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February in Town

From the Desk of Town Manager Libby Gibson.

What's Up in Town Administration?

2019 Annual Town Meeting

Now that the Select Board has adopted the warrant for the 2019 Annual Town Meeting (starts on Monday, April 1, 2019/6pm – Nantucket High School), the Finance Committee and Planning Board are busy working on their motions to the articles. These will wrap up at the beginning of March, and the warrant will be printed and mailed to all voters prior to Town Meeting. We are working on numerous public outreach initiatives for Town Meeting, including:

  • Videos on social media and NCTV Channel 18 to explain the some of the capital articles (including Town Pier renovation, proposed acquisition of Nantucket Inn property, landfill capping, intersection improvements at Old South – Fairgrounds Road and several others)
  • Information on the Town’s website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube)
  • A “Voter’s Guide” – issued at Town Meeting and meant to explain the articles in “layman’s terms”
  • Overviews at the Nantucket Town Association (Tues, March 26 – 4pm/Atheneum); Rotary (Wed, March 27 – Noon/Faregrounds Restaurant)
  • Overviews featured on “Town Talk” 97.7 WACK – Saturday/Sunday, March 23 – 24
  • Participation in Nantucket Civic League “Meet the Articles” program on Sat, March 23 from 1:30 – 3 (Public Safety Facility, Community Room)
  • We will have “Big Boards” at Town Meeting containing information on some of the capital articles
  • New this year: we have scheduled Information Sessions on Thursday, March 21 (Zoning) and Thursday, March 28 (all other articles) both sessions from 4:30 – 5:30 in the Public Safety Facility Community Room. The sessions will not be taped, rather they are intended to provide an informal setting where people can come and ask questions about the warrant articles

What Else is Up in Town Administration?

  • In December, after several weeks of discussion, the Board issued a Request for Qualifications for a co-located retail and medical marijuana establishment. At a special town meeting in October, 2018, a bylaw limiting the number of retail establishments to 2 was adopted. One approval had already been given for “Green Lady” on Amelia Drive. Two proposals were received as a result of the RFQ, a committee was established by the Board to review them and provide a recommendation. The committee has been meeting and expects to have a recommendation this month for the Board’s review on, tentatively, March 6th.
  • Implementation work continues on the Select Board’s Strategic Plan. The Board was provided with an update at its February 6th meeting.
  • We have a number of initiatives which are currently undergoing internal and/or external review and discussion, including: the Town’s Fertilizer Regulations, Pond Management Principles, update to the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, finalization of the Coastal Resiliency Plan, reuse of the soon-to-be-former Fire Station property, waste stream refinement at the Landfill, evaluation of what it will take to renovate/rebuild Our Island Home at its current site, to name a few!

Welcome Newest Town Employee Paul Murphy!

New Building Commissioner Paul Murphy has extensive experience as a building inspector; he started as an assistant building inspector for the towns of Harwich and Marshfield almost 20 years ago. He then served as a building commissioner for the Town of Wellfleet for almost seven years and worked for the past eight years as building commissioner for the Town of Darmouth. Paul is very attached to the building trade and is amazed to see the talent and professionalism of the island contractors, architects and engineers.

Update from Public Works: Where does your trash go?

On Nantucket, we have three main waste streams:

  1. Recyclable (R) Waste;
  2. Compostable (C) Waste;
  3. Non-Recyclable/Non-Compostable (NR/NC) Waste

Recyclable (R) Waste is collected, sorted, baled, and shipped off-island to commodity markets for revenue. This includes Shipping Boxes, Plastics, and Tin/Aluminum. Glass is crushed and mixed with soil aggregate and then reused onsite for landfill roadway maintenance. The glass collection container is now located by the other recycling streams at the Recycling Drop-Off Center (also known as the "MRF").

Compostable (C) Waste is collected and sent through our large industrial composter. This process turns your food scraps and other compostable waste into nutrient rich soil. Any non-compostable materials that contaminate this stream are screened off, baled, and landfilled on-island. As an island, Nantucket has a finite amount of land, and therefore very limited landfill space. The newly constructed lined landfill cell (3A) became operational in January 2019 and has a forecasted life-expectancy of approximately 10 years based on the island’s current waste production and contaminated compostable stream rates. Effectively if our compostable stream was 100% clean and free of non-compostable waste, nothing would need to be landfilled on Nantucket.

