Town Council Meeting – Thursday, March 3, 2022
The March 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 President Matt Levesque opened the meeting and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Vice President Paula Schnepp offered the Moment of Silence for the citizens of Ukraine with the hope for the end to the violence and a return to peace as soon as possible. Next up was Public Comment which was followed by Council Response to Public Comment. Prior to presenting his communications, Town Manager Mark Ells reported that today’s Ready, Set, Work Job Fair hosted by the Barnstable Youth Commission at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center was a big success. 41 Businesses welcomed over 280 youth (more than the last in person event) from 14 schools including: Barnstable High School, Barnstable Intermediate School, St. John Paul II, Sturgis East & West, Nauset, D-Y, Sandwich, Cape Cod Tech, Upper Cape Tech, Trinity Christian Academy, Cape Cod Academy, Lighthouse Charter School, Cape Cod Community College and some home schooled students. Congratulations to the Youth Commission on a job well done! Town Manager Communications for the period of February 18-March 3, 2022:
- Elizabeth Jenkins, Director of Planning and Development, shall provide an update on the Local Comprehensive Plan.
- We are proceeding with the budget action calendar for FY 2023 as per the budget action calendar. A draft of the proposed Capital Improvement Program for Fiscal Year 2023 has been shared with the Town Council. The first reading of the capital program appropriation orders is scheduled for April 7th and public hearings on the program will begin on April 28th. The Town Manager Fiscal Year Rate hearing will be held on March 22, 2022 at 11:00 AM. All proposed rate changes will be posted on the Town website. For information on our fiscal year budgets, please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- The Town received competitive bids from bond underwriters on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, for a $11,475,000, 20-year general obligation bond issue. Piper Sandler & Co was the winning bidder on the Bonds with an average interest rate of 2.13%. The Town received a total of seven (7) bids on the Bonds. Bond proceeds will be used to finance various municipal projects included in the Town’s fiscal Year 2022 Capital Improvement Program. Prior to the sale, S&P Global Ratings, a municipal bond credit rating agency, affirmed the Town’s ‘AAA’ bond rating, the highest rating attainable. The rating agency cited the Town’s very strong economy, very strong management with strong financial policies and practices, strong budgetary performance, very strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity, a strong debt and contingent liability profile, and a strong institutional framework score as positive credit factors.
- At the February 3, 2022 meeting, I reported that Town Council leadership and senior staff had met with the Barnstable County Administrator to discuss the use of ARPA funds distributed to the County. The County communicated with Mark Milne, Director of Finance, and me that the towns in Barnstable County have projects ready that would qualify for County ARPA funds and the desire was for the County to allocate some (or all) of its ARPA funding for application by the towns in an expeditious manner. At a meeting on February 23, 2022, County Administrative staff recommended, and the County Board of Commissioners approved, the release of a first round of funds in the amount of $10 million for application by the towns. The process for doing so involves approval by the Assembly of Delegates. In addition, the ordinance delegates the decision of how the $10 million shall be apportioned to each town for subsequent application for funding to the Assembly. While the Assembly is deliberating, the Barnstable County Administrative staff has begun the process of authorizing each of the towns to access the County’s Application Portal. The Portal will go live later in March. For a town to enter a project application they require that each town designate an ARPA Certifier (typically the Town Administrator or Town Manager) and an ARPA Reporter (typically the Town Finance Director, Town Accountant, or Grant Manager). In accordance with that guidance I have designated Mark Milne, Finance Director, as ARPA Reporter and myself as ARPA Certifier. We will keep you advised relative to the release of said ARPA funding.
- We continue to have regular conversations with Vineyard Wind (VW) regarding the progress of the Phase I project. VW continues construction on Phase I and plans to attend a future Town Council meeting with an update on their progress. Phase II permitting is proceeding and we have completed the update to the Phase II Host Agreement with Park City Wind. We continue discussions as authorized by Town Council for Phase III (Commonwealth Wind) with a scheduled update to Town Council planned for the March 17, 2022 meeting by Commonwealth Wind. We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.
- The Town is currently updating its Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) as prescribed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The HMP is a planning document that is required by both FEMA and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to be updated every five (5) years in order to remain eligible for certain funding opportunities. The purpose of the plan is to identify and profile the town’s risk and vulnerability to potential natural hazards. Specifically, it assesses the potential impacts of hurricanes, winter storms, shoreline change/coastal erosion, earthquakes, drought/wildfire, and dam failure and identifies properties, resources, and critical facilities which may be impacted by these hazard events. The plan identifies mitigation strategies and actions aimed at reducing the loss of or damage to life, property, infrastructure and natural, cultural, and economic resources. A corresponding implementation plan will be prepared to address the prioritization and administration of the identified strategies and actions. A draft of the plan is currently available for public review on the Planning & Development website under Plans and Projects entitled Hazard Mitigation Plan Update https://www.town.barnstable.ma.us/Departments/planninganddevelopment/Projects/Hazard-Mitigation-Plan-Update.asp. Public comment is open through March 18, 2022. The Draft Plan will be presented at the March 14, 2022 Planning Board meeting and upon the closure and consideration of public comments will then be presented to Town Council for approval and subsequently submitted to MEMA and FEMA for their approval.
