The December 2, 2021 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 Matthew Levesque opened the meeting by inviting Councilor Jennifer Cullum to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Levesque invited Councilor Kris Clark to offer the Moment of Silence in honor of Andre Sampou, a Barnstable resident, who recently passed. Mr. Sampou was a former Shellfish Advisory Committee member, a longtime Natural Resources shellfish volunteer, and member of the Barnstable Association for Recreational Shellfishing (BARS).
President Levesque offered the floor to Councilor David Bogan who announced he intended decline the nomination for President and withdraw his name for consideration for Town Council President.
Next up was Public Comment which was followed by Council Response to Public Comment. Town Manager Mark Ells presented his Town Manager Communications for period the November 19-December 2, 2021:
- Elizabeth Jenkins, Director of Planning & Development, provided an update on the Local Comprehensive Plan.
- On October 26-28, 2021 we experienced a Nor’easter that resulted in extensive power outages and significant wind related damages. The DPW has concluded roadside brush cleanup on our primary roadways and secondary roadways. On November 30, 2021 the Town received notice that no Federal Disaster Declaration is possible because both county and state thresholds need to be met to qualify for federal disaster aid.
- We are proceeding with the budget action calendar for FY 2023. We have issued the Capital and Operating Budget Instructions to the departments and are planning for a proposed level of service budget in FY 2023. We previously reported that the Bureau of Local Assessment approved the Town’s assessed valuations that will be used to set the FY 2022 tax rate and the Town Council can act on the two tax levy shifting options to decide how the FY22 tax levy of $136 million will be raised. The options were presented to the Town Council at the November 18th Town Council Meeting and votes are scheduled take place later this evening. The action taken on these two items will not impact the amount of property taxes levied in FY22, but will decide how the $136 million tax levy will be distributed between and within property classes. For information on our fiscal year budgets please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- We continue to have regular conversations with Vineyard Wind (VW) regarding the status of the Phase I and Phase II VW Projects. VW continues to work with Barnstable staff regarding both Phase I & II of the project. VW has commenced construction on Phase I and are proceeding with permitting on Phase II. We will continue negotiation with VW as previously authorized in 2019 on a Phase III project including a discussion of the proposed landing and cable routing. Vineyard Wind may receive notification regarding the award a Phase III grant area by mid December 2021. Vineyard Wind plans to share their proposed Phase III landing locations west of Craigville Beach landing and has requested the opportunity to share with the Town Council and public in the near future. We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.
- The Town of Barnstable’s Department of Public Works continues sewer construction for the Strawberry Hill Road Sewer Expansion Project. A new gravity sewer will be installed in portions of Craigville Beach Road, Strawberry Hill Road, Wequaquet Lane and Phinney’s Lane. Additionally, a new submersible pump station will be installed on a Town easement at the intersection of Strawberry Hill Road and Craigville Beach Road. Construction will be coordinated with Vineyard Wind, which will be installing a duct bank and associated utility relocations in the same area as part of its offshore wind energy Phase 1 project. Upon the completion of both projects, Vineyard Wind will resurface disturbed roadways within the project area. If you have any questions or wish to receive project updates, please contact Paul Ruszala, P.E., Senior Project Manager, at the Department of Public Works at 508-790-6400 or email@example.com. More information about the Strawberry Hill Road Project and the Town of Barnstable’s CWMP is available at: https://barnstablewaterresources.com/. Sign up for Enews, our Community Currents newsletter: https://barnstablewaterresources.com/news-updates/.
Construction Updates can be viewed on Barnstableenews.com and we are working to get the link for this site on the Town’s homepage.
- For the nineteenth consecutive year, the holiday season tradition of the annual “Turkey Trot” spread kindness and joy in our community. Council on Aging staff and volunteers assembled 137 meals which were delivered to homebound older residents in our community on Wednesday, November 24th. Many of these residents live alone and do not have the means or capability to prepare a holiday dinner. Thanks to the Friends of the Barnstable Council on Aging and our community partners, recipients were treated to a full Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings along with some sweet treats. There were also beautifully decorated holiday pictures, colored by the Barnstable High School Key Club. Thank you to the volunteer drivers who helped to deliver the meals out in the community.
- For the third year in a row the HYCC and the Family Table Collaborative teamed up to help local families enjoy a meal on Thanksgiving. This year we distributed over 400 individually prepared meals at the HYCC on Wednesday, November 24th. The Family Table Collaborative and the HYCC have been in collaboration trying to help feed local families in need for the past 3 ½ years with either weekly or biweekly food distribution, and are already planning on another holiday meal distribution on Thursday, December 23, 2021.
