What? A dump?
Only a quick glimpse at the map is needed to understand why it took nearly six years and an Act of Congress, signed by President Bill Clinton, to clear the way for the operation of the solid-waste transfer station. It sits within the Cape Cod National Seashore, whose very purpose is to ensure that protected lands are not alienated from public use and enjoyment. Provincetown was desperate for a new facility, however, and seemed to have no other place to put it. In 1993, Rep. Gerry E. Studds (1937-2006), of 91 Commercial Street, struck a deal with the National Park Service under which the town could begin building and operating a new transfer station within the seashore, pending a land swap under which the park would actually gain rather than lose acreage.
Arranging a three-way transfer among three different governments — the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was to give the United States 11 acres in exchange for the federal transfer of 7.62 acres to Provincetown — proved very tough. The state’s part of the deal was sealed by the Legislature with only 15 minutes left in the 1998 session, Rep. Shirley Gomes recalled.
After a ceremony at the transfer station marking the clinching of the deal in August 1999, the Board of Selectmen met under the tent in an extraordinary session of its own to approve the land swap. More than one participant allowed as how garbage had seldom before smelled so sweet. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-08-12