Cape Cod Loses 5000 Taxpayers
n a sudden and stunning development, the villages of Buzzards Bay and Sagamore Beach have voted to secede from both the Town Of Bourne and Barnstable County. The final vote was 4600 to 3. The runaway villages will unite to form a town of their own, named "Road's End.." They will then apply for admission into Plymouth County. Sources tell this paper that said application is already approved. Road's End will be a bowtie-shaped entity running from Buttermilk Bay's north shore to Great Herring Pond's south shore east to the Atlantic. Her southern border will be the Cape Cod Canal.
She will have a winter population of around 5000, 3550 of which will be in Buzzards Bay. Both villages (and Bournedale) will retain their respective village names for historical purposes, but the collective shall heretofore be known as Road's End.
"It's simply a matter of logistics," said Road's End new mayor, Abdullah Jones. "We're paying a fortune to police those rotaries, and all they do for us is snarl our traffic. All that traffic has not provided us with any sort of economic growth. Our money is better spent on us, and things that benefit us." Jones became Mayor when he was the only person to attend the meeting with a firearm.
A recent police report that was silenced by the government (but obtained by my sources) showed that of 3461 motor vehicle accidents reported to police in Bourne, 3422 were at the Bourne Bridge rotary. Of the remaining 39, 37 involved people who were headed to the Bourne Bridge rotary. Anti-Cape sentiment has been strong on the mainland parts of Barnstable County since the Route 25 bypass was built. Prior to that, traffic (and tourist dollars) poured into places like Buzzards Bay and Wareham. That was back in the day, though.
Buzzards Bay's Main Street business district was recently declared a ghost town by the US Register Of Historical Stuff. The job-killing closure of the Sagamore rotary had a similar effect on the people at the Cape Cod Bay end of the Canal. Most residents of the area can't name a reason when asked why they should stay attached to the Cape.
Residents of Monument Beach, Pocasset, Bourne Proper and Sagamore Proper were stunned, but optimistic. Both new towns will have police and fire services already in place, if the State Police barracks can spare a little room for Bourne Proper. "We got the library and the McDonald's," said Cataumet resident Jay Miller. Not having to add "located on the Cape side of Bourne" to real estate listings will also raise property values and rental rates.
That optimism was somewhat muted as the tone of Secession meeting turned ugly. Two rival schools of thought emerged via the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges. They are:
- - Demolish the bridges, and operate a costly ferry system for anyone wanting to get across the Canal.
- Establish a toll booth on the mainland side of each bridge. Want on or off the Cape? $5 a pop. It goes up to $10 a pop during a natural disaster, like a hurricane or Labor Day weekend traffic.
The ferry system would most likely increase the snarled traffic, although Road's End would profit mightily from it. Ports like Plymouth and New bedford would profit from Cape-based ferry service. The goal is to lower property tax rates to below zero, to where the town is actually paying residents to keep living there.
The toll booth idea has strong backing with the town's residents. The bridges carry 50,000 cars a day over it on an average summer weekend day. Hurricane Bob saw an 11 mile backup at both bridges. All that is money that should be in our pockets, but isn't.
Some finger-counting math tells me that 150K cars a Friday/Saturday/Sunday weekend (with what I'd guess is another 50K cars over the remaining 4 days) would come out to about $1 million a week. A much larger town of Bourne was run for a total of $37 million dollars in 2010. Road's End would most likely have to build a school out of that profit, but it looks like a series of rebate checks for residents every year afterwards. It goes without saying that their property taxes would be paid off by the toll booths.
I should add that a sizable portion of the Secession voters feel that "Road's End" won't be a good name if we leave the Bridges up, and that they should instead name the town, "Payback, Massachusetts" or "Tollbooth, Massachusetts." The concept of destroying the bridges enjoys strong support on the mainland.
"Let the motherf***rs catapult across if they don't like the toll booths," said one resident.
Road's End will use an advance on the toll booth income to hire 300 Cape Verdeans from Wareham to enforce toll collection. Someone from the "Road's End Ministry Of Defense" also called our station to report that the new town has developed and tested a crude nuclear device.
We'll keep you informed as the story unfolds.