- In recognition of their efforts to advocate for relationship health education in our community, Youth Commission Chair Lucas McCauley and Vice Chair Isabelle Rudy have been invited by One Love Massachusetts to represent the state at a national One Love Foundation advocacy day in Washington D.C. on February 15th and 16th, 2022, where they will meet peers from around the country, receive training to advocate on the Hill, attend small group meetings with legislators, and participate in bonding activities. In nominating Lucas and Isabelle, One Love Massachusetts noted their “passion for this movement and dedication to starting this conversation in your community is unparalleled.”
- Ann Quirk, Town Clerk, provided an update on precinct modification.
The Town Council acted on the minutes next which was followed by Communications. The Orders of the Day began with OLD BUSINESS. DPW Director Dan Santos presented Agenda Item 2022-039 Appropriation Order in the amount of $39,600 for the purpose of funding survey work for proposed sidewalk improvements on East Bay Road and Wianno Avenue in Osterville Village which was approved.
Finance Director Mark Milne and Director of Assessing Lane Partridge presented Agenda Item 2022-042 Allocation of Tax Levy Fiscal Year 2022 – Tax Factor to classify the Town of Barnstable under M.G.L. c. 40 §56, the Classification Act, as a Residential Factor of 1 (one) for the Fiscal Year 2022 which was approved. Director Milne and Director Partridge presented Agenda Item 2022-043 Allocation of Tax Levy Fiscal Year 2022 – Residential Exemption of twenty percent (20%) for fiscal year 2022 which was approved. Town Councilor Jessica Rapp Grassetti presented Agenda Item 2022-051 Appointment to a Board/Committee/Commission: Infrastructure and Energy Committee was approved.
Began with Agenda Items 2022-052 Supplemental Appropriation and Loan Order in the amount of $1,075,000 for the Construction of Sewer Infrastructure to be Installed as Part of MassDOT’s Route 28 and Yarmouth Road Intersection Improvement Project and 2022-053 Supplemental Appropriation Order in the amount of $48,000 for the purpose of paying operating expenses of the Legal Department for the services of the law firm of Anderson & Kreiger which is serving as outside counsel to the Town with respect to two lawsuits filed against the Town by the Conservation Law Foundation being referred to Public Hearings on December 16, 2021.
Planning & Development Assistant Director Kate Maldonado presented Agenda Item 2022-054 Resolve approving the Town of Barnstable Complete Streets Policy for submission to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for participation in the Complete Streets Funding Program which was approved.
Barnstable Land Trust Executive Director Janet Milkman and Assistant Town Attorney Kate Connolly presented Agenda Item 2022-055 Approving the conservation restriction on land located at 0 Beech Leaf Island Road, 0 Bay Lane, 0 Thornberry Road and 0 South Main Street between Barnstable Land Trust (Grantor) and the compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts (Grantee) which was approved.
Agenda Item 2022-056 Supplemental Appropriation Order in the amount of $350,000 for the purpose of funding the Fiscal Year 2022 Department of Public Work’s Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Capital Budget was referred to a Public Hearing on December 16, 2021.
DPW Director Santos presented Agenda Item 2022-057 Authorization to expend a grant in the amount of $11,700 from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for the purpose of enhancing the reduction of waste and increasing recycling which was approved.
Assistant Town Attorney Charles McLaughlin presented Agenda Item 2022-058 A Resolution that the Town Council Petition the County Commissioners of Barnstable County formally discontinue three sections of County Highway, namely three portions of Phinney’s Lane which, combined, extend from Wequaquet Lane to Massachusetts Route 28, A/K/A Falmouth Road which was approved.
The Town Council voted to go into EXECUTIVE SESSION. The Town Council will enter executive session pursuant to G.L. c. 30A, sec. 21(a) (3) to discuss strategy with respect to litigation since a discussion in open session may have a detrimental effect on the litigating position of the Town and Town Council. Specifically, the Council will discuss two lawsuits filed against the Town by the Conservation Law Foundation regarding claims under the Clean Water Act and Title 5 of the Massachusetts Environmental Code, respectively, and to return to Public Session upon the completion of the Executive Session.
Upon return from Executive Session, the meeting was turned over to Town Clerk Ann Quirk to run the Town Council Election of 2022 Officers. Matthew Levesque was elected as President. Jennifer Cullum withdrew her name for consideration as Vice President. Paula Schnepp was elected as Vice President.
The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 16, 2021. 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).