News Flash

Town Manager News and Updates

Posted on: January 7, 2022

Town Manager Report – 1/6/22

Alex 1200x630

Administration

  • COVID: Fallon will be providing COVID testing at Provincetown Town Hall every Thursday from 10am-2pm, no appointments needed. Soft launch of 1/6. I am also working with other town leaders to purchase rapid tests in bulk for our staff and residents. 
  • DEI: The Town has posted the position of Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and we are officially beginning the recruitment process. 
  • 3 Jerome Smith Road Housing Project: I’m excited to share that The Community Builders has a signed agreement to purchase 55 Captain Berties Way, which abuts the VFW site, which will allow for more units in the project. 
  • Rooms Tax: The December payment (Q2) of rooms tax is in the amount of $2,246,400. Combined, Q1 and Q2 for FY22 already total $4,126,00.63, exceeding our initial projections. We have updated our projection for FY22 and will use updated figures in our discussion of the rooms tax reallocation formula to be discussed at the 1/10 meeting. 
  • Meals Tax: The December payment (Q2) of meals tax is in the amount of $292,419, which brings us to $587,767.56 so far in FY22. We projected $650K in meals tax receipts in the FY22 budget. I expect we will land near that projection. 
  • Parking: I’ve appointed David Anderson, Acting Parking Administrator as permanent Parking Administrator. I have no plans to fill the now empty “Transportation Coordinator/Project Manager” position. Our internal Parking Team continues to meet as we prepare to improve operations in advance of the 2022 season. 
  • MCPPO: I completed my third class “Design & Construction Contracting,” and I remain on track to become a Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Officer. 
  • Budget meetings: My team and I are on track to submit my budget proposal and message by Friday January 14th. This will be in advance of the upcoming budget meetings with the Select Board. On Monday, January 24th, I will present the budget, and I will be joined by the Police and Fire Department. On Tuesday, January 25th, the DPW and Schools will be presenting their budgets. 
  • Sewer: DPW officials are still gearing up for a late February meeting with the Select Board to discuss the future of the sewer system in Provincetown. The team is currently reviewing the response from the outreach conducted and should have the data compiled for the meeting. 
  • Center for Coastal Studies: I had the opportunity to visit and learn more about the Center for Coastal Studies, meet their team and discuss potential projects and partnerships. 
  • First Light: I want to thank everyone involved in making New Year’s weekend a success - Town staff, DPW, Police and Fire. I also want to thank the PBG, Steve Katsurinis and Brandon Quesnell of 8Dyer and Yolqueria for organizing and sponsoring the event, along with Cass Benson and Harbor Lounge.

Building

  • Construction: Construction activities and permit intake remain strong. The projects are not moving as quickly as we have observed in the past due to supply chain issues.  
  • 32 Bradford Street: The permit to renovate the building has been issued.  It is the understanding of the Department that the new owner anticipates addressing the existing exterior first to improve the streetscape of the corner of Pleasant and Bradford Streets.
  • Wastewater Treatment Facility: Absent some final paperwork, the peak flow storage tank at the wastewater treatment facility is complete.
  • Inspections: In 2021, approximately 1900 inspections were conducted.  These inspections included licensing, rental certificate occupancy verification and structural building inspections.  This number does not include those inspections conducted by the Plumbing/Gas or Electrical inspectors.

Code Compliance

  • COVID compliance operations began anew just before Christmas and continue into 2022.  New Year’s weekend was not as busy as expected and compliance by the Town’s local businesses was good.  Four “redirections” were sent from the holiday weekend’s compliance work to businesses, none of which rose to the level of a formal warning.  There were zero emails received through the compliance@provincetown-ma.gov email address over the holidays.  The Health Department received one compliance complaint which resulted in a redirection on-site with staff.

