Yarmouth voters approve capital spending but postpone wastewater partnership deal until fall

PRINT DECKHED: Municipal assembly postpones DHY partnership vote on wastewater to fall

A cold spring wind, overcast skies and occasional raindrops did not deter 160 Yarmouth voters from attending this year’s town annual reunion, held outdoors at the Mattacheese Middle Ball Court School due to coronavirus concerns.

Town moderator Kenneth Mudie opened the proceedings by acknowledging why Yarmouth voters were gathered outside in white folding chairs, which had been spaced out at social distance.

“I’m not going to go into all of the things that we’ve been through in the last year, but it looks like it’s a bit of a catharsis today,” Mudie said. “This community has been through a lot and today we hope to come together as friends and citizens to continue to move the city forward, which is really the purpose of the town meeting.

Voters approved most of the 27 items of this year’s mandate without much discussion, including the budgets for the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District and Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, as well as a series of capital purchases postponed due to financial concerns related to the pandemic.

After:Yarmouth voters approve funding for wastewater and school replacement

Budgets and capital purchases

Voters filled current fiscal year budget shortages at the Department of Public Works totaling $ 200,000 due to a higher than expected amount of garbage received by the city and cost overruns related to case response. snowstorm.

For the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, voters approved a municipal operating budget of $ 41,518,140, ​​an increase of nearly 4% from the previous year.

Due to delayed capital budget issues, the fire department won a favorable vote on its request for $ 989,000 to purchase diving equipment, a pump truck, two vehicles and a new breathing apparatus, and the water division of the DPW was granted permission to spend $ 655,000 to purchase equipment. necessary to maintain his plant and his field of wells.

Voters follow the proceedings as elected officials in the tent present the business of the Yarmouth town meeting, which took place on Saturday morning in the fields next to Mattacheese Middle School.

Voters approved spending $ 3,098,954 of the city’s free cash flow to fund a series of capital purchases in city departments.

Voters approved spending $ 50,616 to purchase body-worn cameras and vehicles for the Yarmouth Police Department, and also gave the green light to police demands for tasers, encryption software from cell phone, two new cruisers and a new police radio system, for a total of $ 229,600.

A controversial point finally approved by voters was a request for $ 34,000 from the city administration to fund a green communities coordinator.

“These funds have been placed in the budget so that we can have the help we need to ensure that we are providing several hundred thousand dollars in grants that are only available to green communities each year,” said City Manager Bob Whritenour.

A non-voting resident awaits its owners, who are part of a crowd of 160 who braved the inclement weather on Saturday to attend Yarmouth's annual general meeting.

Voters also approved a $ 3 million loan to fund the replacement of the police department’s HVAC system, a project that would help increase airflow and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the building, according to the ‘article.

Historic preservation, affordable housing, open space and recreation

Funding requests for several projects related to the Community Preservation Act were presented to voters on Saturday.

Affordable housing projects approved on Saturday include one in which the Municipality of Yarmouth Affordable Housing Trust would buy back single-family homes at market prices and resell them at affordable rates to income-eligible residents.

Although some voters questioned why Yarmouth would pay to build veterans housing in Dennis, the town hall finally approved the allocation of funds to the Cape and Isles Veterans Awareness Center for a new housing project for five veterans located at 1341 Route 134 in East Dennis.

Advocates said the organization was working on building housing for veterans in every city in Cape Town, and pointed out that other cities had voted to contribute to the Dennis Housing Project at their city meetings this spring.

Voter-approved historic resource projects include structural repairs to the Taylor-Bray Farm barn and Baxter Gristmill building, preservation efforts at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, and an overhaul of the town’s historic records storage system.

Open space projects moving forward after a ‘yes’ vote include a restoration project in Bass River and a culvert reconstruction on the Old Yarmouth Historical Society property in Yarmouth Harbor, designed for improve the function of wetlands.

A vote that would have allowed the city to pursue the purchase of a vacant 10-acre property on Higgins Crowell Road has been postponed because the seller has now reached a deal with another party. Once the sale is complete, the city could approach the new owner to restart a conversation about purchasing the land, which is located near the city’s drinking water wells.

DHY wastewater partnership delayed

As expected, an article which would have committed Yarmouth to a deal with Dennis and Harwich for the establishment of a joint wastewater treatment plant in Dennis has been postponed to the autumn town hall meeting.

“Wastewater is a top priority for the Selectmen board, for the wastewater advisory committee and the city,” Selectman said Tracey Post, adding that in the fall of this year Yarmouth will know what actions Dennis and Harwich will undertake in terms of the plan.

In recent months, Dennis and Harwich have delayed implementation of the deal, questioning the three-city collaboration plan.

After:Dennis and Harwich delay plans for regional wastewater treatment plant

“Once we know the status of our partners’ actions, and if they decide not to participate in the Tri-Town Wastewater Agreement, the City of Yarmouth will be ready for the next step in the design of the Yarmouth plant only or two towns. based on actions from city meetings in Dennis and Harwich, ”Post said, adding that city officials don’t believe a four-month delay will derail Yarmouth’s efforts to improve its wastewater management.

Plastic water bottles will still be on store shelves in Yarmouth

A citizen effort to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles containing less than a gallon of water sparked fierce debate, but ultimately failed after voters were urged to stand up in groups’ “ yes ” and “ no ” to facilitate the counting of votes.

The final vote on the ban, which was not supported by either the Selectmen board or the finance committee, in part because of the proposed short time frame for the ban’s implementation, was is raised to 58 for and 67 against.

Jeannette Hinkle is a reporter for The Cape Cod Times. Contact her at [email protected]


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