News Flash

Town Manager News and Updates

Posted on: January 21, 2022

Town Manager Report 1/20/22

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Administration

  • Rooms Tax Reallocation: The YRMRRHT met on 1/11/22 and voted to support the proposed room tax allocation as presented and endorsed by the Select Board. The Trust has scheduled their annual public hearing for 3/8/22 for further consideration of proposed Town Meeting articles and to update the public on Trust activities.
  • Federal Government Infrastructure Bill: Town Staff met with Mark Forest in his capacity at Natural Resource Conservation Service, as the organization will be benefiting in a large way from the Federal Government Infrastructure Bill. They reached out to discuss potential projects that would help the shellfishing industry in our community. Town staff had identified a few areas of interest, including the Ryder Street outfall project. 
  • Police Station Project: The Building Committee has completed a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions about the Police Station Project, as requested by the Select Board. 

 

Council on Aging/ Human Services

  • New COA Program Coordinator: Shane Landry started on January 10 as our new Program Coordinator. Shane is responsible for creating and implementing programs at the Senior Center and we are pleased to welcome him to the team.
  • Mobile Pantry: In 2021, the Healthy Meals in Motion mobile pantry distributed over 53,000 pounds of food to Provincetown residents, valued at $92,000. This unique program is offered by the COA in partnership with the Family Pantry of Cape Cod and is open to residents 60+ and to families with children. Monthly food distributions include fresh produce, dairy products, meats, baked goods and non-perishables. Much appreciation goes out to the volunteers who assist staff on delivery days.
  • Human Services Committee (HSC): For the FY2023 Human Services Grant Program, the HSC is recommending funding to 19 organizations in the amount of $93,200. This represents a 4.5% increase in recommended funding over the previous year and will appear as an appropriation on the 2022 Annual Town Meeting warrant. Committee members are to be commended for their diligence and commitment to this process and to the well-being of Town residents.

 

Environment/Conservation 

  • Coastal Zone Management: The environmental Planner/Conservation Agent and the Marine Coordinator continue monthly meetings with the Center for Coastal Studies and their counterparts in the CCNS, Wellfleet, Truro, and Eastham as we approach the end of the 2-year, CZM grant-funded intermunicipal shoreline management planning project. The focus of the project in recent months has been the identification of segments of low-lying roads in in the Outer Cape towns for further study for coastal flooding resilience protections, and the development of a regional sand bank for use in beach nourishment and dune enhancement projects.
  • Conservation Land Maintenance: On December 13, 2021, a crew of 9 AmeriCorps Cape Cod members and several volunteers from the Provincetown Conservation Trust conducted a service project to repair trails at the Shank Painter Wildlife Sanctuary which had been washed out during rainstorms this summer and fall, repaired fencing and cleaned up the entrances, including removal of invasive plant species.
  • 63-R Howland Street:The Open Space Committee has received an environmental site assessment report from Horsley Witten Group detailing the extent of protected wetlands and the key habitat features for endangered and threatened species on the property at 63-R Howland Street, a/k/a Site Y. The Committee will be requesting a joint meeting with the Select Board to request the parcel to be dedicated for conservation.
  • Open Space and Recreation Plan: The Town has received conditional approval of its draft update of the Open Space and Recreation Plan. The Environmental Planner/Conservation Agent will be working with the Open Space Committee and other staff members to revise and finalize the report.
  • The Environmental Planner/Conservation Agent has submitted, on behalf of the Conservation Commission a CPC grant funding request for the 2nd phase renovation of the garden beds at the B Street Community Garden.

 

Finance

  • Interim Help: Elizabeth Braccia from Melanson CPA’s will be working part-time for the Finance Department until a permanent Finance Director is hired.
  • Parking: The Treasurer/ Collector’s department continues to prepare for the upcoming 2022 parking season.
  • Audit: The audit for FY2021 is underway.
  • Finance Director: We continue to actively recruit for the Finance Director Position. The job posting is listed on the Town’s website and the MMA website.

 

Harbormaster

  • Vessel Removal: Barnstable County Magistrate ruled to support removal of the one remaining vessel on a mooring, 46’ Rocky Rose, imposing a deadline on owner to remove boat before Jan 20, 2022.

 

Health

  • At-home COVID-19 tests: Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet and Eastham jointly purchased 15,000 test kits under the state’s negotiated pricing with vendors and the Health Department distributed approximately 900 of Provincetown’s share during the first distribution on Friday, January 14th within two hours. The next distribution is planned for today (Tuesday, January 18th from 2 – 4 pm) providing one kit (two tests) per individual or two kits (four tests) per household. 
  • Stop the Spread PCR testing clinics: The state’s mobile PCR testing vendor has returned from for weekly COVID-19 PCR testing clinics in the Town Hall Auditorium on Thursdays from 10 AM to 2 PM through March. You do not need an appointment for these tests; it is first come, first serve. Our soft opening on 1/6/22 went well with 84 PCR COVID tests performed and the first advertised clinic on 1/13/22 resulted in a total of 144 tests.
  • COVID Vaccine / Booster clinic: Provincetown Health Department and the Barnstable County Public Health Nursing program are pleased to announce this local COVID vaccine clinic, Tuesday January 25th at the Veterans Memorial Community Center (2 Mayflower Street, Provincetown), from 1 – 4 pm. Any eligible pediatric, primary series,  or boosters are available – REGISTER HERE: Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment. The application will ask whether you are seeking your first or second dose of a vaccine (and which manufacturer) and a few questions to determine that you are eligible, based on what vaccination phase the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is currently in. If you are eligible, you’ll be able to make an appointment. 

