We’ve been doing what we usually do in March: work to get the motions finalized for the town meeting warrant articles, and then getting the warrant printed and mailed out to the voters. The Town Charter requires that the warrant with motions be mailed to voters 7 days prior to a town meeting. We’ve sent the warrant off and although there is a bit of a sigh of relief once that is done, we then fervently hope there are no errors that we didn’t catch…
We have also been working on compliance with the revised Massachusetts Public Records law which went into effect on January 1, 2017. If you are seeking a public record, feel free to contact Florencia Rullo email@example.com in our office. She is our “Records Access Officer” as required by the new law. The Town of Nantucket is dedicated to transparency of public records and we are working to make it as easy as possible for citizens to obtain public records. If you are looking for something that you do not see on the Town website, feel free to email Florencia.
We are in the beginning stages of preparing for the renewal of the license the Town has with Comcast for island-wide cable television service. This 10-year license expires in 2019; however, it is recommended that a 2-year lead time be used to negotiate a renewal license. We expect that over the next several months, we will be looking at ways in which to obtain public input on the renewal.
2017 Annual Town Meeting
Mark your calendars: the 2017 Annual Town Meeting (“ATM”) starts on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 9am at the Nantucket High School. The warrant with Finance Committee and Planning Board motions is complete and will be mailed out to voters the week before ATM. Meanwhile, it may be viewed here. Currently, we are working on the Citizen’s Guide to Warrant Articles which is meant to provide non-technical explanations of the warrant articles (excluding the citizen petitions). The Guide will be posted on-line before the ATM, and available at the ATM.
A lot of work by a lot of people goes into the ATM and the development of the warrant. Town Administration begins by putting together a timeline for development of warrant in September. The Capital Program Committee begins its review of proposed capital projects in October; the Finance Committee begins meeting in December, the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board discuss their articles for months prior to ATM. Numerous public hearings and public meetings are held. The Town of Nantucket schedules time, before citizen petitions are scheduled for submittal, for citizens to meet with Town Counsel to review potential warrant articles for legality and wording (we are not aware of any other town in the Commonwealth that offers this).
Our Island Home Update
In 2016, after several years of discussion and evaluation, including a report issued by the “Our Island Home Work Group” in 2013, the Board of Selectmen voted to propose the construction of new facility for Our Island Home, to be located at a site off Miacomet Road, near the Sherburne Commons assisted living facility. Between 2015 and 2017, numerous reports, studies, meetings and discussions have occurred regarding this project. The reports and studies are all available here.
Additionally, at a special town meeting in November, another work group was authorized. This work group has issued a report which was presented to the Board of Selectmen at its March 8, 2017 meeting. The Board of Selectmen has also appointed a Building Committee which started meeting in February. The Building Committee has been focused so far on a more detailed evaluation of the current site (East Creek Road) and what it would take to construct the new facility there. The Board of Selectmen members had mixed feelings about putting this project forward at the 2017 ATM; however, in the end, voted to move forward because of serious concerns as to the current condition of the facility and the need to make meaningful progress toward constructing a new one that meets current nursing home standards and codes.
Nantucket Harbor Shimmo - Plus Parcels Sewer Extension Project Update
In 2016, voters approved a $41 million dollar sewer project to extend sewer to an area designated as “Nantucket Harbor Shimmo” and several mid-island areas known as the “Plus Parcels”. The engineering firm we have contracted with to design the project is Weston & Sampson and the required Owner’s Project Manager (“OPM”) is Hazen & Sawyer. The design of the project is nearly complete, with bid documents being finalized to bid out for construction in April. The engineers and OPM have appeared before the Board of Selectmen several times since last fall to review the project. At this point, we are working on public outreach to property owners who will be connecting to this sewer extension. We plan to meet with various community groups and neighborhood organizations over the next few months and have a series of specific notices that have started to appear in the newspaper and will continue to be featured over the next several weeks.
The Town of Nantucket is currently implementing a project to provide the community with a safe, dedicated bike and pedestrian facility from downtown to the Milestone Rotary as an addition to the Town's extensive Bike Path Network. The project is divided into phases:
Phase 1 (MassDOT is currently overseeing construction) – Using federal and state-aid for construction, a shared use path is currently being built along the old railroad right of way from Washington Street Extension to Goose Pond Lane, and a section of bike lanes along Orange Street from Goose Pond Lane to Spruce Street.
Originally built in May 1880 for the Nantucket Railroad, the causeway and abutting areas were acquired by the County in 1996 for bicycle and pedestrian purposes.
Phase 2 & 3 – Design and engineering will soon start for the widening of Washington Street, between Commercial Street and Francis Street, and Orange Street, between Spruce Street and the Rotary, to accommodate 4 foot wide bike lanes on both sides of the street.
The path has been cleared and the sheeting installed on both sides
Phase 1 is projected to be complete before the summer season
Staff Spotlight - Deputy DPW Director
We would like to welcome Mr. Larson as our new Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works. Chuck started his new position in January of this year and is off to a great start.
For the past 10 years, Mr. Larson has worked as a senior project manager in the private sector providing support and improving business processes in highway maintenance, and providing Information Technology solutions for government agencies. Before working in the private sector, Mr. Larson served 20 years in management roles for the Virginia Department of Transportation and Connecticut Department of Transportation. His experience includes software development, GIS, Pavement Management and Pavement Design. He is the past chair of Transportation Research Board Committee for Pavement Management Systems at the National Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Larson is a licensed Professional Engineer, certified Project Management Professional, and certified LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction. He holds a Masters degree in Project Management from The George Washington University and received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut.