Newsletter of Barnstable County

Edition 7 | March 5, 2024

Welcome to our community update! Please see a few key highlights from Barnstable County's activities in the month of February 2024.

In February, Barnstable County rolled out Open Finance, an online platform to provide residents with access to detailed financial information, reflecting its commitment to transparency and accountability in financial management.

Twilight cloudscape over the flooded marsh at high tide on Cape Cod

The Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners voted to expand the County’s AquiFund Program which provides low interest loans to Cape Cod homeowners for septic system upgrades and sewer connections. The action taken by the Board enables the County to move forward in applying for $13 million in new funding from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust. The ordinance will be presented on March 6, 2024, to the Assembly of Delegates for action.

The Barnstable County Department of Human Services and its partners have launched a coordinated effort to combat youth and young adult homelessness, highlighted by the "Hopeful Homes: Sea Change for the Cape and Islands Youth and Young Adults" initiative. Funded by a $1,357,000 HUD grant, this plan focuses on equitable housing solutions for individuals under 24, including a Host Homes program for temporary housing arrangements. This initiative represents a collaborative approach to provide sustainable housing support for vulnerable youth in the community.

Did you catch this in February? WBUR, Boston’s NPR, together with Scientific American, highlighted Cape Cod’s struggle with water pollution through a two-part series and an 8-minute video documentary. Focusing on nitrogen pollution from septic systems, the features explored its adverse effects on the local ecosystem and economy, alongside potential remedial measures.

Featured prominently was Barnstable County’s Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC), underscoring the united effort of local entities and officials to confront this issue with innovative solutions. With plans to air portions of the series nationally and an upcoming three-part podcast in April, the conversation around this critical issue continues to gain momentum.

To combat food insecurity, the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension collaborated with Stop & Shop and local entities to establish the "Red Hawks Food Pantry" at Barnstable High School, aimed at providing students and their families with access to nutritious food.

Furthering this commitment to addressing nutritional wellness in our region, the Commissioners awarded $750,000 in grants from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture to eight local organizations through the County's Cooperative Extension. The recipients include Cape Abilities Farm, Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, Chatham Harvesters Cooperative, Midnight Our Seafood, Canaan SDA Church, Health Ministry USA, Farming Falmouth, and Tony Andrews Farm. This investment in the Land and Sea Grant initiative aims to strengthen Cape Cod's food system by fostering collaborations with the local agriculture and fisheries sectors. This initiative will benefit Barnstable Public Schools, the Falmouth Service Center, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, and other organizations serving veterans, homeless populations, seniors, and people with disabilities.

In anticipation of National County Government Month (NCGM) in April, the county announced the 'Forward Together' Photo Contest. This year’s NCGM theme, “Forward Together,” highlights the pivotal role of county government in connecting, inspiring, and leading our community. Embracing this theme, the contest seeks to showcase the essence of county activities and/or the scenic beauty that defines Cape Cod.

This overview highlights just a sample of the activities undertaken by the County during February. For a comprehensive view of all initiative, please explore our Featured News.

Read All Featured News

Please update your subscriber information.

By updating your information, you will enable us to tailor our content to better serve your needs and understand our audience's demographics by town. Find the link to Update Profile in the footer of this email.

Please subscribe to receive regular emails from the County Commissioners' Office.

Sign up to receive email here.

Facebook  X  Instagram  LinkedIn  YouTube