Naples Selectboard gets cupola update

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A Naples committee is tasked with exploring the possibility of moving an historic 22-foot-tall cupola from a former campground property on Route 114 to a more visible place in town. 

NAPLES — The Selectboard received an update on the effort to move a historic cupola to a more prominent location, though the committee tasked with exploring the project has yet to be officially formed. 

Selectboard Member Kevin Rogers, who is leading the committee, gave his fellow board members an update at the March 12 Selectboard meeting. He said he has eight people interested in joining the committee and that he plans to submit their names to the board for review at its next meeting. 

“We’re making some really good progress,” Rogers said Monday night. “We’ve got a quote from a carpenter who does historical renovations … roughly the quote from them was around fifteen [thousand] to dismantle it and put it back up. It didn’t include materials.”

The 22-foot-tall cupola, which once crowned the Bay of Naples Inn before the building was torn down in the 1960s, now sits on a former campground property on Route 114.

In total, Rogers said the early estimate of the total cost to dismantle, move and reassemble the cupola is around $35,000-$40,000. 

He says there have already been “substantial offers for donation” and that “hopefully people will match them.” 

There is now an email address — naplescupola@gmail.com — that Rogers said people can contact to signal their willingness to donate to the project. 

The Selectboard voted in February to approve the charge of a cupola committee, which includes reviewing ownership of the cupola and its current condition, identifying possible locations, estimating the cost of moving it, or other relevant factors.

The committee is to submit an interim report to the board by March 21 and a formal report by April 9 — along with a potential appropriation request that could be included in the annual town meeting warrant. 

“I do have eight people willing,” Rogers said about the committee. “I’ll get those in for us for the next meeting so you guys can all vote to create that committee.”

Selectman Jim Turpin asked Rogers what the potential process would be for moving the cupola — which has been the topic of some debate even amongst those who strongly support its relocation. 

“Would the plan be to completely dismantle it, resembled it — or take the roof off and move the body?” Turpin asked. 

Rogers said that the structure needs new shingles and that, under the contractor’s tentative proposal, the roof would be stripped and dismantled into a number of sections while the bottom would be left fully intact. 

“The big question is where does it go?” Rogers said, adding that it should be on town land if it’s being donated to the town. 

The three locations that have been discussed in the process are a lot beside the fire department, by the town beach or on the Village Green. 

“I vote for the town beach so that it can be seen by boats going by,” said Selectboard Chairman Jim Gratello, who has raised concerns about the cost of the potential project in the past but has also said he isn’t opposed to it if it can be completed in a fiscally responsible way. 

Several members of the board seemed generally opposed to the Village Green as a potential site for the cupola — citing the size and updates that might need to be made to the green. 

Rogers said one argument for the Village Green site would be its proximity to the Naples Historical Society, and that historical artifacts could be more easily transported between the society and the cupola. 

“The price is pretty much gunna be the same wherever it ends up,” Rogers added. 

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

A Naples committee is tasked with exploring the possibility of moving an historic 22-foot-tall cupola from a former campground property on Route 114 to a more visible place in town. 

A Naples committee is tasked with exploring the possibility of moving an historic 22-foot-tall cupola from a former campground property on Route 114 to a more visible place in town. 

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