Yarmouth council to decide on Condon pathway, turf field; Police grant decision postponed

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YARMOUTH — The Town Council is expected to give final approval for the Beth Condon Pathway extension to U.S. Route 1 at its meeting on Monday, July 16.

Yarmouth Town Manager Nat Tupper, said he expects the estimated $500,000 path could finally get the official nod to start construction at this meeting.

“What I’ve heard from (the councilors) is that the majority of them are strongly in favor of going forward with this project,” Tupper said. “And, even the ones that do have concerns, I think, are still in favor of moving forward.”

The town engineer, Dan Jellis, will briefly present the highlights of the planning presentation he gave at the council workshop on July 5 and then the council will hear public comment about the project. The council has already approved the pathway extension, which has been planned for more than a decade, but wanted to take one more look at the plans before giving the final OK, Tupper said.

The council will also hear reports from the Sports and Recreation committee on the proposed artificial turf athletic field at Yarmouth High School and then take action on the project. The proposed field has a budget of about $1.5 millon and will replace the 12-year-old current field.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m., at the American Legion Cabin, 196 Main St.

Police grant

In the coming months, the council will also be considering a federal grant aimed at adding a new officer to the Police Department.

The $125,000 grant from the Department of Justice is for one officer, spread over three years, with a fourth year required to be paid by the town. The town’s share of the personnel cost would also progressively increase every year.

The council had originally planned to discuss the grant at the July 16 meeting, but postponed the talks to wait for more information about the grant from the Department of Justice, Tupper said.

Yarmouth’s 10-member-police force has had a string of vacancies due to officers out on military leave, retiring or going on medical leave. Tupper said the grant is necessary to help the department meet current staffing needs.

In 2010, Yarmouth police reported five violent crimes and 91 property crimes, according the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Yarmouth crime rates have seen little change in the last five years, with an average of four violent crimes and an average of 92 property crimes.

The grant, called Funding Accelerated for Smaller Towns, or FAST, is designed to increase police presence in towns with populations less than 50,000. Yarmouth’s population is about 6,000. In the last decade, the town has added about 2,300 residents – a 65 percent increase – according to the latest U.S. Census data.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow Will on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.

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