discussion halfway through the meeting.

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Committee liaison Douglas C. Brown announced that plans were submitted to the town in late July for the new CVS building in Davisville Square. He said the plans could change as the project proceeds through town hearings but were available to view at Falmouth Town Hall. The developer’s first hearing will be held August 13 with the Design Review Committee.

He said that a new curb cut will be formed farther away from the Davisville intersection in an effort to reduce congestion at the traffic light. There would still be the same number of entrances to the pharmacy. The building, he said, would be built longer and there would not be other shops connected to it. Now, there are vacant shops connected.

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Mr. Brown said that workers repaving Davisville Road hoped to be finished with work before school starts. He said that the repaving has taken some time is because there are 22 drains on the road to fix; they have fixed 10 already and expect to finish them by August 5. Lawrence-Lynch Corp. will mill the road to prepare for paving after drainage repairs, which he said could begin August 13.

P.A. Landers has been hired to construct the intersection lights, a state project; Mr. Brown said work would not begin before Labor Day, but tentatively after that weekend. Mr. Brown said that he did not receive confirmation, however.

Jared V. Goldstone, Vidal Avenue, asked if the state planned a traffic mitigation plan during construction of the intersection and CVS. He was concerned that there would be a plan only for Route 28 and not for Old Meetinghouse Road and Davisville Road.

A woman asked if the state could install a no-turn-on-red sign for cars going east on Route 28 as a safety precaution for school children and others using the sidewalk.

Ms. Flynn urged the East Falmouth villagers to put pressure on the state for the changes they would like to see at the intersection. “They listen,” she said. She told a story about how she and the West Falmouth village pressured the state to reduce the scale of a project proposed for West Falmouth.

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Linda E. Collins, assistant library director of the East Falmouth branch, said that the library has 24,000 visitors a year and that they lend out 50,000 items a year. She said improvements to the lighting have been made recently and that new windows are going in.

Linda E. Davis of East Falmouth asked if there were plans to clean up the back of the library, which she said could be a safety hazard. Ms. Collins said there were no plans and agreed that it should be done.

“I think we’ve waited long enough,” Ms. Davis said. She urged the villagers to pressure the town to clean the area.

Cynthia A. Botelho, Green Pond Road, said that she was concerned about the view of Mill Pond from the library. She said that a man in the village used to strap on boots and clean out the drainage systems from which water flowed into the pond twice a year. She said that immediately, the algae in the pond was cleared. Sadly, she said, the man died and no one continued his job. “Maybe the men could offer to do that again,” she said.

One man in the back of the room shouted that they would have to do it at night when there was no moon. “The conservation commission would have our necks,” he said.

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Daniel DiNardo gave a presentation on Community Emergency Response Team, a program that consists of volunteers that assist emergency responders in small and large crises. He urged the audience to prepare for natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other disasters and gave a lesson on how to be prepared. “Be prepared for anything,” he said. A wildfire spread in Beebe Woods in 1947 that cleared 1,500 acres and threatened downtown, he said.

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The treasurer of the village association, Gerry Howell, presented a check for $750 to beach superintendent Donald L. Hoffer, taken out of funds raised at last year’s beach party. Mr. Hoffer said that he will listen to the villagers for recommendations on how to spend the funds.

Mr. Hoffer said that Menauhant Beach has the heaviest erosion of all Falmouth beaches. He said that sand cannot be put on the western side of the beach because of fears that it will hurt the environment of Bournes Pond.

He is working with the harbor master to have sand delivered to the east side of the beach.

Some in attendance urged Mr. Hoffer to put the money toward missing fencing on the beach as well as to fix faucets, and to rake the east side of the beach. Mr. Hoffer said the east beach is supposed to be raked once a week, but he said that he will inquire as to why it has not been done.

He said that he hopes to fix the potholes in the Menauhant Beach parking area. The DPW has a long list of work to do; workers recently fixed the potholes in Woodneck Beach, he said.

He urged the audience to file complaints about lifeguards in a timely manner. He said that a woman last year in October complained about swimming lessons given in July, which he said was no help to him.

One woman asked if the plans for the new bridge and new jetty on the ocean side of Bournes Pond would interfere with swimming. Mr. Hoffer said to follow up with Eric T. Turkington, chairman of the Water Quality Management Committee, because he was not sure.

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Mr. Palmer urged the village residents to vote more and to start a grassroots movement to get the younger generation out to vote. He said that Precinct One regularly votes in higher numbers than the East Falmouth village.

“As a village association, all of you need to talk to your neighbors,” he said. He said that if a neighbor confirms that they will vote after a conversation, the chances are high that they will actually vote.

More than 50 percent of voters in the latest election were over 60 years old, he said.

One audience member said that the new voting location at Falmouth High School was discriminating against East Falmouth villagers, and said that it was done to keep them from voting. Another woman said she missed her walk to the East Falmouth Elementary School to vote, but her experience at the high school was a good experience.

Mr. Palmer said that there were news reports that said that voting was down in the East Falmouth section of town. He said, however, that voting was down more in the whole town. He said that in the four precincts that were moved, voting participation was down 20 percent. Voting was down 22 percent in the rest of Falmouth, however, he said.

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At the conclusion of the meeting, voters of the village association voted to retain all of the current positions.

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