Selectmen dissolve Wareham’s Bike Path Committee

Jan 22, 2019

Selectmen dissolved the town’s Bike Path Committee on Tuesday citing the fact that only two people are currently on the board and have largely been inactive. 

Selectman Chair Alan Slavin said the committee had been working up until two years ago when it received approval to move forward with an engineering study. 

“At the regional level no one from Wareham is showing up except myself and it’s not really working well,” said Slavin.

The committee had been working on the path for more than a decade, and in 2011 Town Meeting voters approved spending $200,000 of Community Preservation Act funds to cover the cost of the study.

Each year, several organizations requests money for projects through the Community Preservation Act in four categories: open space, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreation. The money is raised through a 3 percent surcharge on property tax bills. Spending these funds must be approved by voters at Town Meeting.

Wareham’s bike path is going to cost an estimated $5.1 million plan along Minot Avenue. State and federal funds will cover the cost of the bike path. Slavin said it’s expensive because the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has to meet several requirements from the state and federal government. 

That plan is part of an initiative from the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District’s South Coast Community Bike Plan. When finished, the project will have created a bike path 50 miles long stretching from Rhode Island to Cape Cod. The state has approved construction to begin in 2023.