Department Update Report for the April 26, 2021 Select Board Meeting
- Introductory meetings continue to go well with both internal and external stakeholders, including with our state delegation, Senator Julian Cyr, and Representative Sarah Peake.
- The Town hosted a team from the Department of Revenue to begin conducting a Financial Management Review. The last review was conducted in 2008. This is a great opportunity to celebrate and measure the progress the Town has made since, as well as identifying remaining opportunities for improvements. It's also opportune timing with the Town's leadership transition.
- On Thursday, we hosted the Town Meeting Forum. For the first time, Town Hall used the "live event" feature on Teams, which allows members of the public to join the meeting and ask questions in a Q&A box. The forum will continue to be broadcast online and on PTV leading up to Town Meeting this Saturday.
- I met with Steve Johnston, CEO of OpenCape to get briefed on the status of broadband efforts and other efforts to improve connectivity in Town as I begin to think about a viable path forward.
- Public bathrooms will begin to open this week. Town Hall bathrooms will open to the public later this week, Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm. Fire House #3 bathrooms will open by mid-May.
- Fire Department Needs Assessment RFQ is on the street, site visit is on 4/27 at 10:00am.
- The Surf Club: The building permit to restore the building has been issued and the renovation will commence.
- The Bradford Access Project: Initial exercises testing the car are underway with inspections to follow.
Council on Aging/ Human Services
- COA Program Assistant: Carla Mancino has resigned her position after ten years as Program Assistant. She has been an active and respected member of the COA team and will be missed. This part-time position is under a state grant and is being posted.
- Executive Office of Elder Affairs Formula Grant: EOEA awards an annual grant to COAs based on the number of residents 60+ per federal census to be used for specified purposes. The state has confirmed that, due to closures during the pandemic, unused funds from the FY2021 grant can be rolled over on top of FY2022 allocations. This will be extremely beneficial in re-establishing operations once the Senior Center reopens.
- Pantry Fundraiser: The “Bloomin’ 4 Good” program at the Provincetown Stop & Shop raised $121 for the COA Food Pantry in March. Much appreciation to the Stop & Shop and to all who participated. Our non-perishable, on-site pantry is open to all residents without eligibility criteria or registration. During the pandemic, staff is packing orders for pick up or delivery.
- The B Street Garden Renovation Project: The project, which is the reconstruction of approximately forty of the seventy aging and deteriorating garden plots, will be complete by May 15th.
- Coastal Resilience Advisory Committee: The formation of the Coastal Resilience Advisory Committee, which the Select Board voted to establish on March 9, 2020, was delayed due to the COVID pandemic. The Environmental Planner will work with other staff members and Town boards to appoint members and convene the committee this June.
- Small Scale Climate Change Resiliency Revolving Fund: The Environmental Planner and the Health Director made a presentation to the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) on April 15, 2021, on Provincetown’s Small Scale Climate Change Resiliency Revolving Fund established at the Spring 2019 Town Meeting. EBC is a nonprofit organization with membership consisting of businesses specializing in environmental and energy technology, financial and education institutions, and state and local governmental agencies. EBC provides its members with programs, activities, and information to enable them to stay on the cutting edge of environmental and energy technologies and regulatory developments, and to create networking opportunities to facilitate collaboration and teaming.
- COVID-19 / Public Health: The Meeting Needs group has updated its COVID-19 Community Resource Guide. The guide can be found on the Health Department’s webpage as well as the webpages of all partner agencies. Many thanks to public health intern Jessica Kent for coordinating the updating effort with the graphic designer Grant King.
- COVID-19 / Public Health: The state opened eligibility for vaccine for anyone over the age of 16 who lives, works, or goes to school in Massachusetts as of 4/19/21. Provincetown Health will continue to work with partners at the regional level to increase vaccine availability as doses become available, as well as local partners at Outer Cape Health Services (OCHS). OCHS has set an ambitious goal to vaccinate all in its catchment area by Memorial Day, and to that end, the Health Department has released a survey to understand needs for vaccine in Provincetown over the next few weeks.
- COVID-19 / Public Health / Meeting Needs: Both the Soup Kitchen in Provincetown and the COVID-19 Task Force hot lunch programs end at the end of April. The Meeting Needs group is coordinating resources to help fill that gap for folks in need of a hot lunch after these programs end.
- Moby-Dick Week: If the past year has taught us anything, it is that the only constant in life is change. Keeping this sentiment in mind, the Provincetown Public Library is creating a different kind of Moby-Dick Marathon for 2021. The Library will be holding a week of virtual programming from May 3-May 8. We are soliciting videos from previous readers sharing why Moby-Dick is important to them and why they love it. We will feature last year’s virtual marathon as well as, presentations by Moby and whaling experts: Elissa Greenwald, Philip Hoare, Skip Finley and the Center for Coastal Studies.