 

Housing 

  • The Year Round Market Rate Rental Housing Trust: The Trust met on 1/11/22 and voted to support the proposed room tax allocation as presented by the Town Manager. The Trust has scheduled their annual public hearing for 3/8/22 for further consideration of proposed Town Meeting articles and to update the public on Trust activities. The Community Housing Council will be meeting on 1/24/22.
  • Community Preservation Act Grants: The CPA [Community Preservation Act] grant cycle is underway with four CPA applications received by the due date of 12/30/21. Applications received: Community Housing: Community Housing Council request for $300,000 transfer to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Community Development Partnership request for $15,000 for Lower Cape Housing Institute [2 years], Open Space/Recreation: Conservation Commission request for $38,000 for Phase 2 B-Street Garden Bed reconstruction, and Recreation Department request for $95,000 to resurface Motta field tennis courts for total of $448,000 in requests.  The Community Preservation Committee [CPC] began the review process at their meeting on 1/5/22 and have scheduled their public hearing to be held on February 9th
  • The Economic Development Committee is proceeding with the new economic development grant cycle. Given the increased funds [from $25,000 to $75,000], there will be consideration for a set-aside for the blue economy & shellfish activities, increased maximum grants [Micro-grants from $1,000 up to $3,000 and macro grants from $5,000 up to $10,000], and adjusting the eligibility requirements to reflect impacts of the pandemic and the labor shortage. Applications are due by 1/20/22; one application has been submitted to date.

 

Human Resources

  • New Hire: Braden Witt, Facilities Manager 
  • Open Year-Round Positions: Currently the Town is seeking a Finance Director, Town Engineer, Diversity Equity Inclusion Director, Fire Department Secretary/Paramedic, Water Department Meter Reader/Repairer, Transfer Station & Recycling Center Skilled Laborer, Utility Billing Specialist, Buildings & Grounds Custodians, On-Call Secretaries and On-Call Telecommunicators. 

 

Library

  • Winter Whenevers: The schedule has been set for Winter Whenevers. This year offers both virtual and in-person classes. In-person classes require mask wearing and proof of vaccination. All these free classes run from February 7 thru March 24. Registration begins on January 24 at https://www.winterwednesdays.org/ 
  • Legislative Event:  The Annual, and now virtual, CLAMS Legislative Event held on Friday, January 21 at 1:00pm includes news and updates from CLAMS Libraries, remarks from Cape and Island legislative representatives and keynote by Michael Blackwell, Director of St. Mary’s County Library about fair digital material licensing to Libraries. 
  • 2022 Reading Challenge: This year’s challenge is off to great start with 50 people participating virtual and in-person. The group meets the first Friday of each month to discuss the titles they are reading to fulfill the twelve categories featured in this year’s challenge. Fourteen participants completed the challenge in 2021. Go to: https://www.provincetownlibrary.org/2022-reading-challenge for more information and to sign-up. 

 

Licensing

  • Licenses: Sent reminders to renew and how to renew in the permitting software.
  • Licensing Board: Holding a Public Hearing on 1/25/22 regarding Pedicab Regulations. 
  • Town Annual Report: Submitting to the Town Clerk this week.

 

MacMillan Pier

  • Inclement Weather: The Pier and the Floating docks have been weathering the recent high winds and winter storms quite well due to the new Wave Attenuator. 
  • Fishing Community: Activity on the Pier continues to be active with fishers either bringing product to market or removing traps and gear as they prepare for the winter season. Transient Fishing Vessels continue to visit Provincetown Harbor and MacMillan Pier.  
  • Office Operations: The office remains open 7 days a week from 8am to 4pm and additional hours as needed to support the needs of the tenants of the Pier. Emergency “on call” numbers are posted and the pier is monitored off hours.

 

Planning

  • Affordable Housing: Draft zoning bylaw amendments, including those related to the affordable and inclusionary bylaw, were reviewed at the Planning Board’s work session on January 13, 2022 and the Planning Board anticipates continuing to review these in preparation for a formal Public Hearing in February.
  • Planning Board: A twelve-unit development proposed at 22 Nelson Avenue that includes two affordable dwelling units as part of the inclusionary and incentive zoning is anticipated to be reviewed at the February 10, 2022 Planning Board Meeting.
  • Historic Protection: The Town Planner drafted a guide to historic architectural elements that is being reviewed by the HDC and may be used as a tool for Applicants and Commissioners.
  • Local Comprehensive Planning Committee: The Committee is meeting regularly to review and edit drafts the Targeted Action Plan for Public Health, including the importance of regionalization in providing certain public services.