Nantucket’s Public Works and Health Departments and our partners at Waste Options Nantucket (WON), as well as our island’s Waste Haulers, are working together to continually assess and improve our solid waste and recycling operations to divert non-compostable waste from our industrial composter with the goal of zero waste to our landfill. Construction of new lined landfill space is extremely expensive on Nantucket so developing programs to reduce, reuse, recycle, and divert non-compostable waste off-island is cost-effective.

The remaining items in your waste stream that are neither recyclable nor compostable are deposited as Non-Recyclable/Non-Compostable (NR/NC) Waste (formerly known as Bulky Waste). This includes plastic bags, shrink wrap, and other film plastics; Styrofoam; protein bar and candy wrappers; chip bags; straws and plastic cutlery; cleaning wipes; and all items made from a mix of materials including milk cartons, diapers, and Keurig cups.

Thank you for helping our island and the planet!

Still have questions? Contact DPW at (508) 228-7244 or email DPW@nantucket-ma.gov

Department of Public Works Public Information Session – Winter 2019

Tonight, Thursday February 21st, from 6 pm to 8 pm at the 4 Fairgrounds Road PSF Community Room, the Department of Public Works will hold a public information session on Stormwater Bylaws/Regulations.

Update from Energy Office: Heating with electric baseboards?

Upgrade now with new, generous rebates from Mass Save!

Nearly a quarter of all homes on Nantucket are heated by inefficient, electric baseboards. While many of these homes are seasonal, the high cost of heating with electric baseboards leaves many year-round residents stuck with electric bills in the thousands of dollars every heating season.

There’s a better way to heat with electricity: “minisplit heat pumps can help you cut your heating bill by 50-60%! Heat pumps can also improve your year-round home comfort by providing quiet air conditioning, dehumidification, and greater control over the temperature of different rooms.

“Cold Climate” mini-splits are a great energy saving solution for anyone in Massachusetts, but even more so on Nantucket where residents pay more than then rest of the state on electricity, propane, and oil. Because of how much energy heat pumps save, Mass Save is now offering more substantial rebates for heat pumps, especially for homes switching from electric baseboard heating to more efficient mini-split heat pumps.

If you heat your home year-round with electric baseboards, Mass Save is currently offering a special rebate of $1,000 per ton of capacity (anywhere from $1,000-$5,000+, depending on the size of your home and heat pump system).

To take advantage of this rebate, simply:

  1. Work with a contractor of your choice to install a qualifying cold climate heat pump system;
  2. Work with your contractor to fill out the Mass Save rebate form (online or by mail);
  3. Submit your rebate form with a copy of a recent electric bill that shows that you used at least 900 kWh per month more in December, January, and February than in the lowest three months in the previous year.

Combine these extra large rebates with 0% interest financing over 7 years offered through the Mass Save HEAT Loan and your heating bill savings could come close to covering the cost of your monthly payments. And you get air conditioning too—no ductwork or noisy window units required.

Want to learn more about whether a heat pump is right for you? Visit www.heatsmartnantucket.org or reach out to Lauren Sinatra, Energy Coordinator, (lsinatra@nantucket-ma.gov, 508-325-5379) for more information.

A Modern History of ACK (In 3 Graphs)

by Noah Karberg, Assistant Airport Manager

Nantucket has a sense of history – nearly 400 years, and an intention of carrying that history forward into the future. The maintenance of 17th to mid 18th century architecture has emerged as a consensus preservationsit goal. It’s a sensible idea, as it represents a golden age of wealth and importance.

The Airport hasn’t yet had even 80 years of history, nor a unifying aesthetic standard. However staff often hear the statement “The Airport isn’t what it used to be” and “It’s not the center of the Island anymore.” It’s often difficult to separate nostalgia from lore. The current center of the Island, after all, is not even the original center of the Island (the original settlement, Sherburne, was on Capaum Pond).

The Airport was never the dominant gateway to the Island. At best, the Airport held even with boat service, for only a brief period of its existence. Figure 1 shows the market share of passengers transported between aircraft and boats. The Airport only fought its way to even market share in 1997, which lasted for a decade until the recession in 2008.

While the market share loss is disappointing, it’s a reversion to the mean, not an anomaly.

