BARNSTABLE – A $2 billion environmental bond bill passed last week by the State Senate includes an amendment with funding for flood prevention efforts for Barnstable’s Blish Point neighborhood along Commerce Road.
The area of land between Millway Beach and Maraspin Creek saw significant flood damage during winter nor’easters to more than 30 homes.
The $1.3 million added by Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) would fund a study, design and construction for flood resistance efforts.
“It’s be welcome relief for our neighborhood, which is a thriving neighborhood and growing and very valuable to the town to be safeguarded from the excessive flooding,” said Peter Halesworth, a Blish Point resident.
Halesworth believes the bill has a good chance of passing through the House and being signed by Governor Charlie Baker. The bill was put forward by the governor.
“It’ll be quite likely the governor will sign it as it originated from his office,” Halesworth said. “So we are hopeful.”
A conference committee is also still deliberating the Fiscal Year 2019 state budget which could include at least $50,000 in funding for the Blish Point neighborhood. The proposal for the funding was made by State Representative Will Crocker (R-Centerville).
“Once those resources are online then we look forward to the town putting together a game plan together which they pledged and promised back in April for these monies to be allocated and then put to work to preserve our neighborhood,” Halesworth said.
The issue will once again be discussed by residents at Thursday’s Town Council meeting.
“We hope they’ll roll up their sleeves and help us execute a plan because it is quite urgent,” he said. “Hurricane season is upon us and winter will be upon us before we know it.”
Halesworth said a game plan needs to be developed for permitting and environmental issues involving work in the wetlands.
“Time is not our friend,” Halesworth said. “And that is the message we’ll deliver Thursday night.”