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Barnstable County Approves $616,255 in ARPA Funding for Harwich’s Great Sand Lake Sewer Collection System  

PFAS clean up at former fire training site estimated between $22-$59 million 

March 29, 2023 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – Today the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners approved funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the Town of Harwich in the amount of $616,255.31 for its Great Sand Lake Sewer Collection System Project. This marks the twelfth award out of 11 towns to receive a share of the $10M in ARPA funding allocated by the County, with $8.8M distributed so far. 

Revitalizing the Great Sand Lakes (GSL) in Harwich has been identified as a top priority in the community’s current round of its Comprehensive Water Management Plan (CWMP) revisions. With the approval of the design plans, the next step is to seek construction funding through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) program. Investing in these upgrades is a crucial step towards maintaining Harwich’s natural beauty and protecting its environmental health for generations to come. 

Joseph Powers, Harwich Town Administrator, expressed his appreciation to the project partners and Barnstable County for ARPA funding, and said,” This is a great project for not only Harwich, as it impacts nutrients in the Great Sand Lakes region, but also for Cape Cod because it impacts the clean water supply and I know that is a critical aspect for everyone here.” 

Paul Ruszala, the Assets and Infrastructure Manager provided the Board with an overview of the major capital project expenditures facing the county over the next five years.  The presentation included a review of upcoming projects, including critical capital improvements at all county facilities, including the restoration of the Superior Court, and the clean-up at the former regional municipal fire training academy.   

“The list of critical capital projects we reviewed today is estimated to cost the county well over $60 million. It is critical that we develop a long-term plan that includes a full review and assessment of our financing options, including grants, bonds, reserves, and low-interest loans,” said Chairman Mark Forest.    

In other news, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Tom Cahir presented the CCRTA’s plan to combat carbon emissions in the region’s public transportation system.  Mr. Cahir reported on an initiative that aims to pave the way for a greener future in public transit with a 10-month process to develop an action plan designed to remove carbon emissions from the region’s public transit by the end of the decade. The public can also view a comprehensive overview of the plan in a February 3, 2023, interview on Lower Cape TV. 

Judy Walden Scarafile and Mary LeClair of the Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Award Committee announced that nominations are now open for the 2023 Mercy Otis Warren award.  Since 2002, this prestigious award has honored outstanding Cape Cod women who have made significant contributions to the arts, education, business, or community involvement while upholding the values of patriotism. The deadline for submissions is Patriots’ Day, April 17, 2023, and can be submitted online at

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 accommodation for people with disabilities upon request. Contact Justyna Marczak, Barnstable County ADA/Non-Discrimination Coordinator, at or call 508-375-6646. 

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