Falmouth Bikeways Committee Seeks Funds For 41 Bike Racks

Two more applicants seeking community preservation act funds presented their projects to the community preservation committee (CPC) on July 31. If selected, the projects will add 41 bike racks throughout Falmouth, and the West Falmouth United Methodist Church will have two new sets of doors.

Kevin K. Lynch, a bikeways committee member, asked for $154,000 to install galvanized U-shaped bike racks at schools, nonprofits, and recreation areas like town beaches, parks and ballfields.

Mr. Lynch said the beaches are in dire need of new racks since the radiator-style ones there presently are “rotting away.”

He said the purchase cost is just over $11,000, but the installation of the concrete pads the racks sit on cost close to $143,000. The DPW suggested using four-inch fiberglass reinforced concrete pads.

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Consultant Sharon T. Gay asked why there was only one installation quote listed in the application, and Mr. Lynch replied he had trouble finding companies that would provide a quote. However, he assured the committee installation would not cost more than $143,000. He was unsure if the quote provided by Lawrence-Lynch Corp. used state wage rates.

Committee chairman Ralph E. Herbst said Mr. Lynch was acting as an intermediary for the nonprofits, which the committee had not seen before. Mr. Lynch replied he hoped for guidance from the committee on how to proceed with giving racks to private organizations, specifically answering who would then own the racks and who would maintain them. The questions were left unanswered.

Some of the nonprofits include Stony Beach, which is owned by the Marine Biological Laboratory; a bike shop operating at John Wesley United Methodist Church; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Mr. Herbst said if the racks are placed on private property, they must be available to the public if they are purchased with CPA (community preservation act) funds.

Mr. Lynch said he is not looking for funding from other sources.

Mr. Herbst asked if he planned on asking Falmouth schools to contribute since many of the racks will be on school property. Mr. Lynch replied that he had not intended to ask the school committee.

The bikeways committee was approved for this project in 2007, but the CPC requirements changed shortly thereafter, precluding the committee from allowing funds to be given to private entities. The law was later amended to state any expenditure of public funds must be used to advance a public purpose.

The trustees of the West Falmouth United Methodist Church are looking to replace two sets of wooden doors, estimated to cost $15,000.

Trustee Harvey V. Williamson said one set that was replaced with a set of new doors a few years ago has already deteriorated, and the original doors facing Route 28A are warping and do not shut properly. He wants the new doors to match the originals.

After a brief conversation regarding the historic nature of the doors, committee member Heidi L. Walz recommended Mr. Williamson meet with the historic districts commission. She said they will determine the historic aspects of the wooden doors and will determine the scope of work that can be done.

Mr. Herbst asked Mr. Williamson to return to the CPC after meeting with the commission.

With all applicant interviews completed, the committee will begin evaluating each project at their meeting next Thursday, August 14, at 6 PM.

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