The April 7, 2022 Meeting of the Barnstable Town Council was conducted remotely and physically closed to the public. Alternative public access was provided through Zoom. Town Council President Matt Levesque opened the meeting asking Town Councilor Gordon Starr to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. President Levesque offered the Moment of Silence remembering the conflict in Ukraine and all of the people affected by it. Next up was Public Comment which was followed by Council Response to Public Comment. Town Manager Mark Ells presented his Town Manager Communications for the period of March 18-April 7, 2022:
- Elizabeth Jenkins, Director of Planning & Development, will provide an update on the Local Comprehensive Plan.
- We are proceeding with the budget actions for FY 2023 as per the budget action calendar. The first reading of the capital program appropriation orders is later this evening and public hearings on the program will begin on April 28th. The Comprehensive Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) has completed their review of the proposed FY 2023 Capital Improvement Program and the FY 2023 to FY 2027 Capital Plan. Their report has been submitted to the Town Council’s office for distribution. I would like to thank the members of CFAC for their time and effort in reviewing the process the Town utilizes to prepare the Capital Improvement Plan as well as their comments and suggestions for strengthening our future capital planning. We are in the final stages of review of the proposed FY2023 Municipal Operating Budget and anticipate adherence to the budget action calendar relevant to submittal to Town Council. I have forwarded under separate email a memo from Superintendent Mayo-Brown regarding last evening’s affirmative vote by the School Committee for the proposed FY 2023 School Department Operating Budget in the amount of $76,781,611 (+4.4%). The memo includes supportive information relative to the proposed school department budget for FY 2023. The Town Manager Fiscal Year Rate hearings were held on March 22, 2022 at 11:00 AM. All proposed rate changes have been posted on the Town website and are under review through April 21, 2022. For information on our fiscal year budgets, please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- On March 22, 2022 I presented testimony to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Division of Municipal Services, regarding the 2022 Draft Intended Use Plans (IUPs) for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The Draft IUPs list by priority ranking those projects that MassDEP is recommending for State Revolving Fund financing through the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust in calendar year 2022. Both the CWSRF and the DWSRF Draft 2022 Intended Use Plans can be found on the MassDEP SRF web page: https://www.mass.gov/lists/2022-draft-srf-intended-use-plans. The testimony focused on the need for MassDEP to recognize the significant effort on Cape Cod and in Barnstable to implement Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plans. State Revolving Fund financing is required for communities such as Barnstable to receive principle subsidies from the Cape Cod and Islands Wastewater Trust Fund and subsidy from the state and county ARPA funds therefore general criteria for the State of Massachusetts and financial limitations on the amount the State Revolving Fund can finance in a given year should be looked at closely to insure that communities on Cape Cod are prioritized as they implement their Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plans. I am in discussions with Senator Cyr, Town and County Managers/Administrators and Selectmen from across Cape Cod on this matter. I will keep you advised on our progress.
- The Local Initiative Program (LIP) is a state housing program, established by M.G.L. Chapter 40B, sections 20-23 (also known the Comprehensive Permit Law) and administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The first step in the comprehensive permit process is for a developer to seek project eligibility. A developer may seek eligibility on their own or with the endorsement of the municipality. Under the Local Initiative Program, the Town may choose to sign and endorse a LIP application prior to permitting, demonstrating to the State their support for the project as proposed. With that endorsement, it is understood by DHCD that the municipality and a developer are working in concert on a project that meets the community’s housing needs. In the case of Barnstable, it is the Town Manager who signs the LIP application. At this time, the Town of Barnstable does not have a policy in place to guide either the Town or a potential Applicant through the local LIP endorsement process. To be proactive on the matter and to allow the opportunity for public input into the process, staff has developed a procedure for evaluating LIP proposals for endorsement by the Manager. The proposed process will be presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, and Housing Committee over the next two months. The proposed process can be found on the Planning Department’s website under “current projects”.
