The February 16, 2023 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 Channel 18 or live stream through the Town website.
During the Moment of Silence Town Councilor Gordon Starr offered a moment for one of the hearts and souls of Barnstable Village – James Otis Ellis, Sr. who recently passed. Mr. Ellis was an 11th generation Cape Codder who carried on his family’s 111 year tradition of blacksmithing – the longest record in the country. Mr. Ellis had many honors bestowed upon him including as founder of the Barnstable County Fair Blacksmith Exhibit, was the Grand Marshall of the 2015 Barnstable Village 4th of July parade (alongside his wife Joan), received the Town of Barnstable Historic Preservation Award in 2021, and was a member of the New England Blacksmith Association. Our sympathies to Joanie and the Ellis Family.
Town Councilor Jeff Mendes offered condolences to Mrs. Reed for the passing of Mr. (John) Reed. As a former student, he would always be Mr. Reed to Councilor Mendes. Many people know Mr. Reed as the head of the NAACP, but he was actually a long time school teacher at Barnstable High School (he began his career in Barnstable on May 21, 1973 where he was employed by the School Department until February 1, 2016. The last 7 years were in a part-time capacity.) Councilor Mendes said that Mr. Reed probably had more impact on kids in this town than any other teacher. He founded the first multicultural club on the Cape – known as the Imani Club. He was very fair, a pillar of the community, a social justice warrior, and we will all miss him immensely.
Next up was Public Comment followed by Council Response to Public Comment. President Levesque announced that Mr. Ells’ Town Manager Communications for the period of February 3-16, 2023 have been recorded and were shown prior to this meeting. Councilors had a number of questions for Mr. Ells who was joined by DPW Dan Santos and Planning & Development Director Elizabeth Jenkins in providing responses. The recorded version of Mr. Ells’ Town Manager Communications can be viewed here. Mr. Ells’ report can be viewed on-line and the itemized list is shared below:
- We are proceeding with the Budget Action Calendar for FY 2024 as scheduled. The Capital Budget for FY 2024 and Capital Plan for FY24 to FY28 are scheduled to be submitted to the Town Council on March 6, 2023. Public hearings on the CIP orders are scheduled to begin April 27, 2023. We have a scheduled workshop with Town Council on April 6, 2023 to continue the discussion regarding revenue sources to address the capital costs of implementing the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan including the recommended option of a debt exclusion vote. For information on our fiscal year budgets, please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- On February 15, 2023, municipal leaders from Cape Cod had an opportunity to communicate with Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll on the proposed regulatory changes to Title 5 and Watershed Permit regulations, and the need for additional funding to support the cost of compliance with the Clean Water Act and proceeding with our Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plans. We anticipate that the Lt. Governor will coordinate a meeting with Cape Cod communities and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to further discuss these concerns as MassDEP proceeds with its approval of said regulatory changes. We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.
- Great Streets Hyannis: A Walkable Heart for Cape Cod (Return to Two-Way Travel Downtown) The Great Streets Hyannis Project is re-envisioning how Hyannis Main Street and the surrounding streets and intersections are designed and function. The Town of Barnstable, together with project partners Jeff Speck and Stantec Consulting, invite the community to view and comment on conceptual designs for two-way streets and reconfigured intersections on the project webpage. The public is invited and encouraged to comment on the plans, which include conceptual street cross-sections, large-scale intersection redesigns, additional on-street parking options, and an on-street protected bicycle network. As discussed at a community meeting on January 25th, the conversion of the traffic network to two-ways and addition of bike lanes can be accomplished in the near-term by restriping the pavement, modifying traffic controls, and other short-term interventions. Intersection reconstructions are envisioned as longer-term investments to achieve greater walkability, traffic management, safety for all users, and enhancement of the downtown. Public comment will be accepted through Sunday, March 19th.
