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Barnstable County Awards $310K ARPA Grant to the Town of Eastham 

From The Office of Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners      

FY 24 Operating Budget Introduced  

JANUARY 11, 2023 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – Today, the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners announced the award of an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant from Barnstable County to the Town of Eastham in the amount of $301,420.11 to fund wastewater and water quality projects.   

In response to a question on how the town planned to use these ARPA grant funds, Eastham Town Administrator Jacqueline Beebe responded, “This funding allows us to press forward. We have a targeted watershed management plan that is ready to go to DEP.” 

Richard Bienvenue, Assistant Town Administrator/Finance Director, added, “We have projects right now ready to go to help us further our [wastewater] plans along, and this money will help us get those in place.” 

Since May 2022, the Barnstable County Commissioners have allocated over $40 million of the County’s $41 million APRA grant.  At this time, the Assembly of Delegates is still considering ARPA funding for county projects and housing projects. In November 2022, the County Commissioners recommended $12.8 million in projects focusing on public health, emergency preparedness, PFAS surveillance and remediation, enhancements to the water quality lab, and shared housing services.  In December 2022, the Commissioners recommended funding $11.4 million in housing projects including funding for a homeless shelter and medical respite program, gap funding for affordable housing projects, and workforce housing.                        

“The Commissioners encourage the Assembly of Delegates to approve this critical funding to address these pressing concerns exacerbated by COVID and look forward to continuing to work together with Speaker Princi and the Assembly of Delegates to get this done as soon as possible,” said Mark Forest, Chair of the Barnstable County Board of Commissioners. 

At its meeting today, the Board began consideration of the County’s Fiscal Year 24 General Fund Operating budget of $22,476,525 – a 4.5% over the current fiscal year. The budget, which is the county’s financial plan beginning in July 2023, prioritizes the County Commissioner’s clean water initiatives, dredging, public health, coastal resiliency, and food security, and supports regional human services. Recognizing the County’s role in meeting the needs of Cape Cod’s citizens, the proposed budget represents a fiscally responsible approach to controlling costs and promoting innovation and collaboration among the County’s dedicated and talented department leaders. 

In other business, theCommissioners held a public hearing to transfer ownership of several sections of roadway to the Town of Barnstable and authorized the appointment of Anne Burke and Gillian Norton to the Health and Human Services Advisory Council.   

The County Commissioners did not authorize the filing of a petition to amend the Barnstable County Home Rule Charter to allow for a recall provision. Commissioner Forest abstained from the vote, requesting more time to consider a variety of unanswered questions about the recall ordinance, including questions about the costs associated with a recall. 

County Administrator Beth Albert recognized and welcomed three new employees: Wendy Judd, Public Health Nurse; Paul Ruszala, Assets and Infrastructure Manager; and Deb Childs, County Accountant.  

Ms. Albert also announced the appointment of Jeanne Morrison as the new Chair of the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission, with Leo Blanford remaining as Vice Chair. Ms. Albert acknowledged Wendy Bierwirth’s departure as the outgoing chair and thanked her for her efforts and work to further human rights. 

Barnstable County’s Public Health Nurse Wendy Judd updated the Commissioners on COVID-19 transmission in the region. Currently, 13% of Barnstable County’s population has tested positive for COVID-19. The number is increasing (it was 11% before Thanksgiving), but the severity of symptoms remains mild, and hospitalizations are minimal. Wearing masks in public areas and being up-to-date on immunizations are strongly advised. 

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO WATCH OR JOIN A FUTURE COMMISSIONERS’ MEETING Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Barnstable County Meeting Center at to access the Commissioners’ calendar, meeting agendas, information on how to participate, or links to the live-streamed meetings on YOUTUBE.  Barnstable County provides reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities upon request. Contact Justyna Marczak, Barnstable County ADA/Non-Discrimination Coordinator, or call 508-375-6646.  

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS On January 3, Commissioner Ronald Bergstrom was sworn in for his second term as Barnstable County Regional Commissioner. Commissioner Mark Forest was appointed Chair.  Barnstable County Commissioners serve four-year terms, which are staggered so that all three positions don’t come up for election at the same time.  Current Board Members: Mark Forest, Chair (Yarmouth) Term: 2021-2024; Ronald Bergstrom, Vice-Chair (Chatham) Term: 2023-2026; Sheila Lyons, Commissioner (Wellfleet) Term: 2021-2024. Learn more about the Board of Regional Commissioners HERE. 

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at