Barnstable This Morning

Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells joined “Barnstable This Morning” host Sarah Colvin on Tuesday morning’s program. Mark discussed the public launch of e-permitting. The system will go live and be available for plumbing, electrical, and gas permits on Monday February 29, 2016. Mark shared information about further developing local aquaculture programs, and talked about progress on the Fiscal 2017 Capital Improvement Plan. Watch the interview:  YouTube

 

Storm Statistics

We are noticing that many residents are receiving snowstorm related information from our Facebook page. During the last storm, our Town of Barnstable Facebook page was visited 500 times. Information reached 8,641 people and engaged 1,385 users. The page was updated with information from the Department of Public Works, which helped our residents stay informed during the storm.

 

Town Council Meeting

Town Council met on Thursday February 11, 2016. Council accepted several police department grants that will fund a number of programs, including first responder funding for Naloxone (Narcan), pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic enforcement, underage alcohol enforcement, and an Emergency Management grant to upgrade 4 portable radios and high capacity radio batteries.  A Charitable Redemption Partnership grant to help fund the Seventh Grade Youth Summit in March was also accepted.   

 

 

 

Cape Cod Regional Technical High School Building Committee

Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells serves as our Town’s representative on the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School Building Committee. A proposed renovation project will soon be underway at the school.  On February 10, 2016, Ells participated in a meeting in which the Owner Project Manager (OPM) contract with Colliers International was ratified. That action was followed by a discussion by the OPM of schedule and scope of work to be accomplished in compliance with the Massachusetts School Advisory Board to ensure eligibility for funding of the proposed capital project. Click here for additional information on the project.

 

Cape Cod Regional Technical High School

Following up on the Building Committee meeting on Wednesday, Cape Cod Regional Technical High School Superintendent Robert Sanborn made a presentation to Town Council during Thursday night’s meeting. Sanborn and outlined the Fiscal 2017 budget and capital improvements planned at the school. There were several questions on the programs offered at the school, job placement statistics, and future capital costs.

 

Operating Budget News

Finance Director Mark Milne has noted that Governor Charlie Baker’s Local Aid proposal for Fiscal 2017 is significantly better than our original projections. Most of the increase is in Chapter 70 school aid funding. If the House and Senate uphold these numbers the finds will help off-set fixed cost increases in health care and other assessments. Lower gas prices has resulted in a per gallon bid fixed price of $1.387 for FY 17. These savings will also assist departments meet other funding commitments. Our revenue numbers change right up to submission of our budget and, as one would expect, we are constantly monitoring both revenues and expenses.

 

Expansion of Housing Courts Statewide

Barnstable has been supporting the creation of a housing court on Cape Cod. Governor Charlie Baker has included funding and authorizing language in his Fiscal 2017 State budget to accomplish the expansion of housing courts statewide. “We need to make this the year that every resident of the Commonwealth gains access to a housing court,” said Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants.

 

Cape Cod Municipal Management Association

The February meeting of the Cape Cod Municipal Managers’ Association was held in Mashpee. The County is facing budget cuts for the coming fiscal year, and the group held a discussion on the impact this might have on towns in Fiscal 2017. We also received an update on the Cape Cod Municipal Health Group. Former Yarmouth Town Administrator Bob Lawton spent time recently assisting the County’s Finance Department.  Bob explained proposed cuts to reduce the Fiscal 2017 Operating Budget deficit.  Part of the relief package includes a thirty-six cent increase in the Registry of Deeds excise tax. This increase must be approved by the County Commissioners and the Assembly of Delegates. The proposed cuts and tax increase would total $2.3 million.

 

Department of Veterans’ Services Update

At this month’s Cape Cod Municipal Managers’ Association meeting, Cape Veterans Agent Ed Merigan discussed the various services offered to Cape veterans through his office. Since 1861, the Department of Veterans Services has been providing services and benefits to veterans and their dependents. The wide variety of services available to our Veterans in Barnstable include the local one-stop center, care of veterans’ graves, counseling, insurance claims, vocational rehabilitation, housing, and so much more.

 

Sandy Neck Off-Road Beach Closed

The off-road beach at Sandy Neck will remain closed throughout the weekend. Sandy Neck Natural Resource Officer Sean Kortis says that although the storm debris and extreme high tides have started to subside, the sand remains extremely soft out on the front beach. With strong north winds and extreme cold temperatures expected over the next few days, the ORV Beach will remain closed throughout the weekend. Staff will reassess the situation at the beginning of next week.

 

 

Cold Weather Warning: Safety Tips

The forecast for this weekend is calling for dangerously low temperatures. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is urging residents to take precautions during this period of extreme cold weather. Prolonged exposure to the cold can lead to serious health issues including frostbite, and in extreme cases, hypothermia. MEMA urges residents to minimize outdoor activities. If you must go outside, follow these safety tips:

·         Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing

·         Wear a hat, mittens (rather than gloves), sturdy waterproof boots, and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

·         Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

·         Ensure that you have a well-stocked home emergency kit

·         Make sure your car is properly winterized.

·         Be a good neighbor – check with elderly or disabled residents to ensure their safety.

·         Limit outdoor time for your pets.

·         More information and tips can be found online at: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/mema/emergencies/cold/

 

 

 

 Last week, we asked: Former Barnstable and Cape resident and West Point hockey coach legend Jack Riley passed away this week. What Olympic hockey team did he coach to victory? Many eNews readers responded with the correct answer: The first Miracle on Ice in 1960 when the Men’s Hockey team won the Olympic Gold Medal!

 

This week’s question: An “expert” Wednesday predicted “this” would double in summer of ‘16: 1. The number of political yard signs; 2. Tourists visiting the Cape; 3. Sharks in Cape waters. Email your answer here.  

 

Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

February 8-12, 2016

 

Tuesday February 9, 2016

 

Monday’s show was canceled due to the snowstorm, so we began our week on Tuesday. Chief of Police Paul MacDonald reviewed the storm from a public safety standpoint. Chief MacDonald also discussed ten new hires in the Police Department.  Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells talked with us about e-permitting, aquaculture in Town, and. Director of Public Works Dan Santos joined us live in studio with a recap of Public Works efforts during Monday’s snowstorm.

 

Wednesday February 10, 2016

 

Our Business Barnstable segment began Wednesday’s program. Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross talked with us about important trends in travel and tourism, and shared information from a pair of meetings held recently with State officials and chamber members.  Energy Coordinator Richard Elrick discussed solar productivity and changes in Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative rates.  Barnstable Senior Services Assistant Director Donna Burns outlined a new LBGT caregiver support group at the Senior Center that will run through June.  Director of Finance Mark Milne highlighted an upcoming bond sale, with a focus on the process the Town goes through to issue a General Obligation Bond.

 

Thursday February 11, 2016

 

Our Board Committee and Commission Roundup began Thursday’s program. This week’s installment highlighted recent meetings of the Barnstable School Committee and the Water Resources Advisory Committee. Barnstable Municipal Airport Assistant Manager Katie Servis talked with us about the ongoing fuel farm project at the airport.  5th Barnstable State Representative Randy Hunt outlined ongoing work on Beacon Hill to combat the region’s opiate epidemic.  Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti reviewed the Orders of the Day for the evening’s Town Council meeting.

 

Friday February 12, 2016

 

Friday’s Arts & Culture segment featured Centerville Library Youth Services Director Lori Botolino. Hyannis Youth and Community Center General Manager Joe Izzo talked with us about activities planned at the HYCC during school vacation week.  Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado shared information about the upcoming Seventh Grade Youth Summit.  We headed out to Sandy Neck Beach Park to learn about a turtle rescue.

 

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