Some meetings in Provincetown are in person, some are online, and some are both. Click on the meeting you want to attend on the calendar at provincetown-ma.gov for a link to an agenda with details about the event.
Thursday, Feb. 24
- Historic District Commission, 2:30 p.m., Town Hall
- Public Pier Corp. Board, 4 p.m., Town Hall
- Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Monday, Feb. 28
- Select Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Tuesday, March 1
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, March 2
- Harbor Committee public hearing, 5 p.m., Town Hall
- Historic District Commission public hearing, 3:30 p.m., Town Hall
Thursday, March 3
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Community Engagement on VFW
The Community Builders (TCB), the affordable housing developer that won the contract to build at the VFW property at 3 Jerome Smith Road, is presenting in Provincetown on three consecutive nights next week.
On Monday, Feb. 28, TCB will explain to the select board how their bid can be adjusted to suit community needs. On Tuesday, March 1, TCB will meet with abutters of the property, and on Wednesday at 6 p.m. they will hold a “virtual community meeting” for all interested parties. The Wednesday session will be on Zoom and can be joined at tinyurl.com/JeromeSmith.
Among the subjects up for discussion: design, building height, parking, outdoor areas, and total unit count at the property.
TCB’s bid included 57 units in four buildings, with most of those for people making 80 percent of area median income or less. A few units in TCB’s bid were for “workforce” or community housing, for people making from 80 to 120 percent of area median income. Barnstable County’s median income is currently $68,062 for a single person and $77,750 for a two-person household.
The select board has expressed some interest in increasing the unit count to add more community units, but all of this is “up for discussion,” according to TCB project manager Lindsey Gael.
“We take the outreach process very seriously,” Gael told the Independent. “We are building this for the community, and in many ways the project really starts with what we hear from the community.” —Paul Benson
Masks in Schools
At a meeting on Feb. 15, the Provincetown School Committee unanimously deferred a decision on revising the mandatory mask policy to their next meeting on March 16. They’ll base their decision on school case numbers at that time.
Gov. Charlie Baker recently announced that he would lift statewide mask mandates, effective Feb. 28. Shortly after the announcement, Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said the statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools won’t extend past Feb. 28 either.
This means that whether masks are optional or required for students and faculty is up to the schools, though they are in a municipal building and must conform to local guidelines.
Supt. Suzanne Scallion said the timing of Baker’s announcement took the administration by surprise. Feb. 28 is the first day Massachusetts schools reopen after winter break.
“We want our kids back out socializing, going on vacation, or doing whatever families do on February break,” Scallion said. “But to then rip masks off them the day they come back?” Still, Scallion said the administration’s goal is to make masks optional as soon as possible.
Scallion distributed a survey for parents and staff by email and text that asked whether they feel the school should move to a mask-optional policy. As of last Thursday, results indicated that about 50 percent of families said their child would remain masked no matter what, and a clear majority said three-to-five-year-olds should remain masked. —Abbey Dwight