Cape Managers Meeting: Flood Planning & Housing Court Legislation

The October Cape Managers meeting was held in Falmouth. My colleagues and I discussed the Community Rating System and a plan to create a housing court to serve the Cape and Islands.


Community Rating System

Greg Berman and Shannon Jarbeau from the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension explained to the Managers how the County is working with Barnstable and other Cape towns to increase our resilience to storms and lower floodplain insurance premiums for residents through the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a program which can reduce floodplain insurance premiums when towns go above and beyond minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. Ms. Jarbeau is certified in this field and Barnstable County is the first county to hire trained staff to help an entire region address these floodplain issues.


Housing Court Legislation

Managers listened to a presentation on the need for a Housing Court serving Cape Cod and the Islands.  Annette Duke, an attorney with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, outlined the benefits of having a Housing Court to address the concerns of municipalities, landlords and tenants. Several town administrator raised concerns about code enforcement. Last year, the Barnstable Town Council passed a resolution in support of the legislation to create a housing court to serve the Cape.


West Barnstable Shooting Range Discussion

The West Barnstable shooting range has been closed due to insurance issues since December 11, 2012. The closure brought to light a number of environmental and policy issues that must be rectified. Town Council has suggested we survey our citizens regarding the future of the West Barnstable shooting range. Through our Marine and Environmental Affairs division, we sent out 2,037 surveys to past permit holders, asking their opinions on the re-opening of the range, associated fees, operating hours. Now, we are reaching out to the non-users of the range for a broader discussion on options at the facility.   A poll and a discussion topic have been posted online at We invite you to share your thoughts.


Click here to answer the poll   Click here to add your comments


Town Facilities Safety Meeting

Earlier this year, I asked the Barnstable Police Department, the Department of Public Works and Human Resources to craft safety recommendations for Town facilities. On Tuesday, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells, Finance Director Mark Milne and I received an update from this committee. The group provided a thorough analysis of potential threats. Their recommendations try to strike a balance between an open and accessible government for our citizens and ensuring the protection of our employees. I authorized moving forward with some immediate recommendations that include standard operating procedures and training. The intermediate and long term solutions will be addressed as we progress with our operating and capital budgets.


Village Green Apartment Dedication

On Thursday, Dakota Partners held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Village Green Apartments, 770 Independence Drive. Village Green is an affordable rental development, consisting of sixty one, two and three-bedroom apartments, designed for working families.  Roberto Arista, Principal with Dakota Partners, thanked the lenders, Mass Housing Partnership, the Town of Barnstable and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development for making this project possible. He also announced tax credit funding for Phase II of the project.




Waste Water Energy Recovery Pilot Project Tour

On Thursday, representatives of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Charles River Watershed Association made a site visit to the Waste Water Energy Recovery (WWER) Pilot Project at the Old Colony Pump Station to observe the installation and operation of the Huber “RoWin” pump.  The pilot project is being operated by the Town’s Water Pollution Control Division and overseen by GHD, Inc., an environmental engineering firm located in Hyannis. The goal of the project is to determine if it is economically feasible for the town to utilize the wastewater energy recovery heat exchange process to supplement the cooling needs of several town buildings, thereby reducing energy use and costs. DOER, which provided the $50,000 grant funding for the pilot project, and the other site visitors were extremely interested in learning about the heat exchange process and how the technology actually works in the field. The pilot project will run for 30 days while data is collected. At the conclusion of the 30 days, GHD will prepare a report analyzing the pilot project results, and whether the technology works as anticipated, and whether the technology would be cost effective for the town to implement on a broader scale. Pictured: Jon McGraw, Process Engineer with Huber Technology explains the system to a group of onlookers, including Energy Coordinator Richard Elrick.


October 15, 2015 Town Council Meeting

Two presentations were made at Thursday’s Town Council meeting. The first covered the Needs Assessment Study requested by Senior Services, and the second was an update on the bike path project. Councilors approved a $490,000 request for dredging the outer entrance of Barnstable Harbor. Work on that project will begin in November. Town Councilors approved additional funding for the construction of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant bathrooms at the Hyannis Golf Course, and funds for implementation of a Global Positioning System (GPS) based automatic vehicle location system for the Department of Public Works.