Council on Aging/ Human Services

  • COA Programming: The Senior Center continues to expand programming including a mix of in-person, remote and hybrid offerings. This month, in-person programs include 5 fitness classes, excursions on the COA bus and art, music and recreational programs. Additional social and recreational opportunities are being maintained virtually while others are in a hybrid format (choice of attending in-person or remotely). Weekly lunches are pick up/delivery and the media center and lounge/library remain open during Senior Center hours.  Services including outreach, transportation, food pantries, podiatry and more have continued to be provided throughout the pandemic.
  • COA Emergency Support Services: The COA offers several services to older residents in preparing for weather-related events, power outages, etc.: (1) Residents who sign up for the COA Storm Reassurance Program will be contacted by staff ahead of predicted events to determine if they have adequate supplies; if not, staff will assist them in obtaining what is needed. (2) Anyone needing assistance in signing up for the Town alerts system can contact the COA for help. (3) Residents of any age requiring special assistance during an emergency can register so that arrangements can be made to assist them in advance.  The Special Assistance Form can be found on the Town website COA page or residents can call the COA for assistance.
  • David Asher Holiday Dinner: This annual tradition for seniors was held on December 12 with over 125 home-cooked meals and gift bags delivered or picked up.  In addition, participants were able to watch a specially-produced show on PTV that afternoon.  Sincere appreciation goes out to all of the Town officials, volunteers, local businesses and chefs who made this treasured event possible.

Finance

  • Parking: The Treasurer/ Collector’s department is preparing for the upcoming 2022 parking season.
  • Audit: The audit for FY2021 is underway.
  • End-of-Year: W2s and 1095s will be prepared and mailed to employees by the end of January for calendar year 2021.
  • 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

  • Clean Vessel Act: The CVA contract for 2022 boat pump out service has been signed and submitted to Dept of Massachusetts Environmental Police.
  • First Light Fireworks: Occurred from MacMillan Pier without incident.
  • Boats in Harbor: All recreational boats off moorings for the winter except for Rocky Rose.

Health

  • At-home COVID-19 Tests: The Health Department distributed approximately 4800 COVID rapid at-home screening tests from the July cluster cache through 12/21/21. With public health advice to test before attending indoor holiday gatherings and the emergence of Omicron as a new and highly transmissible variant of concern, demand for rapid testing spiked just as supplies in both the public and private sectors dwindled. The Health Department recommends investigating the state’s latest offer, to purchase COVID-19 test kits through statewide contracts with vendors and negotiated pricing. Free tests were distributed to four towns on the Cape based on income eligibility under a calculation by which Provincetown did not qualify.
  • Masking and Proof of Vaccination: The Administration, Health and Select Board officers met on 12/20/21, reviewed the recent uptick in case counts and testing positivity rates, and announced Provincetown’s advisory status shifted back to indoor mask mandate, effective 12/21/21.  Masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces in town. Effective 12/27/21 adults are required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter indoor dining, including bars and nightclubs, indoor fitness and indoor entertainment venues. This information was rolled out by emails to all Health and Licensing Department business contacts, posting to the Town website and Facebook accounts, and through the CivicAlerts messaging system. The Health Department followed up with FAQs to assist the business community with implementation and the Code Compliance Officer will be working with licensees with a focus on outreach and public education.
  • Health Department COVID-19 Information Webpage: The Health Agent maintains the webpage at http://www.provincetown-ma.gov/1364/COVID-19-Information-Page posting news and developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, linked to the homepage http://www.provincetown-ma.gov/ from a click under News & Announcements. Recent updates include MA DPH adopting the CDC’s updated guidance) regarding isolation and quarantine periods for the general population. This shortens the recommended time for isolation and quarantine for people with COVID-19 from 10 days to 5 days if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The Agent also updates Provincetown’s COVID-19 statistics weekly from the state’s interactive dashboard and the County public health nurse.

Housing 

  • CPA [Community Preservation Act] Grants: The grant cycle is underway with applications due by 12/30/21. Four CPA applications were received and are being distributed to the Community Preservation Committee [CPC] to begin the review process. 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 CPC will meet on 1/5/22 to begin the review with a public hearing to be held in February. 
  • Economic Development Committee: The 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 and 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.
  • Housing Workshop #2: The workshop was held on 12/15/21 including the Select Board, the Year Round Market Rate Rental Housing Trust, and the Community Housing Council reviewing draft articles for Town Meeting. The trust is scheduled for 1/11/22 and the Housing Council will meet in mid-January.

