"The Governor sent me out to look at projects so I can understand what is going on in the field," said Simon. "I can't do that sitting in my office in Boston."
Barnstable's population swells from about 55,000 people year round to about 130,000 in the summer season. The town has to develop its infrastructure for maximum capacity, Mark Els, the town's Director of Public Works, told Simon,
Part of that plan involves implementing the town's clean water project which includes putting in new sewers and water main replacements around Stewart's Creek in Hyannis in areas that have water quality issues and further addressing those issues with improvements to the Hyannis Water Pollution Control Facility. The project received over $1 million in stimulus help.
The town's drinking water project, which received $705K in stimulus help, involves repairing and improving two water treatment facilities, 12 well pump stations, two storage tanks and distribution water pipes. Els noted that the stimulus funding minimized the cost for the town.
"The Governor took a lot of heat early on in the stimulus program for the way he did the State Revolving Fund program," noted Simon. "Some states funded two to
Another success story is that of Dennis-based construction firm, Robert B. Our, which is the contractor for both the town's clean water and drinking water projects. Our also secured contracts for two other-stimulus-funded projects on the Cape. According to Mark Timmerman, Our's superintendent for the pump station project, the company
"Before stimulus we were struggling to get work," he said. "The company laid off about 25 guys. We brought back some of those guys and others. Stimulus got us through some bad times."
Stimulus is also helping the town with its green energy upgrades. The town's wastewater treatment facility, which processes nearly two million gallons of wastewater a day, is now able to install Variable Speed Drives and other upgrades to the motors on the plant's pumping and aeration systems. The plant will also house two 100kW wind turbines and a 800+ kW solar photovoltaic system. This is
In total, the annual energy savings from these upgrades will be $250K, 1,000 kW of green power generation from the solar and wind power and nearly 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission reductions.
Those numbers impressed Simon. "I am amazed at the creativity that is coming out in all of this," he said. "I don't know how towns are managing these days. I have tremendous admiration for you guys in these tough economic times."
John Klimm, Barnstable's town manager had a simple explanation for the town's success. "The state has been a true partner," he said.