Town Council Meeting – Thursday, September 21, 2023

The September 21, 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 8 or in High Definition on Xfinity Channel 1072 or live stream through the Town website. Town Council President Matthew Levesque called the meeting to order and Assistant Town Clerk Janet Murphy took the Roll Call. Next President Levesque led the Pledge of Allegiance and a Moment of Silence in honor of Linda C. Morin, a long-time Barnstable resident and the mother of Town Council Administrator Cynthia Lovell.

Next was Public Comment which was followed by Council Response to Public Comment. Planning & Development Director Elizabeth Jenkins was asked to the podium to answer questions brought up during Public Comment regarding zoning.

President Levesque announced that Mr. Ells’ Town Manager Communications for the period of September 8-21, 2023 has been pre-recorded and was shown on our Government Access Channel prior to the meeting. The recorded version of Mr. Ells’ Town Manager Communications which includes a presentation by DPW Communications Manager Kelly Collopy may be viewed here and the itemized list is shared below:

  1. We are proceeding with the budget action calendar for FY 2025. The action items in the budget calendar include the meetings of the Town Council and School Committee Joint meeting to be held at the second Town Council meeting on October 19, 2023.  We will distribute the budget instructions for FY 2025 this week for Capital and Operating budget preparations.  For information on our fiscal year budgets please view the Town’s Open Budget website at
  2. The Natural Resources Division is pleased to report that they have secured Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) permits for raking Craigville and Covell’s Beaches.  The permit allows for spring beach cleanups as well as every-other week beach raking in July and August.  Further, the town will have the opportunity to accomplish emergency wrack removal after storms.  When drafting the permit staff made sure to claim all present and future events and activities associated with beach maintenance.  The MESA permit is good for 5 years and will allow for beach raking and beach activities at Craigville and Covell’s through the summer of 2028.  During this winter, the Natural Resources Division will file similar MESA permit applications for beach raking at Dowses and Kalmus.
  3. The Local Comprehensive Planning Committee (LCPC) continues its efforts to update the Town’s Local Comprehensive Plan.  The Committee is comprised of representatives of all seven villages and members of several Town Boards and Committees.  The Town is seeking to appoint additional members to the Committee as it begins phase two of the planning process.  The Town is looking to diversify representation on the Committee to ensure its makeup is reflective of the community’s population and is therefore seeking applications that represent the diversity in our community. If you are interested in participating, please complete the application found on the Barnstable Local Comprehensive Plan website ( or return it to the Town Manager’s Office by Friday, October 6, 2023.  Applications can also be found at each of the seven village libraries, the Hyannis Youth and Community Center, and the Barnstable Adult Community Center.  The Committee is appointed by the Town Manager, who due to the importance and far-reaching impacts of the work to be undertaken by the Committee, will request that all appointments be ratified by the Town Council.
  4. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) approved revisions to Title 5 and Watershed Permit on July 7, 2023. Filing of an application for a Watershed Permit is the next step in the process for our community to determine future actions required under the revised Title 5 and Watershed permit regulations.  On September 1, 2023 the Town of Barnstable filed its application for a Watershed Permit, in accordance with 314 CMR 21.00, Watershed Permit Regulations.  This application consists of a request for a Watershed Permit covering the entirety of the Town and its identified watersheds, in accordance with our Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP).  We are in receipt of a letter from MassDEP dated September 14, 2023 that states that for a community such as Barnstable that has a final nitrogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), the Nitrogen Sensitive Area (NSA) designation date is the same as the date the regulations were promulgated, July 7, 2023.  As stated above we have filed our application and await review with MassDEP.  The letter also notices the town that the requirements for enhanced nitrogen removal systems for new construction will begin January 8, 2024; and the requirements for existing septic system upgrades will commence July 8, 2025.  We anticipate that the outcome of the application the town filed for a Watershed Permit may impact how these dates will impact Town of Barnstable property owners.  We await further discussion with MassDEP regarding this application and will keep the Town advised of our progress.
  5. The Department of Public Works provides the Town of Barnstable with Water Resource Management planning in coordination with the Water Districts in our Town. The DPW has completed a New Source Evaluation Report in 2019 for drinking water in Barnstable.  The specific focus of this study is on the Water Supply Division but the information is important for long term water supply in our entire community.  We have received several questions recently as to whether the Water Supply Division is purchasing water from abutting water supply systems.  The Water Supply Division is not purchasing water from abutting water suppliers.  The system is functioning in compliance with all regulatory requirements and providing sufficient drinking water at this time from its own supply wells.  As explained in my last Town Manager Communication the water deficit that is discussed in the New Source Evaluation Report is for redundancy purposes in the event that we need to take a water supply well off line.  This is normal operations planning and prudent management in operating a public water supply.  As we progress on this matter we will keep the community advised of our progress.
  6. The Town of Barnstable Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division, in collaboration with Barnstable County, is holding a Household Hazardous Waste Collection on Saturday, September 23, 2023, from 9:00AM to 12:00PM, at the Transfer Station located at 45 Flint Street, Marstons Mills. All residential property owners in Barnstable are encouraged to participate. If you do not have a current transfer station sticker, please be prepared to provide proof of residency or residential property ownership in the Town of Barnstable.
  7. The Town of Barnstable, the Council on Aging, the Friends of the Barnstable Council on Aging, Barnstable Police, and the five Fire Districts are holding the 2nd “55+ COMMUNITY SAFETY DAY” on Thursday, September 28th from 10AM-4PM at the Barnstable Adult Community Center. This event will bring fun, educational, and safety resources to our Communities’ older adults all in one place. Public safety and community partners will provide older residents with the real world tools and information to keep them safe in their home, online, and in their neighborhood.
  8. As discussed in the last Town Manager Communication, PFAS, the “forever chemical” will remain in the forefront of our discussions. We have been advised that proposed regulations are under development at MassDEP that will have significant impacts on Cape Cod as we draw our drinking water from the aquifer that we live on.  Every resident of our community should be aware that as detection ability and regulatory thresholds advance relative to these emerging contaminants, it is not only products such as fire foam that introduces these chemical into our environment but also household items that we as consumers commonly use.  PFASs are in cookware, food packaging, stain resistant carpets and clothing, some cosmetics, outdoor gear, and even dental floss.  We will continue our municipal education of the public of what these emerging contaminants are, where they come from, how they impact us, and what can we do to remove them from our environment.  Many residents ask me questions regarding a water supply well or a wastewater treatment plant being the source of emerging contaminants.  I answer that water systems and wastewater treatment plants are the infrastructure through which water passes containing these chemicals.  The source of the contamination can vary depending on land use but in many cases any of us can contribute to the release of these chemicals or even expose ourselves through products we purchase and use without any knowledge of that impact.  Please take the time to become knowledgeable about emerging contaminants.  We plan to continue this discussion in future communications to better inform our public as to this important matter.

