Barnstable Village Association Newsletter:
I have been talking with the Barnstable Village Association and more specifically Sue Eleftherakis, who has taken over their newsletter. We have decided that their newsletter will be focused on local village events and keeping everyone up to date on what different groups are offering. I would like to focus more on issues that concern Barnstable Village, Cummaquid and the wider town, along with town events and meetings that are of interest to residents. Thanks to Sue for taking this on. If you have an event you would like to be in the BVA newsletter contact Sue in the next week for her September 1 newsletter.
Office Hours: I have restarted office hours at Sturgis Library, the first Wednesday of the month, 3:00–5:00. Come by with you questions and comments on any ideas or thoughts you’d like to discuss. The next day is: September 6th. Five residents showed up to talk about issues including burying electric lines, jet noise, water supply and firetruck access.
Town Council Meeting: The next Town Council Meeting is August 17th at 7:00.
Surveying: The two survey crews working on 6A west of the Village have finished their work. I will set up a meeting with the Mass. Department of Transportation before they begin sidewalk design, so we can learn what their guidelines are for width, ramps and granite curbing.….
Wilkens Lane Housing: The Fire Department has been doing inspections and walk-throughs during construction and the water has been turned on in building #1. As for other buildings on adjacent land, there have been no official filings or inquiries that I am aware of.
The Barnstable Fire District Water Department
I try to get to every Water District meeting (the second Tuesday the month at 2:30 at the water District offices.) The fire hydrant was replaced in front of the Cape Cod Organic Farm. The plans for the new water treatment plant are being finished and reviewed. The contract for construction should be awarded by the end of October. With some major redesigns, Superintendent, Sean Anderson, has kept this process moving quickly so we do not lose our place for low interest loans from the State.
One reminder is to keep an eye and ear on your toilets as leaks can run up your water bill. For some this has cost hundreds of dollars. Kim checks for meter readings that are anomalies but the meters are only read every three months.
Indian Trail Road.
Working with residents and the DPW, signs will be installed soon to limit parking to one side of the road down near the beach. There are concerns with public safety and the inability of emergency vehicles accessing the end of the road.
Scudder’s Lane Ramp
This plan is close to being finished but it is presently at the state level for review of the placement of the ADA ramp. As soon as we can we will set up a public meeting to review the plans.
Oak Street Transformer Station
Eversource is in the middle of a Mid-Cape Reliability Project. This includes the addition of another high-tension wire from the Cape Cod Canal to Oak Street. The site on Oak Street will be developed in the next few weeks to accommodate this line. Here is a way to link to the construction timeline and the Project Website:
One Cape Conference: July 31 and August 1
This yearly, two day, conference sponsored by the Cape Cod Commission brings together town planners, municipal leaders, State policy makers and those interested on learning more about the planning efforts by different towns. The C. C. Commission also brought in speakers from different parts of the country to share their different perspectives on housing development, transportation, water infrastructure and climate change.
The Vineyard Wind substation along with it’s construction ship
Wind Farm Boat Tour
I was invited, along with about 100 municipal leaders, State legislators, union workers and press to tour the progress of the Vineyard Wind, wind farm, 14 miles south of the Vineyard. This trip was sponsored by the Environmental League of Mass. and Avangrid. The construction project is now in full forward mode as most of the components are ready at the dock in New Bedford. We saw 6 windmill bases already constructed and the rest of the 62 in total will be done by the middle of September. We also saw the large substation, about 7 stories high, that will be the conduit for all of the cables as they connect to the mainland. Soon a special ship will begin installing the vanes, finishing one windmill a day! The plan is to have power generated by the end of October. This project is one of the integral parts of the State’s goal of reducing our use of greenhouse gases.
Commonwealth Wind (Craigville Beach) and Park City Wind(Osterville), are the two remaining wind proposals, There are many questions and concerns still to be worked out with these two projects. Stay tuned.
New Police Officers
I recently got to join in a celebration for three new Barnstable Police officers as they were sworn in by Town Clerk, Ann Quirk at the Police Station. I got to meet the three, experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic new recruits. We should all thank them for being willing to serve and strengthening our public safety.
Town Council: Strategic Plan Meeting, August 10.
I will mention a few important issues brought up, but it was not the best forum for revisiting and rewriting a strategic plan for the next two years. I brought up a number of items that will need more time and discussion. Hopefully the Town Council can hold some “workshops”, i.e. sections of a a regular meeting to discuss them in more depth.
# Since the Barnstable Town Council passed a policy to “Reduce Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions” in November of 2020, adaption and mitigation should be the lens through which we make all decisions.
# We need to have clear zoning regulations in place before we start hooking up to the sewers. We also need to have specific numbers as to how much effluent can be put in to the ground and where.
# I suggested a Water Quality Advisory Committee be developed to include Town Councilors and residents to learn about and get periodic updates on construction and planning. The Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP), was developed to be and should be an iterative, evolving process.
# The Town should prioritize the completion of the Housing Production Plan.
# The town Water Districts should meet regularly and look for ways to plan together and share resources as water supply and quality are town-wide concerns.
# Modern building codes should be adopted now to assure that our future and existing housing stocks are energy efficient long into the future.
I know this is long, but there is a lot going on.
I am liaison to the Board of Health and they are working to finalize their regulations including: the amount of time residents have to hook up to the sewer when the pipe in front of their house is ready. Residents need to know this soon as residents may have to start hooking up in March of 2024.
Unity Day, August 4th was a fun, friendly gathering on the Hyannis Village Green!
Cape Cod Gateway Airport sponsored a meeting at Town Hall about their efforts to clean up PFOS. The topic is fairly technical as there are a number of underground plumes headed southeast toward the Maher wells in Hyannis. Who has what responsibilities is still to be worked out. Here is a link to this presentation.
These flags are on the courthouse lawn i the Village.