Town Council Meeting – Thursday, February 1, 2024
The February 1, 2024 Meeting of the Barnstable Town Council was conducted in person. The public was able to attend in person or participate remotely in Public Comment or during a Public Hearing via Zoom. The public was able to view the meeting on Barnstable Government Access Xfinity Channel 8 or 1070 or in High Definition on Xfinity Channel 1072 or via the live stream through the Town website. Town Council President Felicia Penn called the meeting to order and Assistant Town Clerk Janet Murphy took the Roll Call. Next Vice President Craig Tamash announced that the Town Council is starting a new tradition and a veteran will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. To begin this new program, Major USMC (Ret) Greg Quilty, MBA, CRPC, CFP, JD asked that everyone stand and face the flag for the Pledge of Allegiance. President Penn offered a Moment of Silence for all those near and dear to us we would like to remember.
President Penn proceeded to the podium to present a Proclamation in honor of Irene E. Davidson’s 100th birthday tomorrow. The recognition was received by Mrs. Davidson’s granddaughter Maxie Pomeroy.
President Penn announced that Mr. Ells’s Town Manager Communications for the period of January 17-30, 2024 had been pre-recorded and was shown on our Government Access Channel prior to the meeting. The recorded version of Mr. Ells’s Town Manager Communications may be viewed here and the itemized list is shared below:
- We are proceeding with the budget action calendar for FY 2025. We are proceeding with review of the CIP Taskforce ranking on projects submitted for FY25 General Fund financing. As per the budget action calendar we plan to submit the recommended FY25 Capital Budget to Town Council on Monday, March 4, 2024. For information on our fiscal year budgets please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- Information on the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s FY25 budget recommendations, which was filed on January 24, 2024, can be found here. For your awareness, the Governor’s budget includes a section related to the septic tax credit in Section 6 of MGL Chapter 62. The language of Section 45 of the budget recommendations is a technical clarification – making it clear that upgrades and sewer connections pursued under the requirements of the recently promulgated Title 5/Watershed Permitting regulations are eligible for the tax credit.
- In response to requests by Town Council and the public regarding monitoring the activation of the Vineyard Wind cable landing at Covell’s Beach, I have been in contact with Vineyard Wind and requested regular communication with Barnstable Officials and our public regarding this information. In addition, I requested informational signage at the site to illustrate location and other project information so that those who visit Covell’s Beach may have access to such information. They are working on informational signage to be installed by spring 2024. They are reviewing available information regarding issues of concern such as Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) as well as other safety compliance aspects and will discuss further with us in the near future.
- The first Opioid Settlement Funds workshop scheduled on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, from 5:30-8:30 pm at Barnstable High School. The Town of Barnstable invites residents to join a facilitated conversation to share their experience about how the opioid epidemic has impacted them, their family and/or the community. Barnstable residents affected by Opioid Use Disorder and professionals that serve Barnstable residents are encouraged to attend to assist in the process of identifying priority needs in Barnstable that will help guide future spending of Opioid Settlement Funds. We are transitioning into the next phase of determining how to use our opioid settlement funds for the community. This involved creating a “Design Team” that works closely with the consultant we brought on board to implement the public forums and focus group conversations we plan to conduct. Our consultant advised we create the smaller Design Team from members of our internal working group. The Design Team consists of: Barnstable Police Deputy Chief Jennifer Ellis; Hyannis Fire Chief Peter Burke; Cheryl Powell of the Human Services Committee; Communications Director Lynne Poyant; Mary Beth Taylor from the Barnstable Public Schools; and Jeff Carter representing Health. Deputy Chief Ellis has been assigned the role of spokesperson for the group as she has extensive knowledge of our community and she serves on the Design Team. We will keep the Town Council and public advised of our progress on this matter.
- Kate Maldonado, Senior Planner for Planning & Development, will provide the Local Comprehensive Plan Update.
The LCP Committee is continuing their efforts to review and produce draft chapters for Land Use, Housing, Natural Resources, Facilities and Infrastructure. The Committee will hold two meeting during the months of February and March focusing on Natural Resources in February and Facilities and Infrastructure in March to be presented to the public during the month of April.
The next meeting of the Local Comprehensive Planning Committee will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 5:30 pm in person at Town Hall within the Hearing Room. A presentation will be offered to inform the Committee of current and anticipated natural resources issues and opportunities and needs as well as best practices related to state-wide natural resources initiatives and strategies. Building upon insight offered during the presentations, the Committee will engage in an initial goal setting exercise. The second meeting in February will continue discussions regarding natural resources with review of draft policies/goals and strategies in addition to review of the draft Housing chapter.
A survey question regarding new housing is accessible by clicking HERE or by visiting the project website BarnstableLCP.com. The survey is available through close of business tomorrow, Wednesday, January 31st. Additional survey questions will be coordinated as the Committee works through subsequent chapters.
To learn more about this important process and to stay up to date on meetings and community events please visit the project website: BarnstableLCP.com.
The Council voted to approve Public Session Minutes: January 18 2023.
Next was Communications from elected officials, boards, committees, and staff, commission reports, correspondence and announcements.
Financial Overview, Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, Mark Milne, Finance Director. Director Milne’s PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here.
Good response to earlier start time for Town Council meetings and posting the Agendas on Fridays preceding the meetings.
Information regarding Town Council subcommittees should be available at the next meeting and populating the committees should begin in early March or shortly thereafter.
The idea of a Consent Agenda is still under review by Legal and Town Clerk.
Appointments Committee to meet on Tuesday, February 5th to select Chair and Vice Chair.
A lot of discussion at the Massachusetts Municipal Association conference about Cannabis sales which we currently do not have, but we do have a zone for it. It might be coming up for discussion in the near future.
Orders of the Day.
AGENDA ITEM 2024-092 Order Waiving the Provisions of Chapter 220, Article I, Section 220-4 of the Code of the Town of Barnstable for a Period of Six Months.
Presented by Town Attorney Karen Nober. The item was approved.
AGENDA ITEM 2024-093 Appropriation and Loan Order in the amount of $30,900,000 for the purpose of funding sewer infrastructure improvements.
The Public Hearing was opened and continued until 03/07/2024.
AGENDA ITEM 2024-094 Authorization to contract for and expend an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the United States Department of Energy, Office of State and Community Energy Programs in the amount of $76,690 for the purpose of funding energy related expenditures.
Presented by Sean Hogan, Environmental Sustainability Manager. The item was approved.
AGENDA ITEM 2024-095 Supplemental Appropriation Order in the amount of $45,000 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 Park City Wind LLC’s proposed offshore renewable wind project in the Town was referred to a Public Hearing on 02/15/2024.
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 litigation strategy with respect to Park City Wind LLC’s proposed offshore renewable wind project in the Town. The Council vote was that they would not return to Public Session. President Penn also announced that Councilors Charlie Bloom, Kris Clark and Betty Ludtke would be participating remotely.
The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2024. The public is able to view through Xfinity High Definition Channel 1072 (or Xfinity Channel 8 or 1070) 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).