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Learn about Town of Barnstable, including Featured News, Key Projects, and The Team.
Centrally located in the heart of the Cape Cod peninsula, the Town of Barnstable is the region’s ‘Hub’ for commerce, transportation, healthcare and education.
Home to the Cape’s airport, the Regional Transportation Center for bus and rail travel, plus two ferry terminals, Barnstable truly is the gateway to all of Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
Established in 1639, historic Barnstable is surrounded by the waters of Cape Cod Bay to the north and Nantucket Sound to the South, and is comprised of seven villages: Barnstable, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville, and West Barnstable, each with unique cultural and historical qualities.
Barnstable offers a plethora of rich natural resources: host to 15 beaches, working and scenic harbors, conservation lands, biking/hiking trails, two municipal golf course, fishing and shellfishing, fresh water ponds and streams, historic properties and landmarks. For locals and visitors alike, wherever you turn you are surrounded by a quality of life unmatched by any other.
Barnstable has both the Cape’s largest year-round (45,000) and a summer seasonal population (150,000). It is also within close proximity to Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island (1 hour); Hartford, Connecticut (2 hours); New York (4 hours) and easy driving distance for the entire Northeast Corridor. Vehicle traffic over the bridges in the summer averages over 125,000 cars per day.
The village of Hyannis is the center of commercial activity not only for the Town of Barnstable but for the entire Cape region. The Cape’s only major enclosed mall is located in Hyannis along with a large number of national chain stores and restaurants. Alternatively, downtown Hyannis offers an ambiance well suited to unique locally-owned specialty shops, artist galleries, restaurants and bistros. Cape Cod Hospital is also located in Hyannis and Cape Cod Health Care is the largest employer in the town and region.
This ambiance is also found in the other village centers of Barnstable as well. While smaller in scale than Hyannis, they feature a quaint, historic, seaside charm that is prevalent in this area.
The Town was close to finalizing the development of the Fiscal Year 2021 budget when the public health emergency occurred. Due to this unprecedented event in modern times in was unclear as to the financial impacts to the Town’s revenue stream. Questions arose as to the proposed budget and whether or not it would still be a viable spending plan. This was not like the last Great Recession. There was no precedent to measure the impact on the town’s revenue stream and the costs associated with responding to the emergency were unknown. We would need to use our collective intuition, instinct and logical rationale to modify the proposed FY 2021 budget and manage the public health emergency. As a result, the Town implemented several steps to secure its immediate financial health. Adjustments to expenditures in Fiscal Year 2020 were made including a hiring freeze, the deferment of capital projects and a reduction in discretionary spending. The Town revised downward its proposed General Fund operating budget for Fiscal Year 2021 by $4.2 million. Additionally, the Town reduced it proposed Capital Plan for Fiscal Year 2021 form $39 million to about $12 million. Revenue enhancements were also employed including the implementation of contactless payments by moving multiple permits and licenses on-line. The Town is also closely monitoring its cashflow to ensure cash resources will be available to cover projected operating and capital expenses. As the Town moves to the recovery stage of the public health emergency several strategies are being explored to manage through the crisis including:
Additionally, the Town has been the recipient of several grants from the Federal government to assist with the response to the emergency. A total of $22.9 million has been awarded to date. Most notably is an $18 million award for the Barnstable Municipal Airport which should ensure its financial stability for the next several years. An application will also be filed with FEMA to reimburse the Town for a portion of its costs associated with responding to this event. Questions regarding the Town’s response to the public health emergency can be directed to Mark Milne, Finance Director by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org .ma.us.
The Town recently received notification from the State Department of Revenue of its Free Cash Certification. Free Cash is the State’s calculation of the amount of cash in the Town’s treasury that is free of all encumbrances at the end of the fiscal year. These funds are available for appropriation. They can be used for supplemental appropriations in the current fiscal year or for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget development. Following is the official notification from the state.
Town Manager Mark Ells has submitted his recommended Fiscal Year 2021 capital budget to the Town Council which includes 49 projects totaling $39 million. Funding for the plan includes using $5.9 million is reserves, $2.6 million in grants, $900,000 of remaining funds in completed projects and $29.8 million in new borrowing authorizations.
Public hearings on the capital plan will begin March 19th at 7 PM in the James H. Crocker, Jr. Hearing Room in Town Hall and continue on April 2nd, if necessary.
Major projects include Phase II of the Barnstable High School sports fields upgrades, extending Mary Dunn Way at the airport, rehabilitation of the solids handling building at the wastewater treatment plant, continuation of the channel dredging program, design and permitting of sewer extensions, and various public roads and public facility improvements.
This project is a continuation of a 3 phase plan to improve the athletic playing fields at Barnstable High School (BHS). The FY20 appropriation would be used for the engineering and planning segment of Phase 2 Field Improvements. This phase includes improvement to the varsity softball, junior varsity baseball field (s) and practice soccer/field hockey/lacrosse fields. The work would consist of leveling/grading/reorientation of current fields and improvements to natural turf surfaces and irrigation system.
To be funded by $250,000 of the February 2020 Bonds - 0.73% of the 2020 Capital Budget
This is a multi-year project, which includes upgrades and improvements to district telephone, video surveillance, and door entry systems. The upgrades would include centralized VOIP telephone systems and integrated video surveillance/door entry systems. The new systems will be designed to operate on the district’s network. Initially our efforts will focus on the district phone system followed by surveillance and entry.
To be funded by $500,000 of the February 2020 Bonds - 1.45% of the 2020 Capital Budget
Design and construction for addition of Marine Environmental Lab at BHS. The lab would be located using two outside classrooms (1505 & 1506). The facility would include the necessary equipment, ( water tanks, pumps, filters, tables and HVAC )
To be funded by $1,000,000 of the February 2020 Bonds - 2.91% of the 2020 Capital Budget