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Barnstable County Dredge Department Awarded $975K   

County Commissioners Focus on Cape Cod’s Sole-Source Aquifer During Last Week of National County Government Month 

April 26, 2023 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – Today, Ken Cirillo the Director of the County Dredge Program, informed the Commissioners of a $975,000.00 grant award from the Massachusetts Dredging Program managed by the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development. 

“As one of two regional dredging programs in the state, this is a major endorsement of our department and the critical dredging services that we provide to the towns on the Cape,” stated Ken Cirillo the Dredge Director. “These funds will go a long way to help us continue the rebuilding of the department.”   

The grant will purchase replacement equipment, upgrade dredging software and hardware, a survey boat and other necessary equipment to perform pre-and post-dredge surveys. The purchases will help to maintain navigational channels supporting commercial fishing, transportation, and recreational boating on the Cape while also improving water flow to maintain water quality in the bays and estuarine systems. 

As we continue to celebrate National County Government Month focusing on protecting Cape Cod water, the Board received an informative presentation on the basics of Cape Cod’s aquifer from Tim Pasakarnis, Water Resources Analyst at the Cape Cod Commission.  

Cape Cod’s sole-source aquifer comprises six lenses and collects approximately 450 million gallons of water daily on average through precipitation, with 69% flowing towards the coast, 24% discharging into streams, and 7% captured by public supply wells. Mr. Pasakarnis emphasized the significance of groundwater and public water supplies and the importance of land use management in maintaining the aquifer’s integrity. The 1982 federal designation of the region’s sole-source aquifer underscores the critical nature of safeguarding this essential resource. 

Paul Ruszala, P.E., Barnstable County’s Asset and Infrastructure Manager briefed the Board on the status of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Draft Administrative Consent Order (ACO) for the former municipal fire training PFAS release site. Mr. Ruszala highlighted that the County and MassDEP have been working closely on the draft ACO to ensure the County has a reasonable amount of time to complete response actions at the Site.  

In preparation for the end of fiscal year 2023, Carol Coppola, Director of Finance for Barnstable County, provided a third quarter FY23 revenue update. Her projections indicate healthy balances with anticipated revenue surpluses of $2.2 million from the original general fund revenue budget.   The revenue increases were primarily due to real estate excise tax receipts, strong investment revenue, an increase in rental income, and reimbursements for capital projects completed at court buildings. 

Barnstable County Counsel, Michelle Randazzo, reviewed the county’s public comment policy in light of a recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that upholds an individual’s right to express their opinions during public comment periods with no content restrictions.   Ms. Randazzo made recommendations on revisions to the public comment policy which will be submitted to the Board for their consideration at a future meeting.  

The County Commissioners provided feedback on the Assembly of Delegates Finance Committee’s Budget Report for Fiscal Year 2024.  The Commissioners, while not taking a formal vote, indicated that they did not object to the Finance Committee’s recommendations.  

Commissioner Sheila Lyons offered, “None of us like having cuts in the budget, but we have to work hard to maintain a balanced budget…” “I appreciate all the work they [Assembly of Delegates] are doing and I do appreciate their support of the work of our departments, and I don’t have any problems with the recommendations.” 

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO WATCH OR JOIN A FUTURE COMMISSIONERS’ MEETING Stay informed and engaged with Barnstable County meetings by visiting the Meeting Center at Find the Commissioners’ calendar, meeting agendas, and useful resources on how to participate. You can also live-stream meetings on YOUTUBE. Barnstable County is committed to providing accessible accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Contact Justyna Marczak, Barnstable County ADA/Non-Discrimination Coordinator, at or call 508-375-6646 for additional information. 

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