News Flash

Town Manager News and Updates

Posted on: August 5, 2021

Town Manager Report - 8/4/21

Alex 1200x630

Administration

  • The last few weeks have been focused on the Town’s response to COVID-19, including daily meetings with our partners and public health experts, interviews, and external meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and Provincetown Business Guild.
  • I met with Truro Town Manager Darrin Tangeman and discussed an interest in working together and exploring potential partnerships in the months and years ahead.
  • We opened bids for 3 Jerome Smith Road/VFW site; we received three proposals: The Community Builders, Pennrose, and Commonwealth Community Developers submitted proposals. 

Building

  • The Bradford Access Project: The project is still awaiting inspection by the State of MA. Elevator Inspectional Department.   The required guardrail has been installed along the sloped surface leading to the lower pavilion from the Bradford Street entrance and the broken glass has been replaced. 
  • 419 Commercial Street: The footings and foundation walls are being poured to support the new building on the site.
  • Permitting: There is a full pre-application calendar for project developments and re-development of existing properties.   This indicates to us that construction projects and activities remain strong.

Code Compliance

  • COVID compliance activities started again last weekend on Friday and Sunday evening:
    1. Retail stores were mostly compliant with only 3 redirection/warnings being sent out, 2 of which were based on customer complaints.   Compliance operations showed a high level of compliance to the mask mandate from both retail and food establishments.
    2. Discussions with entertainment venue staff is on-going.   Mask wearing during indoor shows will be enforced as will masks wearing during indoor dancing.

Council on Aging/ Human Services

  • New Veterans Services: Cape Cod Vet Center (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) will begin offering free mental health counseling to eligible Veterans and their families at the VMCC in September. These services will be in addition to those already provided by the Veterans Agent (Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services), also located at the VMCC.   Residents can contact the Senior Center at 508-487-7080 for more info.
  • Senior Property Tax Work-Off Program: All 2021 applicants have been placed in this annual program that allows property owners to work for Town Departments and Boards in exchange for an exemption on real estate taxes. We again express appreciation to the Select Board for allowing participants to receive partial credit this year due to pandemic-related reduced hours. We will continue to accept new applications and place residents as long as opportunities are available.  
  • COA Pantry Fundraiser: The COA Food Pantry has been selected as the recipient of Stop & Shop’s Bloomin’ 4 Good program for August. Through August 31, the COA will receive a $1 donation for every Bloomin’ 4 Good bouquet sold at the Provincetown store. This will benefit our on-site pantry, which is open year-round to people of all ages with no registration or eligibility requirements. We appreciate Stop & Shop’s support. 

Harbormaster

  • Kayaks: Provincetown Aquasports kayak rentals is reminding their patrons to remain out of the large vessel traffic fairways wherever possible.
  • Oil Spill Trailer: The trailer containing our State issued oil spill response equipment is now being stored on MacMillan Pier during the height of the boating season.
  • Visiting Boats: The number of transient boats was about normal until the last week of July when vessel numbers have decreased compared to a typical season.

Housing 

  • 3 Jerome Smith/VFW Housing Development: The Town received three proposals on 7/29/21 – from Commonwealth Community Developers, Pennrose and The Community Builders [TCB].
  • 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. Note that comparable unit side-by-side is marketed for $620,000 indicating how large the gap is from affordable to market rate.
  • Harbor Hill: Rentals continue 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.
  • The Year Round Market Rate Rental Housing Trust: The trust is exploring various options for future revenue including allocations from short-term rental tax and marijuana taxes and fees. The Trust has met with community members to discuss potential articles and other ways to boost rental housing.  The Trust voted on 7/20/21 to request meetings with the Town Manager on annual goals and joint meetings with the CHC and Select Board.
  • The Community Housing Council [CHC]: The council met on 7/19/21 and is also exploring future revenue streams including an allocation of the short-term revenue tax. The CHC voted to request meetings with the Town Manager on annual goals and joint meetings with the Trust and Select Board.
  • Community Housing Resource [CHR]: Now accepting pre-applications for a new combined waitlist for all existing CHR properties [seven properties in Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet; this does not include non-CHR properties]. Pre-applications are due by August 16th to be followed by a lottery and new waitlist. Pre-existing waitlists have now expired, so people must re-apply to be part of this new waitlist.

