News Flash

Town Manager News and Updates

Posted on: July 22, 2021

Town Manager Report - 7/26/21

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Administration

  • COVID Response: I’m participating in daily calls with the Barnstable County Health Department, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Provincetown Board of Health, State Representative Sarah Peake, State Senator Julian Cyr, and Fallon, who is providing testing and vaccination at the mobile unit. Most time over the last two weeks has been dedicated to our response - communication, data analysis, interfacing with residents and businesses.
  • DEI Office: I hosted a meeting with representatives from PLOVR, along with local resident Earl Hinton, to discuss next steps on the creation of an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Next steps will be communicated in the near future.
  • Sewer System: Town Staff met with John Goodrich, and our partners at AECOM to discuss the completion of our Phase 5 sewer expansion, and to begin planning for sewer expansion after the current phase is completed. We hope to present a sewer update to the Select Board at one of the September meetings, in which the Board will also receive staff recommendations to release 30,000 additional gallons that will soon be available.
  • Police Station: The Building Committee met to debrief the presentation to the Select Board that occurred on 7/12. Board members were deeply grateful to the Select Board for their insight and support, and the Committee is working to develop engagement strategies to solicit public input on two proposed designs. Select Board member Leslie Sandberg was present and has offered to assist with communications.
  • 3 Jerome Smith Housing: The deadline for proposals to develop housing at 3 Jerome Smith Road is coming up on Thursday July 29th. I will be appointing an RFP Review Committee in the near future.

Building

  • Arcuri vs. Provincetown Historic District Commission: On Friday July 15, 2021, Commission member Hersh Schwartz, Town Counsel Joe Duquette and I appeared at the Superior Court for a Rule 16 Conference for a complaint and Notice of Appeal to seek a remedy in equity to be allowed to keep her fence as is.  The fence was not constructed in compliance with the Certificate of Appropriateness issued September 6, 2017, HDC 18-009.  A non-jury trial has been scheduled for August 20, 2021. 
  • Eversource Battery Project at 90 Race Point Road: Module testing will begin in the battery rooms.  The lead-acid DC batteries have been charging over the past week in preparation for the lithium-ion module testing.

Council on Aging/ Human Services

  • LGBTQ Training: The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) has launched an online training program intended to prevent and eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.  The training is mandatory for all providers who receive funding from EOEA, including COA staff.
  • Garden Grant: Thanks to a Title III CARES Funds grant from Elder Services of CC&I, the Senior Center purchased three standing garden beds which are managed by volunteers and staff.  Vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are already being used for our weekly lunch program and we plan to maintain the beds year-round.
  • Human Services Offices: Human services providers with office space at the VMCC will be resuming in-person services over the next two months.  Agencies include Cape Cod Children’s Place, Department of Veteran’s Services, Gosnold, Inc., Independence House, South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc., and VNA.  

Environment/Conservation 

  • Open Space and Recreation Plan: The Environmental Planner has submitted the draft Open Space and Recreation Plan to the Mass. Division of Conservation Services for review and comment. Once we receive their feedback and make any suggested modifications, we will finalize the plan and present the updated goals and action items for the next five years.

Finance

  • FY2021 Year End Close: The Finance Team is finalizing FY2021 closing entries and account review as well as preparing annual state reports. 
  • FY2022 Tax Rate Recap: The Finance Team is working on preparation and submission of state required reports to prepare the tax rate recap in anticipation of the Select Board’s August 23 classification hearing.
  • Treasurer/Collector Position: We are in the process of contracting with a consultant to help us find qualified candidates for the Treasurer/Collector position.

Harbormaster

  • Speed Buoys: One speed buoy was replaced due to leaking and fear of sinking.
  • Oil Spill Training: Three non-trained Assistant Harbormasters were trained in how to deploy the DEP supplied oil containment boom.
  • Clean Vessel Act: We were able to patch the landside sewage pump to function for remainder of the season.

Housing 

  • Ownership Units: 30 Shank Painter Rd. Unit #102, one-bedroom inclusionary zoning unit $215,000, is now available with open house 9/11/21 and applications due by 9/27/21.
  • 6 Sandy Hill Lane #11 closed on June 29th. 36 Nelson Unit #3 [1 bedroom, 1 bath, $178,500, as part of the inclusionary zoning development at 30 Shank Painter], lottery was held 5/17/21, with deed restriction approved on 7/12/21 by Select Board, and closing pending for 7/21/21. 
  • Community Housing Outreach Program: Discussion scheduled with Community Housing Council on 7/19/21.
  • VFW development: Select Board approved moving forward with the RFP on 5/24/21, RFP was issued, several developers and other potential team members attended the site visit on 6/24/21, proposals are due by 7/29/21.
  • Community Housing Resource [CHR] is accepting pre-applications for a new combined waitlist for all existing CHR properties [seven properties in Provincetown, Truro, & Wellfleet; this does not include non-CHR properties]. Pre-applications are due by August 16th to be followed by a lottery and new waitlist. This has been several years in the making; previously applicants had to submit separate applications for each property and each property maintained its own waitlist. Pre-existing waitlists have now expired, so people must re-apply to be part of this new waitlist.
  • Harbor Hill: Continues at 100% full occupancy. Property Management continues to work on upgrades and CIP planning with the assistance of staff including the public works department. Challenges to repairs and landscaping are being experienced in conjunction with lack of staff for businesses in the region.