The driver of the market share loss is best seen in the Part 135 Air Taxi/Commuter market from ACK to Hyannis (Figure 2). This market peaked in 2007: 3 airlines enplaned 172,458 passengers. By 2018, 2 carriers enplaned 20,273 passengers. In the intervening years a recession, pilot shortage, consolidation, and bankruptcy materially affected the 9-seat passenger market – both locally and nationwide. There are parallels to historical local and national forces: the Great Fire of 1846, emergence of New Bedford as the regional deep-water powerhouse, and industrial shift to petroleum.

After a decade of decline, the ACK-HYA market appears to have stabilized in 2016, providing 20,000 annual commercial enplanements since.

For the Island, the decline of the whaling industry created a vacuum that went unfilled for over a century before the ascension of the modern tourism economy. A concurrent (albeit more rapid) change is occurring in Airport passenger dynamics. Trends in airline consolidation and ‘MegaHub’ development have enabled airlines to support direct seasonal flights to ACK from major urban markets on regional jets. Figure 3 shows this increase in seasonal large air carrier (i.e. Part 121) service.

While largely driven by jetBlue, the data set contains 4 large carriers serving 8 destinations. Enplanements for 2019 are estimated based on published schedules.

Airport staff believe reports of ACK’s demise are greatly exaggerated. The Airport is off its peak enplanement numbers, but for that matter, so is the Island’s production of whale oil. Nantucket isn’t what it once was, for better or worse, depending on one’s outlook and baseline for judgment. The whaling industry is an icon of the past, but there was wisdom in maintaining and adapting that character for the current economic reality. The brief period of Airport equity with the ferries has likewise passed. However, it would be no wiser to fail to maintain the infrastructure that supports the current economy, let alone adapt it to the near future.

News from Our Island Home

Employee of the Month: Susan Rezendes

Susan joined the OIH team in January 2018, as the Executive Assistant to the DON. She has a great rapport with many of the residents and always lends a helping hand.

Volunteer of the Month: Susan Richards

Susan is a teacher with the Nantucket Community School, and each week she facilitates an early childhood playgroup at OIH. Parents bring their babies to participate in the group and interact with residents- Susan is so fantastic with both our residents and Nantucket’s children!

Our Island Home Upcoming Events (open to the public)

Family Council: the next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20th at 10am.

Early Childhood Playgroup: this favorite group will resume Monday mornings at 10:30 am starting on March 4th.

Boys and Girls Club: all are welcome to join us at 3pm on March 6th in the OIH living room for some fun and games with the kids of our local BGC!

Author Talk: Denise Kronau, author of The World is Decorated with Stars, will visit Our Island Home to discuss her work and life as a writer at 4pm on March 7th.

Kids Comedy Show: join Our Island Home residents for a good laugh on March 27th at 4 pm.

Upcoming Live Musical Talent:

Paul Connors: tonight Paul will play the oldies but goodies for us. Come join us!

Mollie Glazer: Classical music on March 4th and 11th.

Susan Berman: returns with her amazing musical partner, Ray, on February 28th and March 21st.

Steve Tornovish: brings the laughs and tunes on 13th.

Jim Sulzer: Jim will play classical guitar on March 14th and March 28th.

All music performances begin at 4pm, in the OIH living room.

Nantucket Public Schools

Congratulations to the Public Schools Swim Team for winning the State Sectionals!

From left to right: Grant Beebe, Tyler Roethke, Jarret O'Connor, Cameron Gottlieb, Cooper Norris, James Taffe, Beck Barsanti, Kevin Johnson, Mark Gianchetti, Aiden Roberts

Big News! Nantucket High School Culinary Team ranked 2nd best team at State ProStart Competition.

From left to right: Sidney Higgins, Malkia Blake, Instructor Thomas Proch, Michael Bartley, Vainius Valentukevicius.

Nantucket Intermediate School Dance-A-Thon raised $12,000 that will be destined to help Puerto Rico residents affected by Hurricane Maria.

Summer jobs at the Police Department and with the Harbormaster.

The Nantucket Police Department is currently accepting applications from suitable persons for the positions of Community Service Officers and Reserve Police Officers for the 2019 Summer season. See full job descriptions and applications here.

Nantucket Harbormaster is seeking lifeguards for the 2019 Summer season. Applicants must have:

  • a current American Heart Association or American Red Cross Cardiopulmonary Certificate that is valid through September 2019.
  • a current American Red Cross Lifeguard Training Certificate that is valid through September 2019.

See full job description and application here.

Monthly Quiz is bACK!

Town of Nantucket - 16 Broad Street Nantucket, MA 02554

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