- New Library Website: After months of development, the Library is pleased to announce that a new website will be ready by Monday, May 3. The new website will be easier to use, more aesthetically pleasing, and optimized for mobile display.
- Library Services: While the building remains closed to the public, Library staff is available by phone and online during all regular library hours (7 days a week) to offer reader’s advisory, assistance with electronic resources assistance, and help answering questions and finding answers. Wireless printing is also available. Streetside pick-up of circulating library materials continues. Items may be requested through clamsnet.org, by calling 487-7094, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Harbor Committee Improvements: Committee members, in concert with the Shellfish Committee, are preparing to replace the current Town Landing signs with an updated design providing space for eight international symbols (i.e. swimming, strolling, no parking) and a QR code for more information. The current Town Landing signs were a Harbor Committee project with the Visitor Services Board in the early 2000’s. This time they have recommended an expenditure from the Harbor Access Gift fund of less than $10,000. They are also working on educational postings for the commercial aquaculture sites and a photographic warning sign for rising tides on the breakwater. This winter most warning and educations signs at the Pilgrims First Landing Park rotary have blown away. Staff is replacing the large red sign with a spare.
- Tide Gauge Test Project: The Harbor Committee recommends a test project with artist Mark Adams to determine which materials will hold up in the intertidal zone in a responsible manner. The area is the Courtesy Float bulkhead and the purpose is to reestablish the tide gauge. Mr. Adams is proposing use of marine life juxtaposed with human figures to relate scale and interconnections between species. Lessons learned from this project could lead to a larger proposal for informational murals on the bulkhead or boat ramp.
- Barnstable County Dredge Sub-committee: Provincetown’s Marine and Emergency Management Coordinator has been elected by his peers to be chair of the sub-committee for a one-year term. The sub-committee works with the Barnstable County Dredge department. The fifteen towns each appoint a representative to serve on the committee. Chatham’s Natural Resources Director is vice-chair.
- Cybersecurity: The MIS Department has been working on several initiatives to improve the Town’s cybersecurity posture. This includes programs sponsored by the Town’s financial auditor, CliftonLarsonAllen, as well as a comprehensive training program administered by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Technology Services & Security (EOTSS). Part of the awareness training involves ongoing simulated phishing campaigns, as well as interactive assignments.
- Online Workflows: The MIS Department continues assisting multiple departments streamline existing workflows by making them available through a web interface. These workflows vary from internal-only, as well as public-facing workflows, such as public records requests.
- Brightlink: MIS will be testing new interactive smart displays and projectors at Provincetown Schools. This interactive technology, called BrightLink, turns existing dry erase whiteboards, plain walls and tables into interactive workspaces where users can ideate, annotate, capture and share ideas in real time locally or with remote participants
- Planning Board: The Planning Board is focusing on discussing the proposed illumination and inclusionary housing sections of the Zoning Bylaw amendment articles for Town Meeting at the public hearing on April 22, 2021.
- Climate Action: The Town Planner is attending the webinar “Resilient Nantucket”, a special forum being held April 22 through April 24, 2021, showcasing Nantucket as a model for cultural resource-based resilience planning, sustainability, and coastal adaptation presented by Climate Scientist from the Union of Concerned Scientists, Brenda Ekwurzel, Senior Policy Director at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, James Lindberg, and Oceanographer & Sea Level Rise Expert/Author John Englander,
- Local Comprehensive Planning Committee (LCP): The LCP Committee is working on the economic development goals section and discussing different options for planning future affordable housing in Town. Draft goals are posted on the LCP’s webpage.
- Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy Field Project: The project team completed a 75% draft and is continuing with identifying historic structures as examples to demonstrate how multiple mitigation strategies would apply to actual buildings in Provincetown under different predicted sea-level rise scenarios. The final presentation is scheduled for May 14, 2021.
- Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center: The Historic District Commission, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals will be providing feedback to the architects on two conceptual designs for the visitor center at each board’s next regularly scheduled public meetings.
- VMCC Lighting Retrofit: DPW will be working with the Cape Light Compact to replace the florescent tube lights in the Veteran Memorial Community Center with new LED fixtures.
- CCIWPF: Cape Cod & Island Water Protection Fund Management Board has adopted their regulations and hired a financial advisor to review the fund revenues and offer options for awarding subsidies to qualified projects listed on the Intended Use Plans and eligible projects with pre-existing debt. Provincetown wastewater enterprise fund has an eligible existing debt of $19,198,453.