Human Resources

  • New Hires: Matthew Capaldo, P/T Library Circulation Aide; Silas Barrepski, Water Department Meter Reader/Repairer; Warren Richey, Transfer Station & Recycling Center Skilled Laborer; Shane Landry, COA Program Coordinator; Leo Rose, Police Officer. 
  • Resignation: Andrea Ribas, Telecommunicator (last day 1/14/2022)
  • Open Year-Round Positions: Currently the Town is seeking a Finance Director, DPW Facilities Manager, Town Engineer, Fire Department Secretary/Paramedic, Water Department Meter Reader/Repairer, Utility Billing Specialist, Buildings & Grounds Custodian, On-Call Secretaries and On-Call Telecommunicators. 

Library

  • SLIN Grant: The Library received $2,665 through a Small Library in Network (SLIN) grant. This will be used to off-set the annual fee paid to CLAMS for access and maintenance of the ILS. This grant originated with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and is administered by CLAMS. 
  • The Friends of the Provincetown Public Library:  The Friends are happy to report that they have installed their fourth Little Free Library located at the west end parking lot. The other LFLs installed and maintained by the Friends are located on the Library lawn, at the school, and at the Stop and Shop. It’s a great way to share books with your neighbors and keep the town reading. 
  • Library Programming: In addition to book discussion groups and movie night, the Library will be hosting “Journaling for Wellness,” a virtual workshop with Lara Tupper on January 11 at 4pm. Go to www.provincetownlibrary.org/calendar for more information and registration.

MacMillan Pier

  • First Light: The Fireworks display and show on New Year’s Eve out on MacMillan Pier went very well with many thanks going out to Ocean State Pyro Technics, Provincetown Fire and Police and the Provincetown Harbormaster and Deputy Harbormaster.
  • Fishing Fleet: The Pier continues to be active with fishermen removing traps and gear as they prepare for the winter season. Transient Fishing Vessels are again on the upswing for the winter season 
  • 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.

Marine and Emergency Management

  • Red Cross Training: The Chair of the Board of Health and I met with the Cape Cod Disaster Action Team Leader to prepare for an eventual return to in-person sheltering services. We are preparing for volunteer trainings in April with an on-site “boot camp” April 19-20th

MIS

  • Security Improvements: MIS is implementing a combination of new tenant-level protections, as well as improvements in endpoint security. In the coming weeks, MIS will be rolling out software that will not only harden our cybersecurity posture, but will also provide intelligent insight into daily threats and mitigation techniques. In addition, we are in year two of a three-year security assessment being conducted by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA), the Town’s auditor. This year CLA is performing a network penetration test, after which they will provide guidance for improving our network security.
  • FY23 Budget Assistance: MIS has been providing technical assistance to the Finance Department during the FY2023 budget process. This largely involves formatting departmental stories in OpenGov. Stories are narratives that give insight into a department’s budget request.

Parking

  • Staffing: The Town Manager has hired a new Parking Administrator to oversee the functions of all parking operations in our town.

Planning

  • Affordable Housing: Draft zoning bylaw amendments were reviewed at the Select Board’s December 15, 2021 affordable housing workshop and the Town Planner  revising the articles based on feedback and continuing to look for innovative ways to further incentivize affordable housing.
  • Planning Board: A nine-unit development proposed at 50 Nelson Avenue that includes one affordable unit as part of the inclusionary and incentive zoning is anticipated to be reviewed at the January 13, 2022 Planning Board Meeting.
  • Local Comprehensive Planning Committee: The Committee is meeting regularly to review and edit drafts of the Targeted Action Plan for Economic Development, including encouraging the blue economy and extending the shoulder season for tourism/visitors.

Public Works

  • Grant Funding Opportunities: This week DPW and the Town Manager meet with representatives from the Cape Cod Conservation District and USDA to discuss funding opportunities through the infrastructure investment and jobs act. Our goal is to discuss drainage infrastructure projects particularly the Ryder Street Outfall relocation.
  • Shank Painter Road: DPW was scheduled to meet with MassDOT and various utility company officials to discuss the roadway project. Due to Covid-related illnesses, the meeting was postponed until the New Year. This important meeting is a significant step in moving the project further through the State’s Transportation Improvement program. 
  • Sewer Update: DPW officials are still gearing up for a late February meeting with the Select Board to discuss the future of the sewer in Provincetown. The team is currently reviewing the response from the outreach conducted and should have the data compiled for the meeting.