 

Public Works

  • Storm Response: Back-to-back weather storms, as well as artic air, have kept DPW response teams busy. We have had 12 call-outs for water related services in this past week as well as snow and ice road treatment call-outs. This is typical for this time of year but hopefully we can get past an active weather pattern.
  • DPW Headquarters: DPW is preparing a presentation for the Building Committee to present the feasibility study for a new DPW Headquarters. The project has been pushed back once again and now entering its 12th year of delay from its original scope of work dating back to 2010. It is our goal to get traction on this project and present the feasibility study to the Select Board later this year. There is a real concern for health and safety, it is our hope that the Town gives more consideration to the project.
  • USDA Update: DPW officials are working with the police station design team to get a preliminary architectural feasibility report submitted to USDA’s Community Facility Loan and Grant Program. It is our hope to have the submission in within the next 3 weeks.

 

Recreation

  • Motta Field Master Planning Process: The Recreation Commission has established the subcommittee that will steer the planning process of the Motta Field Master Plan. Members on this committee are Robert Enos II and Brandon Quesnell from the Recreation Commission, Elizabeth Lovati from the School Committee, John Golden from the Select Board, and Christopher Hartley from the Board of Health. The Commission has also appointed four abutters that expressed interest after a letter was mailed to all abutters within 300 feet of the field. Elaine Anderson, David Badash, Andrew Sessa and Tracy Katchtick-Anders will represent the abutters on the planning group. The first meeting will be held within the next two weeks to determine the goals and objectives.
  • Afterschool Program: Due to unforeseen circumstances and for the safety of all staff and participants, we have had to pause our Afterschool Program. Though it was not the easiest of decisions, as parents rely on this childcare, we felt it was the right thing to do. Our Afterschool Program had been operating daily, Monday thru Thursday everyday afterschool until 5pm.  After students returned back to school from the holidays, COVID cases in Provincetown began to rise and the Recreation Department felt it would be best for everyone’s health and safety that we did not host the Afterschool Program. We look forward to being able to resume the Afterschool Program for the week of January 24th. Once resumed, we will continue to require masks to be worn by all, as well as follow our other precautions to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

 

School

  • COVID: We continue to grapple with the impacts of this surge in Omicron. Between 20 - 30% of our student population has been absent over the past 2 weeks and up to 20% of staff.
  • Pool testing with follow-up rapid testing has been in place all year. Last week, we learned that 4 of our pools were impacted and our nurse worked diligently to identify those who had tested positively.
  • Students have been CHAMPIONS through all of this and are hoping for a big snowstorm next weekend so they can get out to play!

 

Tourism

  • Tourism Grants:  The VSB has reviewed and evaluated each grant application in preparation for the annual grant review meeting scheduled to begin at 9:00 AM on Tuesday January 25, 2022 in the Judge Welsh Room. The Tourism Office has been preparing all the documents and materials needed for the meeting. There are two types of grants offered, Event Marketing Grants and Matching Marketing Grants. The fiscal year 2023 Tourism Marketing Grant applications opened on Thursday October 14, 2021. The public notice was posted on the Town of Provincetown website and ads were published in the local newspaper October 14, 21 and 28. The due date for all applications was Monday, December 6, 2021. There were 39 applications received.
  • Five-Year Plan FY 2023-2027: On December 13, 2021 the Select Board met with the VSB Chair and Tourism Director to review and approve the fiscal year 2023 budget. In November the VSB submitted a recommended budget of $1 million. Following the review and discussion of the budget, the Select Board approved a fiscal year 2023 budget of $960,000. The VSB is reallocating the budget to meet the approved funds.
  • First Quarter Ad Campaign: In January we begin advertising for spring and summer to encourage early bookings. The campaign consists of primarily digital ad impressions including display, Facebook and Instagram, as well as key online publishers including PRIDE Media, EDGE Media, Towleroad, Yankee Magazine and the Cape Cod Travel Guide. The geographic target has expanded nationally after focusing on the drive market for the past 20 months beginning April 1, 2020. Print ads in the Gay & Lesbian Review and Boston Spirit Magazine are included in the campaign as the marketing halo.  

Town Clerk 

  • Annual Town Report: The Office of the Town Clerk is working on compiling reports for the Annual Town Report which is printed for distribution before the Annual Town Meeting to be held on April 4, 2022. If you are on a board or committee and have not yet submitted, please send your report to ecatanese@provincetown-ma.gov 
  • Annual Street Listing: The Office of the Town Clerk is preparing to send out the Annual Street Listing.  Signed and updated forms can be returned to the Office of the Town Clerk.
  • Board of Registrars: Seeking a registered Republican to serve on the Board of Registrars. Please complete the board application form found online or come into the Office of the Town Clerk. 
  • Board Vacancies: There are numerous board vacancies which can be viewed online at https://www.provincetown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/812/Board-Vacancy-Report-PDF . Submit a board application online to be considered. Please fill out the simple application found here https://provincetownma.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1074/record-types/1006552

 

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