Human Resources

  • New Hire: Kristen Sebastian, Water Dept. Administrative Assistance 
  • Position Moves: Sherry Prada, Deputy DPW Director; Paul Roderick, Sanitation Skilled Laborer; Othaine Rance, EMS Coordinator 
  • Open Year-Round Positions: Currently the Town is seeking a Town Treasurer, Water Department Skilled Laborer/Equipment Operator, DPW Facilities Manager, Buildings and Grounds Maintenance Worker, Highway Skilled Laborer, and On-Call Secretaries
  • Open Seasonal Positions: Various Seasonal Positions for the 2021 Season: Community Ambassadors, DPW Highway Dept. Laborer, DPW Transfer Station/Sanitation Laborer, DPW Barrels & Grounds Attendants, DPW Third Barrel Pickup Attendants, DPW Comfort Station Attendants, DPW Beautification Maintenance Staff, DPW Groundskeeper Maintenance Staff, DPW Floating Custodian, Parking Lot Booth Attendants, Community Ambassadors/Greeters, PPPC Deck Safety Crew Patrol Staff, PPPC Assistant Harbormasters, PPPC Night Watchperson- Deck Safety Crew Patrol, and PPPC Operations Staff. Applications and job descriptions for all positions can be found on the Town’s website. 

Library

  • Provincetown Book Festival: Save the date for our 5th Provincetown Book Festival to be held September 17-19. Decision about the format (in-person, virtual or hybrid) will be made on September 1. Stay up-to-date on Book Festival news at provincetownbookfestival.org and @provincetownbookfestival.
  • Library returns to Virtual Programming: Due to indoor mask mandate and out of abundance of caution, Library programs will return to virtual format for the time being. Tuesdays at 11am join us for a read along/read aloud with Linda Ohlson Graham and on the first Friday of the month for 2021 Reading Challenge discussion. Email araff@clamsnet.org for Zoom link and more information. 
  • 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. The Library remains open to the public Monday-Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 1pm-5pm. Streetside pick-up of materials is available during all the Library’s regular hours. 

Licensing

  • Licenses: Focusing on late renewals
  • Licensing Board: Have an opening for an alternate.
  • Dispersing information to licensees on the current Covid uptick and masks, sanitizers and home tests

MacMillan Pier

  • Ferry Service: Passenger counts have seen a decline over the past couple weeks, but the full schedule remains in place. 
  • Commercial Fishers: Business continues to be busy and active.   
  • Charters and Excursions: Have seen a slight decline but remain busy.   
  • ACL with the Cruise ship American Constitution: This vessel that visits the pier every ten days or so has canceled their next two visits. The August 2nd visit and the August 12th visits to Provincetown have been canceled due to the increase in COVID cases here on the cape.

MIS

  • Cybersecurity: The MIS Department’s effort to improve the Town’s cybersecurity posture is ongoing. We are participating in state-wide awareness program that is being sponsored by the Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS). We recently received our second quarter report card, and Provincetown is trending ahead of the State average for assessment and assignment completion rates.
  • School Updates: The summer months present a particularly busy time for MIS at the school. We are in the process of performing regular maintenance on a multitude of different devices. We are also assisting with the transition to a new Student Information System (SIS), which began July 1.

