1. We are proceeding with the budget actions for FY 2023 as per the budget action calendar.  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.
  2. The nation’s three (3) largest distributors of opioids – Cardinal Health, McKesson and Amerisource Bergen – and opioid-maker Johnson & Johnson have accepted the national settlement agreements with Massachusetts and with the majority of other states.  Beginning this year, Massachusetts will receive approximately $500 million in Settlement Proceeds over the next 18 years, and funds will be distributed directly to cities and towns beginning in spring or summer of this year.  The state will keep 60% of those funds for prevention, treatment and recovery programs, and cities and towns that join the settlements will receive 40%.  The Town of Barnstable has joined in this settlement.  The initial proposed allocation to cities and towns was 15%, but through the efforts of the law firm representing us and other cities and towns, the municipal allocation was successfully negotiated to 40%.  The municipal share of 40% of the Settlement Proceeds will be allocated among Massachusetts cities and towns in percentages that are based on federal data on opioid use disorder, overdose deaths and 2006-2016 opioid shipments into cities and towns.  Legal fees are being paid by a national fund and are not being paid with any of the Settlement Proceeds.  Funds are to be used for supporting and promoting treatment for individuals with an opioid use disorder (OUD), support for individuals in treatment and recovery, provide connections to care for people who have or are at risk of developing and OUD, support efforts to prevent overdose deaths and opioid-related harms, support diversion and deflection programs and strategies for criminal-justice-involved persons with OUD, support pregnant and parenting women and their families including babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and to prevent misuse of opioids and implement prevention education.
  3. At the March 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 Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates has adopted an ordinance to distribute $20 million in funds received by Barnstable County under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) directly to towns.  The next step in this process will be to determine how much of the $20 million each town will receive.  We will keep you advised relative to the release of said ARPA funding.
  4. We continue to have regular conversations with Vineyard Wind (Phase I ongoing), Park City Wind (Phase 2 in permitting), and Commonwealth Wind (Phase 3 preliminary stages) projects.  Later this evening the team for Phases 2 & 3 will present information relevant to those two respective projects.  Vineyard Wind Phase 1 plans to attend a future Town Council meeting to provide a project update.  We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.
  5. On March 15, 2022 I received a document from the Friends of the Centerville Bog Preservation, Inc. regarding a property subject to the requirements under Chapter 61A.   Under Chapter 61A of the Mass. General Laws, a Seller who is selling for residential use property that is classified and taxed under that chapter as agricultural or horticultural property is required to provide notice of the sale to the Town Manager and to certain Town boards, including the Town Council.  This notice is required so that the Town may decide whether to exercise its right of first refusal and purchase the property or whether to assign that right to the Commonwealth or to a non-profit conservation organization.  The Seller of the Jenkins bog property notified the Town Manager of their intent to sell the property but did not provide the required notice to any of the Town boards listed in the statute.  Legal is reviewing this matter and will make recommendations on next steps.  In addition, our Legal Department is preparing a draft internal process for the Town to consider for future use when the Town receives such notice.
  6. 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. 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 tomorrow – March 18, 2022.  The Draft Plan was presented at the March 14, 2022 Planning Board meeting and the Planning Board voted to submit a letter of support to Town Council for the HMP as drafted.  A resolve will be presented to Town Council for approval and subsequently submitted to MEMA and FEMA for their approval.
  7. Next Wednesday, March 23rd at 6:00 PM the Cape Cod Commission is holding a public meeting to discuss a study that was completed for the Route 28 East Hyannis corridor. The study area spans between Yarmouth Road in Barnstable to East Main Street in Yarmouth. The study seeks to recommend a set of key short-and long-term recommendations to address various issues along the corridor. The focus of this public input session is to gather public feedback on issues, opportunities, and visions for the future of the corridor. For more information, visit the project website at https://www.capecodcommission.org/Route28EastHyannis. 
  8. I wanted let you know that the Barnstable Police Department received a call from the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in Washington, D.C. late yesterday. They informed me that after a nationwide selection process Officer Danielle St. Peter has been chosen to receive the Fifth Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing for her outstanding work with the Community Impact Unit and her dedication to making our community a better place. We expect that the U.S. Attorney General’s Office will be putting out a press release regarding the award. Congratulations, Officer St. Peter.
  9. Dan Santos, Director of Public Works, provided an update on Water Resource Management including the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (video).