Barnstable implements rarely used charter provision to secure funds and avert summer shortage
by: Geoff Spillane
Excerpt: HYANNIS — Two of four wells supplying water to Hyannis, Hyannisport and West Hyannisport have been closed because of the presence of a contaminant at levels that exceed a federal health advisory.
The shutdown has raised fears among local officials that the town may not be able to meet the water demand of the area's summer population, prompting an emergency declaration to secure funds to clean the wells by June 30.
Barnstable Department of Public Works Director Daniel Santos maintains the water supply is safe, but the contamination of perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, caused the Barnstable Town Council to take the extraordinary step of triggering a rarely used provision in the town charter to declare an emergency. The declaration, which was unanimously approved by the council Thursday night, allowed it to approve an immediate allocation of $744,000 to buy and install two carbon treatment units for the Mary Dunn well field.