County Officials Endorse Plan for Dredge Program

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable County Commissioners were presented findings of a new Dredge Program Rate Study that outlined the steps that are necessary to end the operation’s deficits and provide for long term stability.

The findings were presented by Leslie-Ann McGee from Full Sail Consulting and Walt Dinicola from Anchor QEA.

“The primary goal of this study is to establish a sustainable county dredge program with a balanced budget that no longer needs subsidies from the county’s reserve funds,’ said Chairman Mark Forest.

“With state and federal government funds drying up, the county has played a key role in maintaining access to our local harbors and mooring areas. Our waterways are critical to the health of the Cape’s economy, our fishermen, Coast Guard, and all mariners,” Forest said.

The county provides dredging services to 14 of the 15 towns on Cape Cod and while demand for dredging is increasing, the county’s dredging rates have not kept pace with salary, capital, and operational expenses, says town officials.

Additionally, delays that Cape Cod towns are facing in securing permits from state and federal agencies have added to the cost of the program.

The study assessed the County’s Dredge Program, provided a five-year operations and capital plan, and presented three different rate increase scenarios which all proposed dredging rates are 50% lower than private rates.

Reviewing the recommendations with the Assembly of Delegates will be the next step in the process, as they are responsible for establishing rates for County services.

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