The February 3, 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 Vice President Paula Schnepp opened the meeting by inviting Councilor Jeffrey Mendes to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Vice President Schnepp offered the Moment of Silence. 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 January 21, 2022-February 3, 2022:
- On January 29, 2022 a winter storm impacted our area with blizzard conditions resulting in numerous power outages and wind related damages. Our staff response was well coordinated and effective resulting in accessible roads and restoration of power by Eversource for most residents by Sunday evening. I want to thank all involved in this successful response in keeping our community safe through this significant weather event.
- Elizabeth Jenkins, Director of Planning and Development, shall provide an update on the Local Comprehensive Plan.
- The ‘Business Barnstable’ website has been relaunched at businessbarnstable.com. This resource website is designed to enhance communication between the Town and small business owners and to market the Town of Barnstable to new businesses and developers, promoting our competitive advantages and high quality of life. The community also can sign up for periodic economic development updates on the home page.
- The Town of Barnstable invites Civic Associations and community nonprofits to submit an application for a 2022 Tourism Mini-Grant. The Tourism Mini-Grant Program is designed to aid our seven villages in promoting new or existing events and festivals to draw visitors to our town. All civic associations and nonprofit organizations within the Town of Barnstable that are marketing village events to visitors and/or providing visitor services are eligible and encouraged to apply. These grants are available up to a maximum of $1,000 per applicant, and require one-to-one matching funds.
- The Town, in partnership with the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District, is offering a new round of COVID-19 Small Business Recovery Grants to low- and moderate-income business owners stressed by the impacts of the pandemic. These $10,000 grants will assist 10 small businesses to cover losses incurred since the state of emergency declaration on March 10, 2020. Any business owner with an establishment in the Town of Barnstable with five or fewer employees is eligible to apply and must demonstrate that they can meet the program requirements. Funding for these grants is provided through the Community Development Block Grant. More information and applications are available at hyannismainstreet.com and on the Town’s homepage.
- We are proceeding with the budget action calendar for FY 2023 as provided at the last Town Council meeting in the development of the proposed capital and operating budgets as per the budget action calendar. Mark Milne, Finance Director, will share a recent budget development relative to Chapter 70 Aid that will impact our FY 2023 budget planning and proposals. For information on our fiscal year budgets please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- In FY 2020 the Town Council approved a Comprehensive Facilities Assessment to be conducted by our School Department. The assessment is intended to study school facilities, future enrollments, and other trends to aid in our School Department’s long range planning. Michael Lambros, Director of School Facilities, shall provide an update on the assessment.
- On January 24, 2022 Matt Levesque, Town Council President; Paula Schnepp, Town Council Vice President; Mark Milne, Finance Director; and I met with Barnstable County Administrator Beth Albert, and Vaira Harik, Assistant County Administrator, to discuss the use of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds distributed to the County. The County explained that they had received comment directly from other community’s leadership and from the public as well through a survey conduct by the County. We shared with the County that we appreciated the direct support the County has provided through the Barnstable County Department of Health throughout this health crisis and suggested that costs associated with that support should be one use of the County’s ARPA funds. Beyond COVID response expenses incurred by the County, distribution of ARPA funds to regional priorities that are eligible under ARPA or direct distribution to Barnstable County communities for the same eligible uses would be appropriate. With us this evening is County Administrator Albert and Assistant Administrator Harik to share additional information relevant to the distribution of County ARPA funds.
The Town Council acted on the minutes next which was followed by Communications. The Orders of the Day began with OLD BUSINESS. AGENDA ITEM 2022-069 Authorizing the Town Manager to execute a major amendment to the original Regulatory Agreement 2019-03 between the Town of Barnstable and Airview, LLC for the properties located at 451 and 467 Iyannough Road, Hyannis was opened and continued to a Public Hearing on February 17, 2022. Chief Matthew Sonnabend presented AGENDA ITEM 2022-072 Appropriation Order in the amount of $156,849 for the Barnstable Police Department Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Expense Budget for the purpose of funding the costs associated with the hiring of ten patrol officers to fill currently vacant positions which was approved. Town Councilor Eric Steinhilber recused himself prior to the start of the next agenda item. Assistant Town Attorney Charles McLaughlin presented AGENDA ITEM 2022-074 Appropriation Order in the amount of $10,000 for the purpose of acquiring an easement over real property located at 195 Phinney’s Lane, Barnstable (Centerville) shown on Assessor’s Map 209 as Parcel 020 to be associated with the construction of new sewer infrastructure which was approved. NEW BUSINESS began with Councilors Gordon Starr and Kris Clark presenting the rationale for AGENDA ITEM 2022-075 Resolve approving a letter opposing the discharge of radioactive wastewater into Cape Cod Bay which was approved. Planning & Development Director Elizabeth Jenkins presented AGENDA ITEMS 2022-076 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2022 Planning Assistance Grant in the amount of $37,500 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to update design guidelines and historic district guidelines in downtown Hyannis; 2022-077 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2022 Cultural District Grant in the amount of $7,500 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural District Grant Program for the Barnstable Village Cultural District; and 2022-078 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2022 Cultural District Grant in the amount of $7,500 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural District Grant Program for the Hyannis HyArts Cultural District which were approved. Director Jenkins recognized the hard work by the Town’s Arts & Culture Coordinator Melissa Chartrand. Community Services Director Madeline Noonan presented AGENDA ITEM 2022-079 Authorization to expend a Grant in the amount of $6,805 from the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging to support caregiver respite at the Barnstable Adult Community Center which was approved. DPW Director Dan Santos presented AGENDA ITEM 2022-080 Transfer Order in the Amount of $104,000 for the Purpose of Funding the School Administration Building Mechanical Improvement Project which was approved. The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 17, 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).