Planning

  • Public Landscape: The Town Planner is coordinating with the Town Engineer, Department of Public Works, and Public Landscape Committee to review potential trash and recycling receptacle designs.
  • Local Comprehensive Planning Committee: Adding data and formatting the Existing Conditions section; drafting the Targeted Action Plan & Implementation Schedule.
  • Historic Preservation: The Town Planner is collecting photographs and historic data on example period buildings for the draft Historic District architectural design guidelines.
  • Planning and Zoning Appeal: The 227R Commercial Street Project that was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board after remand from Land Court was appealed by Scott C. Ravelson, Trustee of 229 Realty Trust and Marspec, Inc., the successor by merger to Marine Specialties, Inc. The Project is expected to provide year-round jobs, tax revenue for the Town, a meeting space, 31 hotel rooms, 4 residential units, improved public access to the waterfront, and a downtown destination for residents and visitors, including a restaurant and bar. The reconfigured project will also significantly improve coastal resiliency by elevating the structure to account for climate change and rising sea levels.
  • Planning and Zoning Appeal: The proposed Barracks project at 207 Route 6 that that was approved by the Planning Board was appealed by Julie Gray, Alison Gray, Jay Gurewitsch, and John F. Crowley III. The Project includes: sixteen (16) rental apartments with a capacity of 34 persons; and twenty-eight (28) dormitory style units with a capacity of 112 persons, that would provide dormitory-style workforce housing and deed restricted, year-round rental units.

Project Administration/Transportation

  • Parking Violation Reporting: Despite the recent slowdown of traffic in Town over the past couple of weeks, there continues to be a steady stream of vehicles coming to visit.  Parking violations should be referred to the Provincetown Police Department, not the Parking Department.  The Police Department took over enforcement in 2019, and any violations should be directed to that Department.
  • Street Sweeping: As a reminder, Street Sweeping is in effect from June 1, 2021, through October 12, 2021.  Information about zones, times, and fees can be found on the Provincetown Parking Webpage, https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/1022/Street-Sweeping.

Public Works

  • Wastewater Testing: DPW staff continues to work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Biobot Laboratories in testing our wastewater for presence of the COVID virus. As expected, early test results confirm the virus is present as the Town continues to manage the outbreak. 
  • Knowles Crossing Filter Replacement: DPW water department staff performed a capital upgrade project on the filtration system at the Knowles Crossing Water Treatment Facility. The team replaced 90 individual filter modules with no interruptions to service. The routine replacement is expected to occur every 6-8 years but the first such task since the plant came online in 2013. 
  • DPW Headquarters: The public works department is finalizing their feasibility study and conceptual design of new DPW headquarters. Requests have been made to be placed on the Building Committees agenda for feedback with future consideration to bring forward to the Select Board for input. DPW’s FY2023 capital plan includes funding for final design bid phase service.

School

  • Staffing: We are excited to have a full staff to support our goal of strong achievement in Math by all learners.  Welcome to Math Coach Brett Costello who grew up on Cape Cod.
  • COVID: We continue to experience positive cases of Covid amongst school staff and students.  The preschool was shut down last Friday and will reopen Wednesday as long as we have all negative test results.   We are also seeing an uptick in summer colds and allergies.   The pandemic will remain a challenge for us until all children under the age of 12 are able to be vaccinated.  
  • School Activity: The building is getting ready for Opening Day during the last week of August.  Many of our students were able to participate in summer activities through rec and the school.  We are grateful for all that the town is able to offer to our students. 

Tourism

  • Community Ambassador Program: The ambassadors have returned to Firehouse #3. The schedule has been adapted to allow The Community Ambassador Program to occupy the space from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and nonprofits will be using the space from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
  • Late Summer Advertising Campaign: The digital advertising campaign has been refocused to highlight Late Summer – It’s Good to be Outside. The messaging points to the outdoor activities and the things visitors can do to play and enjoy Provincetown responsibly and safely.
  • Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Radio: A radio campaign has been added to the advertising. The 30 second spots will reach the Cape and The Islands as well as Bristol and Plymouth counties. The messaging will be in line with the digital campaign and feature Late Summer – It’s Good to be Outside.
  • Public Relations: Through ConranPR we are circulating a press release to the travel media and news desks with the latest updates on the now low COVID positivity rates and the cluster being behind us. The content will include the Late Summer – It’s Good to be Outside messaging and how to visit Provincetown and enjoy it responsibly and safely.
  • Indoor Mask Requirement Signage Campaign: Signage has been designed to support and create awareness of the indoor mask requirement. There are 24x36” outdoor posters, 12x18” signs for street poles and 8.5x11” card stock signs available in Community Development for businesses to put in windows. 

Town Clerk 

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