Town Manager Mark Ells presented his Town Manager Communications for the period of November 4-17, 2022:
- Elizabeth Jenkins, Director of Planning and Development, provided an overview of the Great Streets Downtown Hyannis: Hyannis Main Street Transportation Network and Streetscape project.
- The Town of Barnstable is currently in the process of updating our Housing Production Plan (HPP). An HPP helps municipalities identify the best ways to meet their housing needs and shape the location, type, and design of development. This plan will consider best practices for promoting diverse housing options that align with the community’s vision and goals. Communities with a wide variety of housing types and programs are stronger, more diverse places to live with higher quality of life for residents. Our current HPP expires next year, and we are hard at work to update our HPP. Community engagement is an integral part of this plan and our goal is to reach as many Barnstable community members as possible. We invite you to join our hybrid Public Forum on Wednesday, November 30th at 6:00 PM. This forum will be hosted in person at Barnstable Town Hall, 367 Main Street, Hyannis, as well as virtually through a Zoom webinar. This event is free and open to the public, though registration for the virtual option is required. You can register here. During the forum, the Town will present draft goals and strategies, then provide opportunities for community members to participate. You can learn more about the existing Housing Production Plan at the Town’s Housing and Community Development website here.
- We are proceeding with the Budget Action Calendar for FY 2024. The FY 2024 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) submissions were due on November 7, 2022 with a staff review of the proposed CIP projects commencing November 28, 2022 as per the Budget Action Calendar. A public hearing was held on November 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM for proposed changes to various Town of Barnstable permit and programs fees that take effect on January 1, 2023 as well as on a proposed taxi meter rate increase for taxis licensed to operate within the Town of Barnstable effective January 1, 2023. The hearing can be viewed on the Town of Barnstable’s website. We will continue to take public comments through December 14, 2022. Information regarding the proposed changes are available on the Town Manager’s page of the Town of Barnstable’s website at www.townofbarnstable.us. For information on our fiscal year budgets, please view the Town’s Open Budget website at http://budget.townofbarnstable.us.
- On June 1, 2022, the Town of Barnstable was informed of regulatory revisions the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) was developing to ensure that timely actions are taken to restore and protect coastal estuaries that have been impacted by excessive nitrogen pollution. MassDEP is proposing to amend the Title 5 regulations to enhance protection of embayments and estuaries – particularly on Cape Cod, the Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts – from nitrogen pollution originating primarily from wastewater. MassDEP’s proposed regulations at 314 CMR 21.00 provide a watershed permitting approach to control nitrogen and other pollutants from entering the embayments and estuaries. MassDEP will conduct three public hearings one of which will be an in-person and remote hearing at Barnstable Town Hall, 367 Main Street, Hyannis, MA on December 5, 2022 at 6:00 PM. Comments on the proposed revisions may be presented orally at the public hearing. You can find additional information regarding the public hearings at https://www.mass.gov/doc/310-cmr-15000-314-cmr-2100-public-hearing-notice/download We have also been provided with the following links to proposed changes to the regulation. 310 CMR 15.000: Septic Systems (“Title 5”) | Mass.gov314 CMR 21.00: Watershed Permit Regulations | Mass.gov. At the November 10, 2022 Cape Managers meeting we discussed the proposed regulations with varying comments and concerns amongst the attending Towns. I had a subsequent discussion with Kristy Senatori, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission, regarding these proposed regulation changes and agreed to share comments on said proposed regulations. Written comments are due by December 16, 2022. We will keep you advised as these important regulatory revisions progress.
- We continue review of permits filed with regulatory agencies regarding the proposed Phase 3 (Commonwealth Wind) landing of cable in Barnstable. At the presentation on March 17, 2022 the proposed landing locations for cable in Osterville were shared with the Town Council. Commonwealth Wind shared said information following their filing for Site Assessment approval with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management documents that identified their proposed project including landing and cable route locations. I plan to commence Host Community Agreement negotiation with Commonwealth Wind in late November 2022 as authorized by Town Council. My most recent discussion focused on Commonwealth Wind’s request to delay their filing with the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in order to renegotiate their Power Purchasing Agreement but they had not changed their filing of environmental/project permitting for the Commonwealth Wind project. On September 30, 2022 Commonwealth Wind proceeded with filing an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) and supporting documents to the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency office (MEPA) of the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The document link below is to the form and various attachments, including attachment A, which is a narrative describing the project and the rationale for various siting and design considerations, including the landing and the route.nhttps://avangridrenewables.box.com/s/vwftpvf703ivpauz34yoadvimq8g8lbu Commonwealth Wind anticipates that the public comment period for the ENF will extend through November 29, 2022 (extended from October 27, 2022). Link to MEPA website https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/EEA/MEPA-eMonitor/home Staff is reviewing the ENF and plan to submit comments within the public comment period. We will continue to monitor the Attachment D Permits, Reviews and Approvals required for the project and respond appropriately. We will keep you advised of our progress on this matter.
- Sean Hogan joined our Asset Management Division of the Town Manager’s Office as the Environmental Sustainability Manager on Monday, November 14th. He comes to the town from the Tuft’s Urban and Environmental Planning program. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Earth Science as well as Master degrees in Urban and Environmental Planning and International Relations. He is currently in the process of familiarizing himself with the Town, researching our renewable energy installations, energy efficiency initiatives and commenced meeting with key individuals in an effort to build a sustainable and resilient future for our community.
- I want to thank our Barnstable Youth Commission for hosting the 9th Annual Community Substance Abuse Prevention Forum in the Barnstable High School Library. Parents and guardians were invited to attend the forum, learn up-to-date information and have their questions answered on this important topic by a panel of local experts. The “Hidden in Plain Sight” trailer was also on-site at the event to show parents/guardians where youth may be hiding illegal substances.
- The Town of Barnstable’s Channel 18 continues its award winning video production, receiving four awards at the Alliance for Community Media Northeast Region annual video festival held on November 12, 2022.
- 3rd place in the Profile Talk Show Category for “Beacon Hill Beat – State Senator Julian Cyr”
- 2nd place in the Municipal Government Programming category for “Introduction to Water Quality”
- 1st place in the Science/Health/Spirituality category for “Learn to Shellfish – Harvesting Oysters”
- 1st place in the Community Impact category for “Residential Storm Water”
- Congratulations to Sarah Beal-Fletcher, Paula Hersey, Stone Dow, and Liz Lewis for their outstanding work! Being recognized by Public, Education, Government (PEG) media and local access stations in the Northeast region which includes all of New England and New York is a great accomplishment. Recognition for the hard work put in to create meaningful and informative content that matters for the residents and visitors of the Town of Barnstable shows that our commitment to excellence is paying off. Channel 18 has won 29 awards for their hard work since the first time entering the festival in 2010. All of this year’s winning videos can be accessed via YouTube on this playlist: ACM-NE Winners.
Rob Steen, Assistant Director of Public Works, provided an update on Water Resource Planning including an update on the Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan. Mr. Steen’s PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here.