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Commissioners Endorse Financial Plan for Dredge Program 

Call for Updated Joint Base Cape Cod Master Plan that Involves Upper Cape Towns

December 21, 2023 [Barnstable, Massachusetts] – At their regular meeting yesterday, the Board of Regional Commissioners were presented the findings of a new Dredge Program Rate Study that outlined the steps that are necessary to end the operation’s deficits and provide for long term financial stability.

Chairman Mark Forest said “the primary goal of this study is to establish a sustainable County dredge program with a balanced budget that no longer needs subsidies from the county’s reserve funds.  With state and federal government funds drying up, the county has played a key role in maintaining access to our local harbors and mooring areas.  Our waterways are critical to the health of the Cape’s economy, our fishermen, Coast Guard and all mariners. 

Leslie-Ann McGee from Full Sail Consulting and Walt Dinicola from Anchor QEA, presented the findings of their Dredge Program Rate Study. The county provides dredging services to 14 of the 15 towns on Cape Cod.   While demand for dredging is increasing, the county’s dredging rates have not kept pace with salary, capital and operational expenses.  In addition, delays that Cape towns are facing in securing permits from state and federal agencies have added to the cost of the program.  The study assessed the County’s Dredge Program, provided a five-year operations and capital plan, and presented three different rate increase scenarios.  All proposed dredging rates are 50% lower than private rates.

Both Chairman Mark Forest and Commissioner Sheila Lyons commended the financial plan. Chairman Forest underscored, “Without an increase in rates and a streamlined permitting process for the towns, Barnstable County will face another major financial deficit, which we simply can’t afford.”   The next step is to review the recommendations with the Assembly of Delegates, which is responsible for establishing rates for County services.

Creating an Updated Master Plan to Save Joint Base Cape Cod from future Base Closures  

With future rounds of base closures on the horizon and plans to convert over 600 acres of the base into a massive housing development, the County Commissioners have called for an update to the Joint Base Cape Cod Master Plan – and a process that involves all the Upper Cape towns and all base military commands.

During today’s meeting, Kristy Senatori, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission, presented the initial outline of a plan for updating the Master Plan at Joint Base Cape Cod.  The previous Master Plan was completed in 1998.  She outlined the essential steps of a planning effort and noted that stakeholder engagement is an essential part of the plan, with the intention of involving diverse voices, including the towns, community leaders, the military, Coast Guard, Mashpee Wampanoag tribal representation and other regional groups. 

Commissioner Lyons expressed enthusiasm for the opportunities the JBCC Master Plan presents. “The previous Master Plan was led by the county, with a community working group and it created a consensus vision for the base.  The plan was instrumental in helping the base survive the last round of base closures.  The base and Upper Cape towns are facing new challenges, and this new effort is critical to keep the base viable over the long term.

Appointments to the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission

The Board appointed new Commissioners to the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission and welcome Travis Mapp and Lynn Gorey.  Mr. Mapp brings a wealth of experience in education, with a focus on fostering discussions about humanity, equality, and rights, both locally and internationally. Lynn Gorey, an educational consultant with a background in school leadership, has extensive experience in addressing critical issues like equity and inclusion in educational settings. Their appointments reflect Barnstable County’s ongoing commitment to promoting human rights.

FY25 Capital Budget Requests

Assistant County Administrator Viara Harik presented the Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Budget totaling $21.5 million.  Notable projects include $10.8 million for PFAS remediation and a $678,500 10-year facility plan. Other requests: $51,000 for vehicle replacements (Cooperative Extension and AmeriCorps), $10 million for Superior Courthouse restoration, HVAC replacement (Second District Court), and Health Department heating system upgrades.

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