Our third update after the Annual Meeting is a report on the August 22nd Beach Committee meeting when our Beach Liaison, Lorraine Luchner, conveyed your concerns prompting a lively discussion.
To see the Falmouth Town Code regarding beaches, referred to below, click on this link: http://www.ecode360.com/9073532.
1. Ball playing on the beach is prohibited per section 87-3 of the Town Code, although it is enforced at the discretion of the life guards. If they determine no problem is present, they will not interfere. The posted sign allows the life guards to intervene if the need arises (e.g. for safety or disturbance reasons).
2. Alcoholic beverage consumption on the beach is prohibited per section 87-2 of the Town Code. The life guards, once again, may intervene if the need arises or may call their supervisors for more serious disturbances, which might result in a call to the police. The public can call the police at 508-457-2527. We suggested having this telephone number posted on signs at the beach. Beach Superintendent Don Hoffer stated he would follow up on that suggestion with the police first.
3. Trash pick-up is not the primary responsibility of the life guards; protecting the public comes first. However, the life guards are charged with clearing the beaches of litter at the beginning and end of their shift and the DPW empties the trash receptacles several times a day. Mr. Hoffer will check with the life guards and let us know what was actually happening. The Beach Committee asks the public to be responsible for removing their own litter and removing other trash to help keep our beaches clean.
4. Dogs are not allowed on Falmouth beaches May 1 through October 1 per section 87-4 of the Town Code. Enforcement is rare, possibly because of low police priority, a lack of political will, or some other reason. The FHMIA will continue to advocate for the maintenance of sanitation and the rule of law. However, of interest is that Dog Fancy magazine has named Falmouth one of the top 10 cities in their “Dogtown USA” 2012 rankings.
Our Police Liaison has stated that when problems arise, the public can call either the main police number (508-457-2527) or the Dog Officer at Animal Control (508-457-2552) where they keep regular weekday hours and have someone on call on the weekends. While you might have to leave a voice mail and may not get immediate service, the call will be registered. Please also register your complaint with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Beach Superintendent Don Hoffer will be meeting with Town Manager Suso with the goal of creating an improved budget system so that funding for beaches will be both adequate and available at the start of next season.
6. Future Beach Committee/Department goals for the Falmouth Heights Beach include installation of a second shower tower (at the opposite end of the beach), step repairs, and installation of a wheelchair accessible ramp.
To offer a suggestion or register a formal complaint while at the beach about ball playing, drinking, dogs or any other inappropriate use of the area, the suggested protocol is to first approach the life guards. Alternatively, you can call the police at 508-457-2527 or the Dog Officer at 508-457-2552. Again, while you may not receive an immediate response, it is important your call be registered. If there are enough continuing complaints, we will be able to quote statistics regarding numbers of complaints. Please also register your complaint with us at email@example.com and we will keep a record.
Click on this link to see the Beach Department thank you letter for defibrillator donation.