Selectman Kevin E. Murphy asked Andrew V. Putnam, Falmouth’s representative on the Cape Cod Commission, to quantify the town’s return on investment with the regional planning and regulatory agency at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting.
“I want to be able to show residents what we’re getting for our money,” Mr. Murphy said.
Mr. Putnam said he would come back to the board at a later date with the answer, in the meantime he stressed what the commission has done for Falmouth.
He pointed to the Spring Bars Road project as an example of the commission’s work in Falmouth. The commission provided a technical land-use report on the town-owned land last October.
“We [The Cape Cod Commission] were able to supply the expertise for the project that you didn’t have. You would have otherwise had to hire a consultant,” said Mr. Putnam.
Mr. Murphy said that is “an extraordinary amount of money for any consultant” and added the town pays roughly $500,000 a year to the commission.
Mr. Putnam addressed what he called “misinformation” about the Cape Cod Commission during the meeting.
“The commission is not being accurately represented and I’m here to clarify the facts,” he said. “We’re not just a regulatory agency here to squash projects.”
He said the agency devotes most of its time to planning projects such as land-use and traffic projects around the Cape and can help when a “town lacks in certain areas.” He noted the commission’s GIS (Geographic Information System) department can produce regulatory maps at no charge to Falmouth that the town can use for land-use and water resource planning. Mr. Putnam said that alone saves $80,000.<
The commission has come under harsh scrutiny with at least eight town meeting warrants this spring containing articles asking whether voters want to withdraw their town as a member of the commission. The withdrawal is not on Falmouth’s Town Meeting warrant.
“It’s up to us to take advantage of what the commission can do for us,” said Mary (Pat) Flynn.