Barnstable Slashes Capital Budget Amid Coronavirus Crisis

·4 min read

BARNSTABLE, MA — The Barnstable Town Council earlier this month voted to slash its Fiscal Year 2021 capital improvement budget by almost 70 percent amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The $39 million budget reduced to $12.2 million and withdrew funding across several town departments including schools, police, the airport and public works. With the schools, five of eight projects were put on hold. Those included:

  • $3 million for sport field upgrades at Barnstable High School

  • $250,000 for renovations at the high school gym and fieldhouse

  • $250,000 for district-wide mechanical improvements

  • $250,000 for a attendance system project

  • $100,000 for flooring replacements and upgrades district-wide

Town Manager Mark Ells said withdrawn projects were not permanently removed. Instead, they were deferred for future consideration by the Town Council for when state and federal aid becomes available.

"We will have to adapt our revenue projections, and we will have to adapt our expense budgets ...," Ells said. "We do believe we'll be able to manage in 2020, and we do know that we'll absolutely have challenges in 2021 and 2022."

Local governments across Massachusetts are in limbo as state lawmakers scramble to rework the budget to account for the massive impact the new coronavirus pandemic has had on state tax revenue.

Until that work is done, local governments can do little more than wait and wonder what next year's municipal and school budgets will look like.

"I realize that in the context of budgeting, what municipalities really would like is support from the state, obviously, and clarity with respect to the timeline," Administration and Finance Undersecretary Catharine Hornby said in a conference call for local officials organized by the Massachusetts Municipal Association. "Unfortunately, we at the state level are very much in the same position – that we need clarity in order to move forward, and I think that we're not quite there yet."

Here are the projects included and omitted in Barnstable's capital plan budget:

Barnstable Public Schools

Approved:

  • $500,000 for school secutiy improvements (communication, video surveillance)

  • $400,000 to replace the Barnstable United Elementary chiller

  • $342,000 for a VoIP phone system to Town Hall

Withdrawn:

  • $3 million for sport field upgrades at Barnstable High School

  • $250,000 for renovations at the high school gym and fieldhouse

  • $250,000 for district-wide mechanical improvements

  • $250,000 for a attendance system project

  • $100,000 for flooring replacements and upgrades district-wide

Barnstable Police Department

Approved:

  • $121,000 for radio improvements

  • $125,000 for replacing data storage

Withdrawn:

  • $991,000 for police station renovations

Barnstable Municipal Airport

Approved:

  • $300,000 for tree clearing

  • $250,000 to test, report and monitor PFAS in the soil

  • $1 million for airport master plan project

Withdrawn:

$200,000 for security camera upgrades

$3.4 million to extend Mary Dunn Way

$700,000 to design and build a new hanger

$700,000 for a self-serve, airport-owned fuel tank

Public Works:

Approved:

  • $756,000 for building improvements for the Hyannis Youth Community Center

  • $374,000 to repair roof at 200 Main Street town offices107

  • $345,000 for a salt storage shed the Highway Division and Transfer Station108

  • $2 million for dredging Dead Neck/Sampsons Island/Cotuit Cut; Blish Point Boat Ramp; and Lewis Bay, Bismore Park Pier Basin and Gateway Marina Channel109

  • $3.5 million for road maintenance (storm drainage improvements, sealing, surface repairs, milling and paving)

  • $300,000 for pond stormwater improvements

  • $750,000 for water supply pipe replacements and upgrades

  • $150,000 for wells, pump stations and treatment plant repairs and upgrades

  • $300,000 for airport and Mary Dunn Well treatment, pilot project and conceptual layout for maximizing water production

  • $350,000 for Hyannis Port, Simmons Pond and Straightway Wells treatment, pilot project and conceptual layout for maximizing water production

  • $100,000 for Transfer Station weigh scale replacement

Withdrawn:

  • $300,000 for patrol vessel replacement

  • $200,000 to relocate the Sandy Neck Beach parking lot

  • $502,000 to replace turf maintenance equipment at Olde Barney Golf Course

  • $615,000 for emergency generator implementation plan

  • $120,000 for Marine & Environmental Affairs building improvements

  • $150,000 for improving Keys Memorial Beach parking lot

  • $75,000 for Snow's Creek Culvert project

  • $665,000 for Ocean Street sidewalk improvements between Gosnold Street and Kalmus Beach

  • $40,000 for Ocean Street sidewalk improvements from Snow's Creek to Gosnold St.

  • $50,000 for the Kalmus Beach parking lot entrance

  • $8 million for solids handling upgrades

  • $1 million for pump station rehab

  • $85,000 for HVAC improvements

  • $55,000 for DPW vehicle replacement

  • $459,000 for Maher Filtration Plant solar panels

  • $1 million for an effluent disposal alternatives analysis

  • $200,000 for aeriation system and denitrification technology evaluation

  • $1.3 million to design and permit expanding Centerville's sewers

  • $600,000 for Old Yarmouth Road sewer expansion

  • $1.8 million for Rt. 28 Marstons Mills sewer expansion






This article originally appeared on the Barnstable-Hyannis Patch

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