Barnstable This Morning

On Monday morning, I joined Sarah Colvin, host of Barnstable This Morning, to discuss a variety of topics. I related my experience interviewing the candidates for the vacant Sergeant positions at the Barnstable Police Department (see item below); discussed the progess we are making on the Capital Improvement Program for the coming fiscal year, and shared information about two public hearings held this week on fiscal year fees and regulatory changes at Sandy Neck.  Watch the video: Town Website YouTube

 

Bonds and Notes Issued

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, the Town of Barnstable received competitive bids from bond and note underwriters for a $16,648,000 twenty-year bond issue and a $755,000 358 day note issue. Town Treasurer Debra Blanchette informed me that Fidelity Capital Markets was the winning bidder on the bonds, with an average interest rate of 2.11 percent.  Eastern Bank was the winning bidder on the notes, with a net interest cost of 0.70 percent.  The bids for the Bonds and Notes were accepted at the offices of the Town’s Financial Advisor, FirstSouthwest, a Division of Hilltop Securities Inc., at 54 Canal Street in Boston, Massachusetts.  We received 4 bids on the bonds and two bids on the note. These bond and note proceeds will be used to finance various Fiscal 2016 Capital Improvement Plan projects as approved by the Town Council.

 

Barnstable’s AAA Bond Rating Affirmed

Standard and Poor’s Rating Services, a municipal bond credit rating agency, affirmed the Town’s AAA underlying bond rating and assigned the “SP+1” to the notes, the highest ratings attainable. The rating agency citied the Town’s strong economy, very strong management with strong financial policies and practices, strong budgetary performance, very strong budgetary flexibility, very strong liquidity, strong debt and contingent liability position, as positive credit factors.

 

 

Five Barnstable Police Officers Promoted to Sergeant

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing several members of the Barnstable Police Department who were interested in becoming Sergeants. Several senior members of the Police Department have retired in the past year, leaving openings for our younger officers to move up in the ranks. Congratulations to newly named Sergeants Jennifer Ellis, Troy Perry, Mark Butler, Eugene Desruisseaux and Gretchen Allen. All five will be sworn in at Barnstable Police Department Headquarters at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

 

Housing Production Plan Grant

We have been informed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that Barnstable is being awarded a $5,000 grant to assist with the outreach and promotion of our Housing Production Plan (HPP). The HPP was one of our Best Practices under our Community Compact with the State. Our other Best Practice, the Open Budget website, received a $5,000 grant which was applied to the cost of setting the program up.

Click here to view the Housing Production Plan project website.

 

 

Fiscal Year Fee Hearing

On Tuesday, Finance Director Mark Milne and I conducted a Public Hearing on proposed permits and program fees within the Town of Barnstable. The Notice of Public Hearing was published in the Barnstable Patriot on February 5, 2016. All the fees fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works. 

 

Following the public hearing, I am reviewing the documentation submitted, and the explanation of the fees by Director of Public Works Dan Santos.  I will also review the written and oral testimony presented during the public hearing. 

 

The 2017 Fiscal Year fees, presented, were for the following services: the Hyannis Water System; sewer rates for the Water Pollution Control facility; and the sticker fees for the Barnstable Recycling and Transfer Station. The new sticker fee, based on a cost of service analysis, will be $240.00. The fee changes will be effective July 1, 2016.

 

Amendments to Sandy Neck Barrier Beach Regulations

Also on Tuesday, a public hearing was held on proposed changes to the Sandy Neck Barrier Beach regulations. I conducted the hearing along with Sandy Neck Beach Park Manager Nina Coleman and Sandy Neck Advisory Board Chair Richard French. The Notice of Public Hearing was published in the Barnstable Patriot on February 5, 2016.

 

The proposed changes include: adjustments to the hours of beach operations, public beach campfire permit requirements, a ban on the use of generators from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM, allowing the use of midsize spare tires, requiring campers to have a CO2 detector, and requiring safety helmets for all horseback riders. During the hearing, Coleman provided detail on the public process followed by the Sandy Neck Advisory Board and the safety reasons for these proposed regulatory changes.