Ms. Collopy’s PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here.

Town Manager Mark Ells was asked to the podium to respond to Councilors’ questions regarding his Town Manager Communications. Department of Public Works Director Dan Santos was asked to provide more information regarding the Water Supply Division as well as the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan.


The Council voted to approve Public Session Minutes:  September 7, 2023.


Next was Communications from elected officials, boards, committees, and staff, commission reports, correspondence and announcements.


Private Roads Policy Workshop by Mark S. Ells, Town Manager. The PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here.


Zero Percent Interest Loans through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund: Flow Neutral Workshop by Elizabeth Jenkins, Planning & Development Director; Daniel W. Santos, Director of Public Works. The Council asked questions of Finance Director Mark Milne.

The PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here.


President Levesque started the Orders of the Day.  


AGENDA ITEM 2024-036 Order waiving inspection fees for public libraries in the Town of Barnstable for a period of one year (Public Hearing) (Roll Call Majority Vote)

Presented by Town Attorney Karen Nober. The item was approved.



AGENDA ITEM 2024-037 Appointments to a Board/Committee/Commission: Comprehensive Financial Advisory Committee: James Sproul, as a regular member, to a term expiring 06/30/2026; Housing Committee: Asia Graves, as a regular member, to a term expiring 06/30/2026; Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District Appeals Committee: Aaron Webb, as a regular member , to a term expiring 06/30/2024; Open Space Committee: Lev Malakhoff, as a regular member, to a term expiring 06/30/2024 was referred to a second reading on 10/05/2023.


AGENDA ITEM 2024-038 Supplemental Appropriation Order in the amount of $52,993 for the Barnstable School Department Fiscal Year 2024 Operating Budget for the purpose of funding a full-time Administrative Assistant position for Special Education Finances and Medicaid was referred to a Public Hearing on 10/05/2023.


The next regularly scheduled Town Council Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2023. The public is able to view through Xfinity Channel 8 (Xfinity High Definition Channel 1072) 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:  The meeting Agenda will be available on the Town of Barnstable’s website (