Library

  • Provincetown Book Festival Update: Robert Jones, Jr., acclaimed author of the historical novel, The Prophets, Paul Lisicky, author of the Provincetown memoir Later: My Life at the Edge of the World, and novelist Francine Prose, author of twenty novels including her most recent, The Vixen, will appear live and in person at the fifth Provincetown Book Festival, a weekend of literary events for readers, writers, and book lovers of all kinds. Many more authors are being scheduled as well. The Provincetown Book Festival takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 – 19, 2021. All events are free and open to the public. All events are held at the Provincetown Public Library. The Provincetown Book Festival opens on Friday night, September 17, with a reading and reception for the recipient of the Rose Dorothea Award, given annually by the Board of Library Trustees to a person with a strong connection to the Outer Cape who has made a significant contribution through the written word. The 2021 recipient is performance artist and writer Karen Finley. provincetownbookfestival.org
  • The Friends of the Provincetown Library: The Friends of the Library have now installed three Little Free Libraries in town – in front of the Library, in front of the school, and at Stop & Shop. They have also opened a new inline store offering Library-centered merchandise. https://friendsoftheppl.square.site/
  • Staying Up-to-Date on the Library: To stay current on all that is going on at the Library check the website provincetownlibrary.org to see calendar of events and to subscribe to online newsletter, and follow on Facebook and Instagram @provincetownlib. 

MacMillan Pier

  • Ferry Service: It has been quite busy over the past two weeks due to the holiday week, “bear week” and pedestrian traffic on the pier has been high. 
  • Commercial Boating Activity: Charters and excursion businesses as well as the commercial fishers continue to be busy and active.
  • Santa Maria Replica: The visiting Historic vessel the Santa Maria will be returning to the Pier on July 29th for their originally scheduled visit to Provincetown.
  • Barge Activity: The barge with the crane on it out by the wave attenuator has a couple more items to take care of before it leaves Provincetown Harbor. 
  • Family Week: Lego will begin setting up their display on the Pier board walk the night of Friday, July 23rd.

Marine and Emergency Management

  • Chapter 91 Compliance Assistance Project: With our consultant, Jim Vincent, staff met with officials from the Waterways Program at DEP for a final review of the draft training manual for Harbor Committee members and applicants. This manual provides plain language advice on how to provide requests for comment on public benefits for applicants and creates a local database of completed licenses for easy access by the public. Staff is also keeping the Town Manager updated on the program.
  • Shoreline Management Grant: Submitting a reimbursement request for $97,000 to Coastal Zone Management for the first year of the four-towns Shoreline Management program. This is the second grant for the team project.
  • Bathing Beach Testing: The County monitors 16 locations across town weekly from June to Labor Day for bacteria. Samples are collected on Mondays with results provided by Tuesday afternoon (due to the incubation period). Only the landing west of Coast Guard Station (Franklin) has had repeated exceedances requiring a posting at the landing that bacteria counts are high. Its most recent test passed. For more information regarding the program, testing methodologies and closure policies go to Barnstablecountyhealth.org.

MIS

  • Cybersecurity: The MIS Department’s effort to improve the Town’s cybersecurity posture is ongoing. We are participating in a state-wide awareness program that is being sponsored by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS). We have been introduced to two assignments, as well as multiple simulated phishing campaigns. Awareness is the first line of defense in mitigating the risk of cyber attacks.
  • Desktop Replacements: MIS has completed the process of cycling out a portion of our desktop fleet. We do this every spring; instead of replacing all desktops at once, we stagger it over three years. MIS utilizes a centralized deployment system to automate the installation of base software and settings. We then work with each end user to customize their experience, based on departmental needs.

Planning

  • Local Comprehensive Planning Committee: Drafting the Targeted Action Plan & Implementation Schedule; finalizing the Capital Facilities section of the plan.
  • Sewer/Title V Record Collaboration: The Town Planner is coordinating with the Health Department, Licensing, Sewer Department, and Building Commissioner to review gallon per day records. 
  • Year-Round Workforce Housing: The Zoning Board of Appeals approved a Special Permit for the development of a single-family dwelling at 24 Commodore Avenue that is proposed to include an accessory dwelling unit.