Next up was an update on activities at Cape Cod Community College including the construction of the Frank and Maureen Wilkens Science and Engineering Center by President John Cox and Chris Clark, Vice President of Finance and Operations. The Council then acted on the minutes and provided their Communications. OLD BUSINESS began with Town Councilor Jen Cullum presenting AGENDA ITEM 2022-135 Appointments to a Board/Committee/Commission: Registrar of Voters: Lisa Gage, Barnstable, MA; Michael R. Curtis, Cotuit, MA which was approved. Town Attorney Karen Nober presented AGENDA ITEM 2022-136 Amendment to the Administrative Code to designate members of the Local Comprehensive Planning Committee as Special Municipal Employees for purposes of the State Conflict of Interest Law which was approved. Director of Golf Operations Jesse Schechtman presented AGENDA ITEM 2022-137 Appropriation and Transfer Order in the amount of $68,000 for the purpose of addressing infrastructure and code compliance issues in several buildings within the Golf Operations Division which was approved. NEW BUSINESS began with Councilor Cullum presenting a first reading of AGENDA ITEM 2022-138 Appointments to a Board/Committee/Commission: Board of Health: Dan Luczkow, M.D. from an alternate position to a regular member to a term expiring 6/30/2024; Paul Canniff, D.M.D as a regular member to a term expiring 6/30/2023; Steve Waller M.D. as an alternate member to a term expiring 6/30/2022; Human Services Committee: Cheryl Powell, as a regular member to a term expiring 6/30/2023; Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District Commission: Tom Doherty, as an alternate member to a term expiring 6/30/2023 which was amended to have Mr. Doherty to serve as a full member. The item was referred to a Second Reading on March 17, 2022.
AGENDA ITEMS 2022-139 Appropriation Order in the amount of $300,000 for the purpose of funding emergency repairs at the Old Colony Road Pump Station and Water Pollution Control Facility Renewable Energy System and 2022-140 Appropriation and Transfer Order in the amount of $295,000 for the purpose of funding Blish Point dune storm damage repair and design of future improvements were referred to Public Hearings on March 17, 2022. Community Services Director Madeline Noonan presented AGENDA ITEMS 2022-141 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2022 grant in the amount of $154,140 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Elder Affairs to fund staff salaries and operating expenses of the Barnstable Council on Aging Division and 2022-142 Authorization to expend a Fiscal Year 2022 grant in the amount of $60,000 of American Rescue Plan Funds Act of 2021 (ARPA) from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Office of Health & Human Services to support the Barnstable Youth Commission which were approved. Town Councilor Jessica Rapp Grassetti recused herself from Agenda Items 2022-143, 2022-144, 2022-145, and 2022-146. AGENDA ITEM 2022-143 Appropriation and Transfer Order in the amount of $87,500 in Community Preservation Historic Preservation Funds for the preservation and restoration of Dottridge Homestead, Rothwell Icehouse and Museum, Map 034, Parcel 051, 1148 Main Street, Cotuit, MA was referred to a Public Hearing on March 17, 2022. Town Councilors Paul Neary, Nik Atsalis, and Tracy Shaughnessy recused themselves from Agenda Items 2022-144, 2022-145, and 2022-146. Due to a lack of quorum, Agenda Items 2022-144, 2022-145, and 2022-146 (see items below) were referred to the March 17, 2022 Town Council Meeting. [AGENDA ITEM 2022-144 Amending the Code of the Town of Barnstable, Part I General Ordinances, Chapter 240 Zoning by repealing the Zoning Districts known as the “Hyannis Village Zoning Districts” and replacing them with revised and updated districts collectively known as the “Downtown Hyannis Zoning Districts”(Refer to Planning Board); AGENDA ITEM 2022-145 Amending the Code of the Town of Barnstable, Part I General Ordinances, Chapter 240 Zoning, Article VII Sign Regulations to amend regulations to be consistent with proposed new district regulations (Refer to Planning Board); and AGENDA ITEM 2022-146 Amending the Code of the Town of Barnstable, Part I General Ordinances, Chapter 240 Zoning by moving and renumbering section 240-122.1 Registered Recreational Marijuana Cultivators, Research Facilities, and Testing Laboratories into a new overlay Zoning District and repealing sections 240-129 and 240-129.1 expired temporary moratorium for Marijuana uses (Refer to Planning Board)]. The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 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).