Xiarhos advocates for use of federal funds for Cape Cod infrastructure projects
November 23, 2021
BOSTON – State Representative Steve Xiarhos (R – 5th Barnstable) sent a letter to state and federal officials on Tuesday, asking for cooperation to make sure Cape Cod receives its fair share of federal spending to support infrastructure needs.
“As a State Representative, I see it as my job to make sure I advocate for the 5th Barnstable District and its residents to receive as much benefit as possible following the passage of federal spending bills,” Xiarhos said. “The question of whether this money will be spent is no longer up for debate; these bills were passed into law by Congress. Now, the mission is to make sure Cape Cod residents reap the benefit of this spending and get their fair share of money allocated for local projects. We have extremely important infrastructure needs here on Cape Cod, and these needs should be addressed with new spending being undertaken.”
In his letter, Xiarhos cites several different areas in need of prioritized spending, including:
Adequate funds for the replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore Cape Cod Canal bridges. “I ask that you please join with me in supporting sufficient funding for this important infrastructure project so that work can begin to replace these bridges as soon as possible,” Xiarhos said.
Measures to bolster the resiliency of coastal areas. “I have personally spoken with countless local residents who deal with flooding on a regular basis and whose homes are in danger of slipping into the sea… It is extremely important for us to take bold action to protect homeowners and their property, both now and in the future,” Xiarhos said.
Funding to address wastewater and drinking water issues on Cape Cod, including safeguards to remove Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) from drinking water and the food chain. “Of all the infrastructure projects we have in front of us, issues with wastewater and the quality of our drinking water are perhaps most closely-related to the everyday health of Cape Cod residents,” Xiarhos said.
Efforts to improve broadband access for Cape Cod residents. “Broadband improves public safety through more reliable communication, it enhances business and commercial interests, and it improves the delivery of education services to our students. The more than 200,000 year-round residents of Cape Cod need quality broadband access to fuel all of these needs, now and in the future,” Xiarhos said.
Public safety needs, including the construction of new fire stations in Bourne, Barnstable, and Plymouth, and additional funding for more behavioral health and addiction facilities to help keep Cape Cod residents healthy amidst the dangers of substance use.
Additional funding for the creation of affordable housing here on Cape Cod. “It is vitally important that we keep Cape Cod a place that is affordable for people to live, work and raise a family. Having adequate and quality affordable housing resources available is an especially important part of this equation,” Xiarhos said.
In his letter, which was sent to United States Senators Markey and Warren, Congressman Keating, and Governor Baker, Xiarhos offered to serve as a liaison between local communities and government agencies to make sure adequate funding is dedicated to specific local projects over time.
November 23, 2021
Dear Senator Markey, Senator Warren, Congressman Keating and Governor Baker:
My understanding is that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is currently slated to receive nearly $14 billion in supplemental federal funding. These funds include nearly $5 billion associated with pandemic relief measures, a portion of which is still being debated by the Legislature. They also include about another $9 billion of transportation and infrastructure funds recently approved by President Biden.
Despite my personal concerns about the fiscal responsibility of this spending, the passage of these bills into law means the primary question now is not whether this money will or should be spent, but rather how and where these appropriated funds will be dedicated. I expect there will be continued debate in coming months as to exactly which individual projects should be funded on the local level. This is an important conversation for all involved.
I am writing to you as the State Representative representing the 5th Barnstable District of Massachusetts (Sandwich and portions of Bourne, Barnstable, and Plymouth) to advocate and respectfully request your cooperation in making sure that Cape Cod and its residents receive significant disbursement of federal funds for several important projects.
First, I request your assistance in making sure that adequate funds are dedicated to the replacement of the two Cape Cod Canal bridges in Bourne and Sagamore. These bridges are vital transportation links for Cape Cod, not only serving as a gateway for the summer tourist economy on which the Cape relies, but also providing a link for local commerce. As the bridges age, they not only threaten to undermine the economic vitality of Cape Cod, but also endanger the public safety of Cape Cod residents as they travel to and from the mainland. I ask that you please join with me in supporting sufficient funding for this important infrastructure project so that work can begin to replace these bridges as soon as possible.