 

Based on my review of the public record, I approved the proposed regulation adjustments as presented. The changes will be in effect as of February 24, 2016.

I want to thank the Sandy Neck Advisory Board, the Department of Community Services, Marine and Environmental Affairs the Sandy Neck Park Manager and staff for their efforts to prepare and present the regulatory changes.

 

Town Council: February 25, 2016

Town Council met on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Councilors approved a Community Preservation Fund request of $85,000 to fund repairs to the historic Olde Colonial Courthouse in Barnstable Village. A matching grant will come from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to fund the entire $170,000 cost of the renovation project.  Council approved spending $15,000 from the Bismore Park Special Revenue Fund for repairs to the boardwalk at the HyArts Artist Shanties. A $24,850 grant from the Stanton Foundation that will fund design of a dog park at Hathaway’s Pond was also approved. The next Town Council meeting will take place on Thursday, March 24, 2016.

 

2016 Hazard Mitigation Plan

Have you felt the impact of a hurricane or other weather event here in Barnstable? Are there areas of town that you see as particularly vulnerable? The Town of Barnstable’s Growth Management Department is currently working to update our Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan looks at the impacts of weather-related hazards on the people, property, and resources of the Town and identifies strategies and actions aimed at lessening the impact of natural disasters on our community.

·         Click here to visit the project webpage and to learn more.

·         Questions? Contact Elizabeth Jenkins, Regulatory/Design Review Planner at (508) 862-4736.

·         Share your experiences and participate in a poll at www.barnstableiforum.com.

 

Happy, Healthy Barnstable!

We know that life in Barnstable is pretty great, but did you know that, according to a recent study, that Barnstable is the #5 happiest, healthiest community in the nation? The study, conducted by the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being: 2015 Community Rankings Index, examined the comparative well-being of 190 communities across the nation. In the small communities category we were ranked #1! The report measures how residents feel about their health, social ties, financial security, community and sense of purpose.   Click here to learn more.    Click here to read the full report.

 

Hyannis Marathon: Thousands of Runners in Hyannis for Hyannis Marathon

7,500 runners are expected in Hyannis this weekend for the annual Hyannis Marathon and Hyannis Half-Marathon. This popular event is the last qualifier for the Boston Marathon. The races begin on Sunday February 28, 2016 at 9:30 AM. The route begins on Scudder Ave in Hyannis at the Resort and Conference Center, goes down Sea Street to Old Colony Road, to Gosnold, to Ocean Ave, winds through Hyannis Port and loops back to Scudder. No official road closures are planned. Barnstable Police will be on hand to direct traffic, and may decide to make temporary road closures if necessary. Please use extreme caution while traveling in the area, and expect delays. Click here for more information and to view the route.

 

 

Mooring Permit Renewal Deadline

Boating season will be here before we know it. The Marine and Environmental Affairs Department reminds mooring permit holders that renewals are due on Monday. Renewals will be accepted up until 4:15 PM on Monday, February 29, 2016. Renew now to avoid missing the deadlines. Call Marine and Environmental Affairs at 508-790-6273 with any questions.

 

Presidential Primary: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Don’t forget to vote:  Polls will be open in the Town of Barnstable on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 for the Presidential Primary. Polls open at 7:00 AM and will close at 8:00 PM. There are ten polling locations in the Town of Barnstable. If you are unsure where to vote, call the Town Clerk’s office at 508-862-4044, or visit the Town Clerk online to learn more.

 

 “Art On Loan”: Gallery Artrio

The paintings of Gallery Artrio owners Susan Carey, Kathy Edmonston and Colleen Vandeventer are on display at Barnstable Town Hall through the end of March 2016.  The Art on Loan program displays the work of local artist on the meeting room walls in Barnstable Town Hall. Works are displayed in the Selectmen’s Conference Room and the Town Hall Hearing Room, located on the second floor of Barnstable Town Hall. All three are award-winning artists with credentials in many juried exhibitions, locally and nationally, and all have participated in the Hyannis HyArts Shanty program.  More information about the artists can be found online at www.galleryartrio.com. The current artwork will be on display through March 31, 2016.  Inset: Gallery Artrio owners Colleen Vandeventer. Susan Carey, and Kathy Edmonston.

