Barnstable County OK’s Supplemental Budget for Struggling Dredge Fund

HYANNIS – The Barnstable County Board of Commissioners has approved a $650,000 supplemental FY23 Operating Budget for the struggling Dredge Enterprise Fund. 

Program Director Ken Cirillo said the fund is facing a deficit due to delayed permits at the federal level freezing local projects. 

“There are expenses on maintaining the dredges, the push boat and all of our equipment that is pretty significant. We are playing a terrible game of catch-up, so we are in that perfect storm with postponed projects, high expenses, and  buying equipment that has been critical for us,” Cirillo told commissioners at their most recent meeting. 

He cited recent issues with Barnstable and Yarmouth involving projects that have been put on hold while the town waits for permit approval. 

Cirillo added that the program is looking to American Rescue Plan Act funds for potential relief, but has not yet been approved. 

“Even if we do receive some of the ARPA money, that would obviously significantly benefit us because all of these parts and equipment that we plan to buy does come at a pretty high cost,” said Cirillo.

“So that $1 million dollars approved two weeks ago, that will have a significant impact. But I’m not counting on that.”

Board Chair Sheila Lyons said that the county could investigate a stabilization fund for the dredge program, as it is expecting further challenges until projects pick up again. 

Commissioner Mark Forest was the sole vote against the supplemental budget.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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