We have seen in recent days a school committee representing its superintendent over its parents and taxpayers and a board of selectmen practically give away our most valuable asset—the Golden Triangle. I have lived in Sandwich for 40 years and each and every board has prophesied that once the Golden Triangle is developed, our coffers will be full, our property taxes will be offset and many jobs will be created. Forty years of paying the highest taxes on the Cape have turned out to be a kind of joke on us. And now as our population decreases along with our property values we are faced with the prospect of the Service Road becoming one long eyesore.
I attended the meeting Monday night at the Human Services Building about the tree cutting. The National Grid spokesman dominated the meeting and the time allotted. We were shown a fanciful artist’s rendering of a cutaway view of the road, making it seem as though only one row of trees would be removed along the 15-foot-wide swath. In reality, trees have been marked for destruction from the edge of the road as far in as 22 feet, with surveyor’s markers 25 feet in. We were told the decibel level of the traffic is equivalent to that of a normal conversation between two people. I defy anyone to sit in my house and hear what any two people are saying out in the middle of Route 6. But I can hear every auto, bus, truck, and motorcycle right now before any trees are cut. And what kind of conversation goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Gas company studies cannot and should not be trusted.
Of course, common sense would dictate that the pipeline run down that huge, ugly clearing the utilities have already carved out in the middle of the Cape. Maybe there is a little known bylaw against common sense in Sandwich. Failing that reasonable solution, the gas line could be run under the Service Road. All repairs would be at the expense of the gas company. They could even be asked to widen the road slightly to accommodate bicycles with a painted line to separate them from traffic.
And so now the question is a simple one. Do the Sandwich selectmen represent the townsfolk and the overtaxed payers or do they represent National Grid in its quest for ever more profit in installing a pipeline through town that in no way actually benefits our town.
David W. Brady