MESSAGE TO FALMOUTH RESIDENTS
July 10, 2020
Dear Fellow Falmouth Residents,
We have all been occupied in the vagaries of this devastating COVID-19 pandemic for over four months. Although closed to the public since March 18, Town Hall and Town administrative offices have been occupied, with fellow employees continuing to provide routine, essential municipal services to you. Our operations have been consistent with the guidelines and directives issued as part of Governor Baker’s emergency orders. I want to thank all Town employees for their continued selfless, dedicated personal service to residents during this most challenging time. We recognize and embrace the essential importance of basic local government municipal services to all Falmouth residents.
On June 22, Town Meeting convened in "shortened" session at the new High School Turf Field and completed action on seven, most-critical financial articles in anticipation of the onset of Fiscal Year 2021 on July 1. This includes an approved annual operations budget of $139.3 Million for FY21. While certainly affected financially by this unprecedented pandemic, we are most gratified that, given a consistently cautious and disciplined approach to annual budgeting and spending, the Town of Falmouth is in a reasonably healthy financial position entering this new fiscal year. The consistent leadership demonstrated by the Select Board and the Finance Committee in the Town’s financial matters is paying dividends in Falmouth’s ability to maintain stable municipal services and continue them through this fiscal year. Falmouth’s continued "AAA" bond rating, first achieved in 2018, is further indicative of Falmouth’s financial and management stability as it relates to responsible stewardship of taxpayer revenues.
We are in the process of working through modest adjustments in the appearance and function of Town Hall offices as well as all other administrative offices. This is in furtherance of functioning within the guidelines set by Governor Baker and the Centers for Disease Control. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all during this transition. Of fundamental importance is the protection of the health of all Town employees and our residents who will be visiting our offices in the future. Included is the necessity for all employees and visitors to wear masks/face coverings when in all public areas of Town buildings.
Please continue to utilize the Town Hall "drop box" at the building 1 s main entrance for payment of taxes and related financial matters. If needed, other communications can also be deposited there. This "drop box” is routinely checked during the work day. I ask that those filing "hard copy" applications for building permits, planning permits, conservation permits and all related permit requests continue to place those applications and related materials in the conveniently-located mailboxes which were placed at the rear entry door to Town Hall in April of this year. These mailboxes are also checked periodically during the working day to timely respond to your permit requests. Please also continue to routinely contact us via telephone or email for questions or concerns.
We are gratified to have nearly completed the temporary permitting process to allow over thirty of Falmouth’s many restaurants to expand their outdoor seating opportunities within the Governor’s guidelines. We are also pleased to have Falmouth’s many retail and service businesses open to the public once again. Welcome additions courtesy of Public Works include the seasonal completion of the multi-year Main Street waterline replacement project as well as the extraordinary reconstruction of the main entryway to downtown from Route 28 at Queen’s Buyway, greatly enhancing public safety.
We are now in the midst of the peak summer season here in Falmouth. As we know from experience, Falmouth’s seasonal population increases significantly at this time of year -- welcoming visitors and seasonal residents to our community. It is particularly important for all residents and all visitors to continue their consistent and diligent wearing of masks/face coverings in all indoor locations and to also wear them in all outside locations when it is clear that the minimum social distancing cannot be achieved (six feet distance from others). When visiting the Town’s many municipal beaches, it is important to maintain this same social distancing and in addition to allow a minimum of twelve feet between groups taking up positions on the beach.
Please continue to act cautiously, patiently and with regard to the health and safety of all our residents and visitors. As Town employees, it remains our privilege to be of service and support to all in the Town of Falmouth in this time like no other. Stay safe and well and enjoy all the beauty and inspiration which accompanies summertime in the Town of Falmouth, America the Beautiful!
Julian M. Suso
Falmouth Town Manager