Posted on January 23, 2023
The Barnstable County Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates are planning to tackle the steadily declining funds of the regional dredge program.
Officials said that the program is seeking an $842,000 subsidy to offset equipment costs and other expenses, as well as lower-than-average rates, according to Commissioner Ronald Bergstrom.
“That wasn’t sustainable. To see what we really had to do to make it a working program would have been a financial shock to the towns. The increase would have been such that it would have thrown their budgets out of proportion,” said Bergstrom during the Board of Commissioners most recent meeting.
“We brag about how we’re doing dredging for half of what it would cost, and you have got to think, how do we do that? And one of the ways we do that is because we’ve been neglecting some things.”
Bergstrom added that going forward, towns will have to be made aware of the changes that need to be made to make the program sustainable.
Dredging program leads said that part of the revenue issues stem from towns committing to projects that end up on hold following permitting delays at the federal level.
The county gave the go-ahead for a $650,000 supplemental operating budget late November 2022.
At the time, Program Director Ken Cirillo said that they were playing catch-up with out-of-date equipment needing replacement and even ARPA funds they applied for were unlikely to account for all of the costs.