- We continue to have regular conversations with Vineyard Wind (Phase I ongoing project) and will receive an update from Nate Mayo, Director of Public Affairs, later this evening. At the last Town Council meeting we received an update from the team for Phases 2 & 3 relevant to those two respective projects. As a reminder, we are finalizing the Host Community Agreement for the Phase 2 project as authorized by Town Council as that project proceeds with its permitting phase. Additional action by Town Council will be required in the future relative to granting an easement for the Phase 2 landing at Craigville Beach. I have also asked for and received authorization to discuss a proposed Phase 3 landing of cable in Barnstable. At the presentation on March 17, 2022 the proposed landing locations for cable in Osterville were shared with the Town Council. To date I have only had discussions with Commonwealth Wind (Phase 3) project representatives but have not commenced negotiations of a Host Community Agreement and shall not do so until authorized by Town Council. I will note that under the siting process for a landing such as those proposed by Vineyard Wind or its successors, they do not have to ask our permission or enter into a host agreement but it is certainly to their advantage to have a working relationship with the community with whom they seek to permit and construct such a project. Perhaps at a future meeting Attorney McLaughlin of our staff can review the permitting processes and authority of the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) relevant to such a proposal as we have not reviewed the authority of the EFSB since we commenced our Phase 1 & 2 negotiations for a host community agreement. We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.
- On April 1, 2022 I submitted a letter to Massachusetts Department of Transportation requesting prioritization of improvements at the intersection of Route 28 at Santuit-Newtown Road. The Cape Cod Commission recently completed a Road Safety Audit at that intersection and found five significant safety issues including: congestion and intersection operations; poor roadway geometry; lack of multi-modal accommodations; poor lighting and visibility; and poor drainage. We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.
- The Town of Barnstable Department of Public Works Water Supply Division prepared a New Source Alternative Evaluation Report in 2019 that can found on the Town website under DPW Water Supply under Reports. The Department of Public Works is out in our community discussing the recommendations of this evaluation and I ask that you pay close attention to these discussions as they are and will continue to be critical in our water resource planning efforts throughout the Town of Barnstable. These efforts are in no way limited to the Village of Hyannis nor is the role of the Town of Barnstable Department of Public Works in its efforts to manage the water resources of our community. We will keep you advised as we progress with this effort.
- At the recent Massachusetts Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) conference, the Barnstable Recreation Division was awarded the MRPA Community Impact of the Year Award for the Cape & Islands Region. This award is given to a town or city that is a member of MRPA and has provided outstanding service and dedication to their community in 2021. Congratulations to the Barnstable Recreation team for their ongoing commitment to ensuring Barnstable continues to lead the way in community recreational programming.
- Mark Milne, Director of Finance, will provide an update on the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan Funding (view presentation here).
Next up was Nathaniel Mayo, Director of Public Affairs, Vineyard Wind and Massachusetts Community Liaison Dana Rebeiro who provided an Update on Vineyard Wind’s onshore construction (view presentation here). The Council then acted on the minutes and provided their Communications. OLD BUSINESS began with DPW Director Dan Santos presented Agenda Items 2022-147 Appropriation Order in the amount of $275,000 to fund disposal costs at the Solid Waste Division of the Department of Public Works; 2022-148 Appropriation Order in the amount of $75,000 for the purpose of funding survey, design and permitting for sidewalks on Commerce Road in Barnstable Village; and 2022-149 Supplemental Appropriation and Loan Order in the amount of $695,000 for the purpose of funding the Water Pollution Control Division Pump Station Rehabilitation Project as outlined in the Fiscal Year 2022 to Fiscal Year 2027 Capital Improvement Plan which were approved. NEW BUSINESS began with the withdrawal of Agenda Item 2022-087 from the current agenda due to an error in the item. President Levesque entertained a motion to refer Agenda Items 2022-081 through 2022-086, 2022-088 through 2022-119, and Items 2022-121 through 2022-133, as written, to individual public hearings to be held on each item at the Town Council meeting on April 28, 2022. Prior to the vote, Finance Director Mark Milne presented an overview of the proposed FY2023 Capital Budget and the FY2023-FY2027 Capital Improvement Plan (view presentation here). The items were approved for public hearings on April 28, 2022. These Agenda items can be viewed here. Town Councilor Jen Cullum presented Agenda Item 2022-151 Appointments to a Board/Committee/Commission: Historical Commission: Barbara Cuggino Debiase, as an alternate member to a term expiring 6/30/2023; Youth Commission: Haley Labdon, as a student member to a term expiring 06/30/2023 for a First Reading. The item was referred to a Second Reading April 28, 2022. The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2022. The public is able to view through Comcast Channel 18 or Live Streaming on the Town of Barnstable’s website. Real-time public comment may be addressed to the Barnstable Town Council utilizing the Zoom video link or telephone number and access meeting code which will be included on the Agenda. Written Comments may be submitted to: https://tobweb.town.barnstable.ma.us/boardscommittees/towncouncil/Town_Council/Agenda-Comment.asp. The meeting Agenda will be available on the Town of Barnstable’s website (www.townofbarnstable.us).