All meetings are held using videoconferencing. To join a meeting live, click on the link to the meeting on the town’s home page calendar at provincetown-ma.gov. To watch older remote meetings, scroll to bottom of the home page and click on PTV Videos and Live Stream.
Thursday, April 16
- Charter Compliance Commission, 12 p.m.
- Board of Health, 4 p.m.
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 21
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m.
Thursday, April 23
- Planning Board, 6:30 p.m.
As of April 12, there were three active cases of coronavirus in Provincetown, one death from complications related to Covid-19, and 18 additional cases considered recovered and cleared from quarantine.
Time to Talk Financial Recovery
Provincetown officials are beginning to look toward recovery from a health and an economic standpoint. On Monday Dept. of Health Director Morgan Clark said the town has seen a decrease in new positive coronavirus cases despite increased testing.
While urging everyone to continue social distancing, Provincetown officials have started considering a “recovery coalition” made up of stakeholders who would identify problems and solutions related to coronavirus going forward.
These problems include a huge loss of parking, meals, and rooms tax revenue, expected to be anywhere from 40 to 75 percent below normal, said Town Manager Robin Craver on Monday.
Officials are thinking of hiring seasonal staff slowly, offering an early retirement program for town staff, possible furloughs, and cutting the tourism advertising budget.
Provincetown Finance Director Josee Cardinal Young said if revenue is down only 50 percent the town could use cash reserves to make it through the next fiscal year without raising the tax rate or borrowing. If much more is lost, though, “We would need to dig deeper,” she said.
Economic Pain, Tourism Campaign
Most of the 300 businesses that are members of the Provincetown Business Guild are nonessential and “are hurting and fighting” to sustain themselves, said Bob Sandborn, executive director of the PBG. The pandemic will result in long-term harm and some businesses won’t survive, he said.
“Already an iconic restaurant in town says it has one month of reserves left,” Sandborn said on Monday. Suggestions to help business owners include a 90-day tax deferral, deferrals for water bills and other fees, and a lifting of parking fees to motivate people to come to Provincetown.
“Don’t cancel the fireworks prematurely,” Sandborn advised.
About 1,500 Small Business Administration loans have been reviewed and approved on the Outer Cape, mostly in Provincetown, said Radu Luca, executive director of the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce. As for seasonal foreign J-1 and H-2B visa workers, there is a ban on the program until the middle of May so far, Luca said.
The town tourism department has an advertising campaign that goes something like: “Accept that this summer will be different, with nostalgia, small crowds, and big memories,” said Tourism Director Tony Fuccillo.
The long haul and international markets will be last to return, so the driving market is the target. And in a piece of good news, second-home owners may well spend the summer here working in home offices.
“Early summer will be bleak with a bright summer to follow,” Fuccillo predicted. —K.C. Myers