Recreation

  • Cannery Wharf Park Planning Update: The working group is nearing the end of the completion of the first planning phase for 387 Commercial Street.  Phase one included the completion of a community planning process and identification and development of a preferred design concept based on the community input received. The completion of this phase will provide the Town with a final report that will provide a conceptual schematic design, a phase two project schedule for design development/final design, permitting and construction, along with a construction cost estimate. The working group is reviewing the report and will be sending to the Select Board and Recreation Commission soon for consideration at Town Meeting.  
  • Motta Field Master Plan Process: Town Meeting approved the community preservation grant request from the Recreation Department in the amount of $100,000 to develop a master plan for Motta Field. The Recreation Commission, that oversees the property, envisions a community planning process similar to the East End waterfront park planning process to steer the direction of future planning at this site. As a result of many discussions at Recreation Commission meetings, the Commission has decided that a subcommittee should be formed to ensure different community members are involved in guiding this process. The Commission will be reaching out to invite one member from the Select Board, one member from the School Committee, one member from the Board of Health, and two members from the Recreation Commission. Along with those board members, the commission also feels it is imperative to have abutters to Motta Field, including some from Seashore Point, be represented on the subcommittee. A letter was sent out to abutters within 300 feet of Motta Field, asking those interested in volunteering on the working group to notify the Recreation Department by the end of December. The hope is that the working group is formed by the end of January and have the group meeting in February. 
  • Tennis Court Resurfacing: The Recreation Department has submitted a funding request to the Community Preservation Committee to resurface the tennis courts at Motta Field. These courts, which were installed in the 1980s, have received little to no maintenance over the course of its existence. With large cracks forming in the playing surface, and the paint almost bare to asphalt, it is time to resurface the courts. The proposal will resurface the entire playing area, including a seal coat and paint for three tennis courts and four pickleball courts. Two of the tennis courts will provide tennis, and on each half court, a pickleball court will be painted. As we have seen at the West End courts, there are simply not enough pickleball courts to meet demand. The addition of four courts will still not meet the demand Provincetown has for pickleball play, but it will take some of the burden off of the West End courts.

School

  • Attendance: Schools have re-opened with high rates of absenteeism due to Omicron.  Rapid testing was administered to all staff and students and identified an additional 6 cases of asymptomatic virus.
  • Early Learning Center: The toddler room was closed this week due to an active case in one of the students present for the day.  (Toddlers are unmasked.)
  • Post-Vacation: We have resilient and happy students back at school thanks to a devoted staff and we look forward to the end of this surge!

Tourism

  • Tourism 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. There are two types of grants offered, Event Marketing Grants and Matching Marketing Grants. The due date for all applications was Monday December 6, 2021. There were 39 applications received. The VSB is in the process of reviewing and evaluating each 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.
  • Fireworks Communications: Due to forecasted weather conditions, on Wednesday December 29th it was decided to reschedule the First Light fireworks display. It was fortunate that Ocean State Pyrotechnics had an opening in their schedule for New Year’s Eve. We immediately updated the Town and Tourism websites with messages on the homepages, and all communications to get the word out. Social media posts included the fireworks schedule change. The Chamber and PBG sent out eblasts and updated their websites and digital info. CapeCod.com, CapeCodOnline.com and the Cape Cod Times published brief editorials about the schedule change both Thursday and Friday December 30th and 31st. All the radio commercial scripts were re-written and new recordings were produced to immediately broadcast the message on five radio stations and streamed on an additional four stations. Radio hosts, jockeys and newsrooms across the Cape talked about the change on the air up until 5:00 PM on Friday December 31st
  • Assistant Director of Tourism: The position has been filled and the new assistant director, Drew Wander started in his new role on Tuesday December 6, 2021. Drew comes to us with experience as a specialist in the tourism industry including Disney and Road Scholar. Welcome Drew.

Town Clerk

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