Aging in Barnstable: Needs Assessment Results & Community Forum

The UMass Boston Gerontology Institute has been working with Barnstable’s Senior Services division to discover the needs and desires of our older population. On Thursday night, Dr. Jan Mutchler from the UMass Boston Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging presented an overview of the report: Aging in Barnstable: Striving for High Livability in a Cape Cod Community. The findings in the 130 page report are a result of group public meetings, interviews with community leaders, and outreach to Barnstable residents fifty and older through a mailed survey. This study will help shape future policy questions.  On Friday, October 23rd, the Senior Services Division invites you to attend the Needs Assessment Community Forum.  Key findings and recommendations will be shared at this breakfast event. The forum will be held from 9:00 to 10:30 AM at the Barnstable Senior Center, 825 Falmouth Road, Hyannis MA 02601. RSVP is requested at 508-862-4750.


Lieutenant Interviews

Next Wednesday, I will be interviewing candidates for three open Lieutenant positions in the Barnstable Police Department.  These interviews are the final step in the hiring process.  The Barnstable Police Department has a rigorous promotion process with several interview steps conducted before candidates reach my office.


Cotuit Pedestrian Safety Project

On Tuesday October 20th, Growth Management will meet with the Cotuit-Santuit Civic Association to begin Phase 2 of the Cotuit Pedestrian Safety project.  This will be a hands-on session, asking participants to draw on maps and detail their vision for Putnam Avenue sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvements.  The meeting will be at Freedom Hall on Main Street in Cotuit. The visioning session is scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM. Please visit the project webpage by clicking here to view project information and Phase 1 conceptual plans.



Last week, we asked: While summer’s hot days may be behind us, we have been enjoying some lovely warm October days. This makes us hopeful for an “Indian Summer”, and we want to know if you know the origin of that term. Several of our e-news readers responded, and I think all are hopeful for just a few more warm days! Linda M of Marstons Mills wrote:


“According to the Farmer's Almanac :


Why is Indian summer called Indian summer? There are many theories. Some say it comes from the early Algonquian Native Americans, who believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwestern god, Cautantowwit.

The most probable origin of the term, in our view, goes back to the very early settlers in New England. Each year they would welcome the arrival of a cold wintry weather in late October when they could leave their stockades unarmed. But then came a time when it would suddenly turn warm again, and the Native Americans would decide to have one more go at the settlers. “Indian summer,” the settlers called it.”


This week’s question:  Sandwich is the oldest town on the Cape. What are the next two oldest towns? Email your answer here.  



Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

October 13-16, 2015


Tuesday October 13, 2015


Chief of Police Paul MacDonald joined us on Tuesday morning to review a number of incidents over the weekend, including a case in which a Cape Cod Hospital patient barricaded himself inside a hospital room and set off the sprinkler system.  Our Community Profile segment featured teacher and author Mick Carlon, whose latest novel, Girl Singer, is coming out next month.  We visited Golf Maintenance Supervisor Chris White at Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds for a discussion on planned aeration of the greens.  Director of Public Works Dan Santos talked with us about a number of ongoing projects.


Wednesday October 14, 2015


Barnstable County Register of Deeds Jack Meade joined us for this week’s Business Barnstable segment. Meade reviewed the real estate activity for the month of September, and reports that sales volume and value are up. Director of Growth Management Jo Anne Miller Buntich talked with us about a recently held visioning session in Marstons Mills, and an upcoming session in Cotuit. Karen Wendell of the Friends of the Barnstable Council on Aging talked with us about the upcoming Masquerade Ball, taking place on Saturday, October 24. Director of Property and Risk Management David Anthony talked with us about the Town’s leased properties.


Thursday October 15, 2015


Hyannis Golf Course PGA Pro Jesse Schectman talked with us on Thursday morning about the impact of heavy rain on the course, and the current membership special.  Len Gobeil chatted with Barnstable High School Cross Country Coach Keith Caldwell. Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir talked about the importance of a series of community conversations to be hosted by the MBTA and Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  2nd Barnstable State Representative Brian Mannal talked with us about a well-attended community forum featuring Attorney General Maura Healey. Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti reviewed the orders of the day for the evening’s Town Council meeting.


Friday October 16, 2015


Our weekly Arts & Culture segment featured an interview with photographer Marie Grady PalcicHyannis Youth & Community Center General Manager Joe Izzo shared information about fall activities, including the return of Pickleball, the indoor remote-control airplane club, and the upcoming Halloween party.  Program Coordinator John Gleason talked with us about winter programs, as the schedule is being released next week.  We headed out to Sandy Neck Beach Park for this week’s Marine and Environmental Affairs segment. Brand new Sandy Neck Natural Resource Officer Sean Kortis showed us some newly hatched diamondback terrapins, and discussed the head start program that helps ensure the survival of these special creatures.


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