 

Last week, we asked: Who was Charles Lincoln Ayling? Many of our astute e-news readers wrote in with the correct answer, knowing he was the Chairman of the Board of the John Hancock Life Insurance Company, had a role creating the Cape Cod Hospital, our Airport, the Centerville Library and the Centerville Historical Society and Museum.  He had a home on South Main Street in Centerville. One can learn all about Mr. Ayling, and his father General Augustus Ayling, at the Centerville Historical Society.

 

This week’s question: Barnstable was named the number one Small Healthy and Happy Community in the country this week. Which of the following recognitions has Barnstable also received? (1) Best Places to Retire; (2) Healthy by Design (3) The Commonwealth Award for being a Creative Community; (4) All America City Award; (5) National Smart Growth Governor’s Leadership Award; (6) All of the above. Email your answer here.  

 

Thank you for receiving and reading e-news each week!

Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

February 22-26, 2016

 

Monday, February 22, 2016

 

We began our week with Town Manager Tom Lynch. Tom joined us live in studio to share information about several candidates for the position of Sergeant in the Barnstable Police Department, updates on the Fiscal 2017 Capital Improvement Plan, and a brief discussion on a pair of public hearings on rate increases and regulation changes, being held at Town Hall on Tuesday. Energy Coordinator Richard Elrick talked with us about high global temperatures, energy efficiency and production, and energy audits.  Cape Cod Community College Communications Director Michael Gross talked with us about free dental sealant clinics being held at the school, the upcoming Play with Your Food series, and the Multicultural Festival, this year being held on May 7.

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

 

Chief of Police Paul MacDonald led off Tuesday morning’s program with information about the promotion of five patrol officers to the rank of Sergeant. The Chief also discussed the upcoming Hyannis Marathon (Sunday, February 28, 2016) that will bring more than 7,000 runners to Hyannis and cause potential traffic delays.  Our Community Profile segment featured local activist Aisha Stewart. Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf talked with us about work in the Senate to close the gender gap in wages. Director of Public Works Dan Santos reviewed items in the Fiscal 2017 capital budget.

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

 

Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board Executive Director David Augustinho joined us live in studio to discuss programs for out-of-school youth, and a referral incentive being offered to local agencies.  Planner Elizabeth Jenkins talked with us about Growth Management’s work on updating the Town’s hazard mitigation plan. Director of Senior Services Madeline Noonan had an update from the Senior Center.  Director of Finance Mark Milne shared information about the affirmation of the Town’s AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s and the recent sale of municipal bonds.

 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

 

Our Board Committee and Commission Roundup led off Thursday’s show. We shared information from a variety of weekly volunteer board meetings, including MassDOT’s public hearing on planned improvements to a busy Hyannis intersection, the Planning Board’s discussion of a proposed Hyannis parking overlay district, fee hearings, and the Conservation Commission. Town Clerk Ann Quirk shared important information as we prepare for the March 1st Presidential Primary.  5th Barnstable State Rep Randy Hunt discussed the State’s proposed plan to re-number exits on Route 6.  Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti reviewed the orders of the day for the evening’s Town Council meeting.

 

Friday, February 26, 2016

 

Friday’s program began with our weekly Arts & Culture segment. This week’s guest was artist Milisa Valliere, who is a fascinating artist who recently relocated to Cape Cod. Program Coordinator John Gleason shared information about the Recreation Division’s myriad of basketball programs available to Barnstable residents. Hyannis Youth and Community Center Marketing Manager Amy Harwood previewed the popular Lobster Pot tournament that will be held in March. Natural Resource Officer Amy Croteau told us about a number of projects in the works to restore and repair herring runs in town.