Barnstable Town Council Approves $10 Million In Capital Projects

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By: Laura M. Reckford
Published: 04/08/11

When it comes to town capital projects, the town of Barnstable will be working on all cylinders over the next year.

To take advantage of a favorable bidding climate and lower labor and materials costs for construction, the town has opted to try to do two years worth of capital projects in one year.

Last night, the Barnstable Town Council approved approximately $10 million in capital projects with mostly unanimous votes and little debate.

A glimpse of underlying friction on the council reared up at the beginning of the meeting, though, when Town Councilor James F. Munafo Jr. of Hyannis made what seemed to be an unexpected request.

Mr. Munafo said that given an unsuccessful attempt was made at the last meeting to investigate Town Council President Frederick Chirigotis of Centerville over the issue of the abrupt departure last month of the town council administrator Donald M. Grissom, “I’m calling for the town council president to resign his position, as well as the town manager to resign.”A

fter Mr. Munafo spoke, there was a momentary pause and then the meeting proceeded.

Mr. Munafo’s call for resignations stems from two complaints filed by Town Councilor James H. Crocker Jr. of Osterville against Mr. Chirigotis over the past month.

Mr. Crocker alleged violations of the Open Meeting Law during an executive session in February that concerned Mr. Grissom and an executive session at the last council meeting that concerned Mr. Klimm.

In his second complaint, Mr. Crocker also accused Mr. Klimm of a violation of the Open Meeting Law for his actions during the executive session.No councilor continued Mr. Munafo’s line of inquiry.

Just moments later, Town Councilor Ann B. Canedy of Cummaquid changed the topic to the town’s new website and her recommendations for adjustments to it.

After the meeting, Ms. Canedy said that Mr. Munafo was offering his opinion but she did not feel the time was right for that discussion, since the town council had a full agenda of capital projects in front of it.

“We’re doing the budget right now. We’ll have plenty of occasions to talk about interpersonal issues, but right now we’re doing the town’s business,” Ms. Canedy said.

Barnstable Town Manager John C. Klimm said after the meeting that in his almost 12 years in his position as the chief executive of the town, that was the first time he had been asked to resign.

He said Mr. Munafo has never contacted him with any concerns and he said he did not want to comment on the request.

“These are the politics of personal attack and I’m not going to engage in it,” Mr. Klimm said.

Mr. Chirigotis, who is beginning his third term as president of the council, said it was also the first time he had been asked to resign.

After the meeting, he categorized Mr. Munafo’s request as a “recommendation.”

A few minutes after Mr. Munafo’s statement requesting resignations, Town Councilor J. Gregory Milne of Hyannis said he respected Mr. Munafo for giving his opinion.

He asked for an opinion from the Town Attorney Ruth Weil whether a call for reconsideration on the last meeting’s vote about an investigation could be revisited.

Ms. Weil referred to the town council’s rules and determined that such a call for reconsideration had to be made at the same meeting as the original vote.

The rest of last night’s meeting stayed close to the agenda.

Twenty capital projects were approved last night.

From the town’s Capital Trust Fund:

$3.35 million for funding repair of public roads and drainage systems

$25,000 for funding treatment of hydrilla in Long Pond and Mystic Pond

$430,000 for dredging Mill Pond in Marstons Mills and sampling of Wequaquet Lake

$400,000 for traffic calming measures and sidewalk improvements

$665,000 for permitting and dredging East Bay entrance channel, and dredging at Blish Point boat ramp

$271,000 for a new emergency generator at the Barnstable Police station

$600,000 for renovations to Prince Cove and Hayward Road boat ramps

$1.7 million for school and municipal building projects, which includes repairs at several schools

From the Airport Enterprise Fund:

$60,000 for design of an above ground fuel farm at airport

$500,000 for repairs to surfaces of airport runways

$20,000 for inspection of arresting pad on runway

$400,000 for purchase of new airfield sweeper

$50,000 for installation of oily-water separator in airport’s emergency response building

$75,000 for funding property line survey

$207,000 for funding groundwater remediation system

From the Marina Enterprise Fund:

$90,000 for dredging Barnstable Inner Harbor

$20,000 for repairs to Prince Cove Marina bulkhead

From the Sewer Enterprise Fund:

$300,000 for reconstruction of force main manholes leading from Freezer Road pump station to the sewer plant

$50,000 for installation for emergency generators at three pump stations in Hyannis

Another appropriation approved last night was to take $27,000 from the Police Department Abandoned Property receipts to the police department budget.

Two appropriations from the Water Supply Enterprise Fund—$1 million for pipe replacement and $170,000 for design of water main upgrades on Scudder Avenue in Hyannis were postponed to the council’s next meeting on May 5.

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