- Local Comprehensive Plan ‘Bringing it Together’ Workshop. The Town of Barnstable Local Comprehensive Planning Committee and Planning & Development Department invite the community to attend an upcoming ‘Bringing It Together’ workshop to reflect on community values and establish a community vision. Key themes of public input collected over the last five months will be presented, as well as trends related to topics including to housing, economy, transportation, open space and equity. There will be two community visioning workshops: a virtual workshop Tuesday, February 28th between 12:00-1:15 PM and an in-person workshop Wednesday, March 1st between 5:00-7:00 PM. Pizza will be provided at the in-person workshop and, in partnership with Barnstable Recreation, arts and crafts and a movie will be available for children ages kindergarten through 5th grade. The content and structure of the two workshops will be the same, with the exception of one extra exercise at the end of the in-person workshop. For planning purposes, we kindly ask that all attendees pre-register at: https://www.cognitoforms.com/TownOfBarnstable1/barnstablelcp.
- The Recreation Division is currently processing 2023 beach parking permits. We encourage the public to apply now and have their beach sticker in hand before Memorial Day, when processing times will take significantly longer due to the increased volume of permit applications. Parking permits may be obtained by accessing our online system at townofbarnstable.us/recreation, by mail or drop box located at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center. Permits are no longer being issued in person. Applications can be picked up at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center and the Barnstable Adult Community Center. The online system has a user guide to help those who are new to the process. For anyone with specific questions or in need of additional assistance with the online system, please call the beach permit hotline at 508-790-6345 X145 and a Recreation Division staff member will follow up with you to ensure you are able to secure your permit in time for summer.
- Kelly Collopy of the Public Works Department will provide an update on Water Resource Management planning including the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan.
- The Superintendent of Barnstable Public Schools Sara Ahern shared a draft of her presentation to the School Committee on the Superintendent’s Report of Entry Findings for my review. That presentation will be shown following the Town Manager communication. Here is the link to Superintendent Ahern’s presentation: https://youtu.be/Xq9LndLuIsw
The Council voted to Public Session Minutes: February 2, 2023.
Next was Communications from elected officials, boards, committees, and staff, commission reports, correspondence and announcements.
Update on Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance by Doreen Leggett, Communications Officer, and Capt. Eric Hesse, Board Chair. The PDF of their presentation can be viewed here. The graphic enumerating impacts on the Town of Barnstable can be viewed here.
The Orders of the Day began with OLD BUSINESS. DPW Director Dan Santos presented AGENDA ITEM 2023-128 Appropriation Order in the amount of $300,000 to fund disposal costs at the Solid Waste Division of the Department of Public Works which was approved.
Information Technology Director Jim Benoit presented AGENDA ITEM 2023-129 Appropriation Order in the amount of $206,391 to fund Information Technology Security Improvements which was approved.
Barnstable Public Schools Superintendent Sara Ahern and Facilities Director Michael Lambros joined by Director of Asset Management David Anthony who is also a member of the Cape Light Compact Governing Board representing Barnstable presented AGENDA ITEM 2023-130 Appropriation Order in the amount of $1,444,398 for the School Department for the purpose of funding the Barnstable Public School District Wide LED Light Replacement Project which was approved.
Senior Town Attorney Charles McLaughlin presented AGENDA ITEM 2023-131 Order authorizing the taking of road easements by eminent domain for sewer and water purposes over certain private roads in Centerville known as Earles Court, Nobadeer Road, Quisset Road, Christinas Path, Capt. Ellis Lane, Jennie’s Path, Nancys Lane, and a private way adjacent to Lot 11 as shown on a plan filed in Plan Book 288, Page 18 at the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds which was approved.
NEW BUSINESS began with Planning & Development Director Elizabeth Jenkins presented the following AGENDA ITEMS 2023-134 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 Cultural District Grant in the amount of $15,000 from The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural District Investment Grant Program for the Barnstable Village Cultural District; AGENDA ITEM 2023-135 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 Cultural District Grant in the amount of $15,000 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural District Investment Grant Program for the Hyannis HyArts Cultural District; and 2023-136 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2023 Cultural District Grant in the amount of $5,600 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Sector Recovery Grants for Organizations Program which were approved.
Director Jenkins recognized the outstanding work by Arts & Culture Coordinator Melissa Chartrand and Roberta Miller of Cape Cod Arts Center for these programs.
The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 2, 2023. 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).