Recreation

  • Adult Tennis and Pickle Ball lessons: Beginner Tennis and Pickle ball lessons are available through the Recreation Department for adults on Thursdays in July and August at the Motta Field tennis Courts. All Pickle ball lessons are full, but there are a few Tennis lessons available for those interested. Even with the addition of two new pickle ball courts at the West End Basketball courts, The Recreation Department is receiving many requests for more court availability. The fastest growing sport in the world certainly has a demand here in Provincetown, so the Recreation Commission will include those needs in any future planning of Recreational Facilities.  
  • Summer Program: The Summer Program is commencing in its fourth week of service, offering childcare from 8am-4pm Monday Through Friday. Mask wearing has been mandatory for children and staff indoors and outdoors since the start and will continue to be the entire duration of the summer program which ends on August 27. This program is held primarily outside at Motta field, where the children remain in groups based on age, and participate in their favorite camp like activities and crafts. We have a total of 80 registered participants and are seeing an average of 60 children attending per day.
  • East End Waterfront Park Planning: The first community meeting was held on June 24th, with a community meeting and a site visit with the design firm Weston and Sampson and Town staff. Over the course of the day, we received input from 85 people, either visiting the site or participating in the community meeting. Along with that feedback, we are gathering online survey results from the public on their desires for the park. The working group, Town staff, and Weston and Sampson will be meeting on July 27th to review the initial public input and put together a more targeted discussion points based on the public input received to date. Then at the next Park day on July 31st, we will provide more focused components of the park that the public has discussed initially, and hope to start forming a path for a design. 

School

  • Infant and Toddler Program: The school is pleased to announce that they have hired an additional teacher for the Infant and Toddler programs and will be able to accommodate all of the children on the waitlist over the next couple of weeks.  We have confirmed cases of COVID in the families of our children so are enacting all safety protocols including the full-time use of masks by our staff.  
  • Facilities: Our new Principal Gerry Goyette has hit the ground running and started with an inspection of the facilities with our Maintenance team.  Issues with window safety were identified as the opening/closing mechanisms are beginning to fail (rope pulleys). The former vendor is out of business so the school is in search of a repair person who can fix those types of windows.  
  • Grounds: Pedestrians cutting through the playground area and school entry from the Grace Hall Lot to Winslow Street remains an issue.  The pedestrians include runners, bikers riding their bikes instead of walking through, dog walkers and foxes!  The school is preparing a proposed fenced sidewalk along the back edge of the playground for use during the school day during summer school and the school year. The school is also working with DPW on some new signage.
     Summer Programming for Children: The school is grateful for summer programs in the community and for our Rec Program.  The addition of a bus run this year using COVID funds has bolstered attendance and supports the social and emotional recovery of our children.

Tourism

  • EDGE Media Network:  Worked with the editor of EDGE to sponsor a story about Provincetown’s long and welcoming legacy of the transgender community and why Fan Fair takes place here each October. https://www.edgemedianetwork.com/story.php?ch=travel&sc=&id=306476&provincetowns_legacy_of_transgender_representation
  • Assistant Director of Tourism: Nina Cantor resigned from the position of Assistant Director of Tourism to pursue an opportunity with a nonprofit organization here on the Cape. Her last day working for the Town of Provincetown was Friday July 16, 2021. The position will be posted and advertised to encourage experienced people in the tourism marketing and public relations field to apply.
  • Visitor Services Board Openings: There have been two recent resignations from the VSB. The openings are At Large seats and will be filled following the Select Boards policy. All interested parties need to apply by completing and submitting an application to the Town Clerk.

Town Clerk 

  • Street Listing:  Be on the lookout for the second mailing of the annual street listing.  Folks who did not return their first copy should be on the lookout for the second mailing and should return it as soon as possible.  Please sign and return forms to the Office of the Town Clerk even if no changes are necessary.  If you wish to change your any aspects of your voter registration, please go to the Secretary of State’s website at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ or come into the Office of the Town Clerk to fill out a change in voter registration form. 
  • Board Vacancies:  A list of current board vacancies can be found at https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/812/Board-Vacancy-Report-PDF. Current board members who wish to be reappointed to their expired seats need to submit a new board application online to be considered for reappointment.  Please fill out the simple application found here https://provincetownma.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1074/record-types/1006552.  
  • Services:  The Office of the Town Clerk continues to offer our services online including vital record requests (birth/death/marriage certificates), business certificates, dog licenses, public record requests, board & committee applications, and shellfish licenses.  The Office of the Town Clerk requires appointments to file marriage intentions. 

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