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Financial Audit and Revenue Projections  

Support for Joint Base Cape Cod Master Planning Process 

May 9, 2024 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – The Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners met yesterday, reviewing a comprehensive financial audit that confirmed the county’s robust fiscal health with clean results. The session also brought positive revenue projections and continued support for the Joint Base Cape Cod Master Planning Process. 

Barnstable County Fiscal Year 2023 Audit  

Marcum, formerly Powers and Sullivan, the County’s independent certified public accountants, provided the results of the financial audit of Barnstable County for fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.  Renee Davis, CPA, provided a detailed overview of audit process, federal grant compliance, and adherence to Government Accounting Standards.  A copy of the complete report is at www.capecod.gov/department-of-finance-treasurer/comprehensive-financial-reports/  

Chairman Ron Bergstrom noted, “This excellent audit report highlights our fiscal responsibility, easing the upcoming administrative transition. It’s the best we’ve seen.”  

In December 2023, the County submitted an Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for Barnstable County to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for consideration of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.  

Revenue Projections for FY24 and FY25 

Register Jack Meade updated the Board on projected revenues for Barnstable County, anticipating that the FY 24 revenue will exceed $15 million, about one million higher than originally projected. He forecasted a revenue decline in 2025 based upon downward trends in property sales volume experienced post COVID.  A primary influence on the reduction of home sales is higher interest rates.  He noted that while property sales volumes are down, the median sales of a single-family home on Cape Cod was $695,000 in April.  

Third Quarter Income and Expense Report  

Carol Coppola, Finance Director, provided an overview of the County’s financial standing for the third quarter of the current fiscal year, 2024. As of March 31, results indicate that all categories of revenue and expenditures are in line with projections.  The County is managing $91 million in cash or equivalents, with investment revenues in excess of $4 million this year.   Ms. Coppola anticipates concluding the fiscal year within budget, a result of responsible financial management and effective competitive procurement.   

Joint Base Cape Cod Master Planning Process 

Commissioner Forest updated the public and the Board on his role in the Master Planning Process at Joint Base Cape Cod, a collaborative effort with the Cape Cod Commission, aimed primarily at protecting Cape Cod’s sole source aquifer. He raised concerns about Mass Development’s proposals for developing specific parcels and emphasized that all development decisions must strictly adhere to an overarching Master Plan that includes defined scope, budget, and schedule.  As a member of the MC3 (Military Civilian Advisory Council) which is comprised of community leaders who provide guidance and advice for the base — Commissioner Forest reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that the finalized Master Plan will guide all development activities. He highlighted the importance of maintaining the base’s viability and actively involving local stakeholders in these essential strategic discussions, all in the name of protecting the aquifer. 

“The interest in this issue is Cape-wide. The protection of that Sagamore lens, really if we fail to provide long-term protection of it, it affects everyone on Cape Cod,” Commissioner Forest stated. He emphasized the crucial nature of these protective measures, underscoring the collective responsibility and impact on the region. 

Commissioners Endorse Cyndy Jones as 2024 Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year for Veteran Support 

In other news, Alice George, a member of the Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Award Committee, announced Cyndy Jones of Mashpee as this year’s distinguished recipient to the Barnstable County Commissioners. The Commissioners endorsed Ms. Jones, applauding her exceptional contributions through her organization, Heroes in Transition. Founded by Ms. Jones, this nonprofit supports veterans and their families by providing services not covered by government programs. The award will be formally presented to Ms. Jones on May 29 at the Meeting House in West Barnstable, recognizing her impactful work and dedication to the veteran community. 

Transition Agreement with Sheriff 

The Barnstable County Commissioners authorized a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sheriff’s Office, memorializing the transfer of certain properties from County use to the Sheriff Office.  Legislation enacted in 2009 had transferred these properties, including the former sheriff residence located on the County Campus, to the Commonwealth.   Sheriff Buckley, who attended the meeting, indicated she plans to establish a post-incarceration program aimed at reintegrating individuals into the community and looks forward to working collaboratively with the County.  

Photo Contest Awardees Honored  

Also at the Commissioners’ meeting, certificates of appreciation were presented to winners of the National County Government Month Photo Contest. Susan Evans took first place in the adult category with “Nobska Light at Dawn,” while Keala McCarthy won in the student category with “Lifeguard Winter Scene.” Additional awardees included Garrett Keenan for “Fire Trucks” and Hanna Thornton for “Greys Beach at Sunset. Each winner was recognized for their contributions that captured the themes of connection, inspiration, and leadership, and highlighting the beauty of Cape Cod. The winning photographs will be included in the next Barnstable County Annual Report and other digital platforms. See the photos at www.capecod.gov/Photos  

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  www.capecod.gov.