- Pilgrims First Landing Park: The new gravel paths and sitting areas are slated to get installed in the next two weeks, followed by lighting and plantings. The project should be substantially complete by mid-June.
- West End Basketball Court Retrofit: The Chelsea Earnest Memorial Playground basketball courts (West End) are scheduled to be repaved in May. Funded by a CPA article from FY 21 Annual Town Meeting, these courts will get a much-needed face lift. The courts will be repaved, resulting in two pickleball courts and one basketball court lined, for a shared used court. Fencing between the playground and basketball courts will be replaced along with the Nickerson street side. The southern, and western side will be reinforced with additional support beams tied into the existing fence to give it more strength. The decision for reinforcing those sections results from many conversations with abutters, and neighbors about their desire to keep those sections, due to the amount of wisteria encased within the fence, providing a green barrier. The structural integrity remains in those fences as is, but as an added step to ensure safety, supports will be added in the middle of each fence bay. There has been a strong interest in having pickleball courts in Town, so we are looking to add them to Recreational areas when space allows.
- Youth Summer Program: Provincetown, along with Dennis and Barnstable, were the only municipal summer programs provided on the Cape last summer, and we will be providing it again this summer. We understand that, in order for businesses to reopen, there is a need for this childcare program so that families can resume their employment. Luckily, we have a great starting point from last year which only needs minor changes/updates that the state has mandated in their most recent guidelines from April 2021. Once again, this program will be primarily based outside at Motta Field, separating children into groups based on age, with social distancing measures and a mask mandate. Staff will be required to wear cloth masks the entire duration of their working day. Provincetown Recreation has always stood for bringing the community and children together, but once again this summer we will be doing that creatively as the state mandates us to have the children separated into groups that will not intermix. Children will now be broken up into four groups based on age, with a maximum of fifteen children in each, and a total maximum capacity of sixty children. There will be two staff members in each age group, with a total maximum group capacity of seventeen staff members and children. Staff members will stay with their assigned age group throughout the duration of the summer. Each age group will have their designated area on Motta Field, designed for active play, crafting areas and a lunch area which will be shaded. Each group will have access to their own porta toilet and hand washing station, so we do not have the risk of cross-contaminating age groups. The department will implement a three-tiered registration process, with Residents, Provincetown Schools students and children of Town employees having the opportunity to register first. The second tier will be open to lower Cape residents that are employed in Provincetown and the last tier will be open to all nonresidents when or if space allows. Each tier will be on a first come, first serve basis, with appropriate validation of their residency and employment.
- Three Media Visits: Travel writers continued to respond to our press releases and media pitches, and the hard work has paid off; we have scheduled and confirmed three media familiarization visits to Provincetown in May. The first will be May 2-5 with Forbes travel writer Larry Olmsted visiting to gather information for a dedicated feature on Provincetown showcasing the dog friendly town status, and also covering all the other attractions, not only dogs. Larry will be visiting with his wife and two Golden Retrievers. The second will be May 17-22 when Jacob Anderson-Minshall, the Editor in Chief of Out Traveler will visit in exchange for two separate pieces of excellent coverage, specifically: Out Traveler digital story to publish shortly after returning to his office after the visit, and a print feature piece to publish in the relaunch of the magazine in the fall, a digital version of the story will be published as well. And the third will be a visit from Anne Kazel-Wilcox a Travel Squire journalist May 23-26 to do a feature on Provincetown about visiting with her LGBTQ college-age daughter. We are arranging full itineraries including attractions and exposure to activities and the culture of the Town.
- Elections: The Office of the Town Clerk has assembled the ballot for the Annual Town Election and is awaiting the return of the ballot from the printer. The last day to register to vote in the Annual Town Election is the Wednesday April 21st. The Office of the Town Clerk will hold voter registration hours on April 21st in the auditorium from 8am - 8pm for those who need to register to vote.
- Early Voting: For those who would like to obtain an early voting ballot, registered Provincetown voters can fill out an application available on the Town Website https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/13738/2021-Vote-by-Mail-Application-June-30 or pick one up in person at the lower Ryder Street entrance to Town Hall. Applications must be returned by May 5th at 5pm.
- Permit Parking: As a reminder, the permit and paid parking season begins on Saturday, May 1st. Please purchase your sticker online through the Town website as Town Hall remains closed to the public. Information on the types of permits available for purchase are detailed in Online Permitting found on the Town Website.
- 2021 Parking Season: The 2021 Parking season is upon us. Wescor, the company which services the Town’s devices has been, and will continue to be, on site to bring our equipment online and ready for the season. A formal on-boarding will take place with staff later in the month. Please be patient as we bring the License Plate Recognition program back online. Please direct any questions to Erin Ellis at email@example.com.