The Town of Provincetown Annual Town Meeting was held on Monday, April 3, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in the Auditorium at Town Hall. 582 registered voters and over 600 residents in total were in attendance to act on 37 Town Warrant Articles ranging from the Town’s operating budget, housing-related proposals, capital improvements, Citizen Petitions, and more.
For the first time in Provincetown’s history, Town Meeting voters approved the Town’s plan for a $1,058,476 operating override to cover the costs to begin a transition to a full-time combination Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department. Under this plan, Lower Cape Ambulance Association (LCAA) will continue to provide ambulance services and the Fire Department will hire 8 new full-time employees who will be Firefighter/EMTs or Firefighter/Paramedics, which will enhance EMS coverage in the Town.
After passing unanimously at Town Meeting, the Proposition 2 ½ override will also need to pass at the May 9, 2023 Annual Town Election. If approved, the Town of Provincetown’s FY2024 total Operating Budget will be $34,824,809.
“I want to thank Town Meeting voters for their support last night,” said Town Manager Alex B. Morse. “As I mark my two-year anniversary as Town Manager, I am extremely proud of all the things the Select Board and Town administration have been able to accomplish, and I’m excited to continue the work of moving Provincetown forward on big issues like housing, public safety, climate and coastal resiliency, and more.”
Other items of note approved by voters included:
- Over $5 million in funding for the Town’s Capital Improvement Plan including items related to the Fire Department, police and public works vehicle fleet replacements, upgrades to MacMillan Pier, Harbormaster boat replacement, stormwater, library, recreation, and pedestrian improvements, the construction of dedicated pickleball courts, roof replacement and repairs at Harbor Hill, and a $1.7 million debt exclusion override for the replacement of the waterline at MacMillan Pier.
- $2.25 million to fund the Town’s commitment to The Community Builder’s development of 65 affordable year-round rental housing units at 3 Jerome Smith Road, pursuant to a grant agreement between the Town and the developer, which includes an affordable housing restriction to be held by the Town.
- A Home Rule Petition to allow the Town to create a year-round deed restriction program to promote year-round housing occupancy. This would be a voluntary program where homeowners could sell a deed restriction to the Town, for a yet to be determined amount, whereby the deed restriction would live with the property in perpetuity and would only allow for the property to be occupied by an owner or renter who lived at the property year-round with no Area Median Income (AMI) restrictions.
While there was spirited debate on the floor, a majority voted to indefinitely postpone Citizen Petitioned Articles 18, 19, and 20 related to regulating short term rentals.
“It was great to see the passion that many voters – both old and new – brought to Town Meeting, specifically around housing,” said David Abramson, Chair of the Provincetown Select Board. “Housing is the top priority of both the Select Board and Town administration, and we are committed to engaging all stakeholders in continued discussions and planning around what can, should, and will be done to preserve and expand year-round housing in Provincetown.”
Voters also supported a Citizen Petitioned Article for a non-binding resolution directing the Select Board to substitute low-noise fireworks for conventional fireworks in any Town-sponsored celebrations, and voted to indefinitely postpone a Citizen Petitioned Article for a General Bylaw Amendment on Plastic Reduction.
A recording of the April 3, 2023 Annual Town Meeting, Annual Town Meeting Minutes, Annual Town Meeting Warrant, and additional information are available at www.provincetown-ma.gov/1434/Spring-2023-Annual-Town-Meeting.