Second, I request your assistance in dedicating funds to help with measures to bolster the resiliency of our coastal areas. I have personally spoken with countless local residents who deal with flooding on a regular basis and whose homes are in danger of slipping into the sea. Forecasts of rising sea levels in coming years pose an ominous threat for an area such as Cape Cod with extremely flat topography and extensive low-lying areas. It is extremely important for us to take bold action to protect homeowners and their property, both now and in the future.
Third, I am asking that you take action to dedicate funding to address wastewater and drinking water issues on Cape Cod. Of all the infrastructure projects we have in front of us, issues with wastewater and the quality of our drinking water are perhaps most closely-related to the everyday health of Cape Cod residents. Aging infrastructure on Cape Cod needs to be addressed and systems need to be upgraded or replaced to adequately handle current needs and uses. These systems also need to be designed to accommodate increased use in future years as development puts more strain on available resources. We also require additional safeguards to protect against environmental contamination by Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). The intrusion of these long-lasting, harmful chemicals into our drinking water, our oceans, and our food chain is of particular concern on Cape Cod, where we have such a fragile seashore ecosystem.
Fourth, I ask you to also consider more modern needs as you dedicate infrastructure dollars to our state, and that efforts be made to improve broadband access for Cape Cod residents. With each passing year, our residents rely more and more on fast, reliable Internet service as part of their daily lives. Broadband improves public safety through more reliable communication, it enhances business and commercial interests, and it improves the delivery of education services to our students. The more than 200,000 year-round residents of Cape Cod need quality broadband access to fuel all of these needs, now and in the future.
Fifth, I humbly suggest that certain infrastructure funds be dedicated directly to public safety needs in our communities. These needs are numerous. Of note, Bourne, Barnstable and Plymouth particularly need new fire stations / public safety buildings. Aside from basic functionality for the provision of services, having a modern building is important for preventing cancer due to occupational hazards by allowing for proper ventilation and also the cleaning of gear after exposure to carcinogens at an incident. I also encourage you to remember the ongoing struggle our region has with overdose deaths. We are in desperate need of additional funding for more behavioral health and addiction facilities to help keep Cape Cod residents safe and healthy.
Sixth, I respectfully ask that you consider ways to allocate additional funding for the creation of affordable housing here on Cape Cod. This is an important economic and quality of life concern for Cape Cod residents. It is vitally important that we keep Cape Cod a place that is affordable for people to live, work and raise a family. Having adequate and quality affordable housing resources available is an especially important part of this equation. We also need to make sure we honor commitments to our veterans and provide them with affordable housing opportunities when they return back home.
Thank you for your attention to these comments. I look forward to working along with you to make sure that appropriated funds are spent in a way that adequately meets the ever-evolving infrastructure needs of Cape Cod residents. I also invite you or members of your staff to use my office as a local resource with regard to these projects, and to serve as a liaison with local officials and other important stakeholders.
Steven G. Xiarhos
State Representative, 5th Barnstable District
August 2021 Newsletter
September 1, 2021
One of my most important jobs as your State Representative is to keep in contact with you. I want you to know what I am doing on your behalf and what is happening on Beacon Hill that might effect the 5th Barnstable District.
Part of my constituent communication program is the distribution of a monthly newsletter. Please click below to read the latest edition for August 2021. As you will read, August was another busy month!
It’s hard to believe, but today marks a very important milestone. It has now been 100 days since I was sworn into office to serve as your State Representative.
I have worked hard each and every day to represent the 5th Barnstable District with integrity and to deliver results you can be proud of. I’ve worked hard to communicate with you and listen whenever you have a question or concern. I’ve had the honor of participating in some of the initial legislative sessions held this year. And, I have been doing my best to advocate for you and make sure that everything Beacon Hill decides will be in the best interests of Cape Cod.
I am proud of what we have accomplished so far, and I wanted to share some of these accomplishments with you as one of my best supporters. Please click here to see a checklist of some of our most notable successes to-date. Many of these are consistent with goals outlined in a Legislative Agenda for this session which I released earlier this year (in case you missed it, please click here to read a copy).
Of course, the work is far from done. Our Commonwealth still has much to do to mitigate the public health and economic effects of the pandemic. We still face important challenges to our public safety. Veterans and seniors still need our support, as do our kids in school. Our environment remains fragile, and our public infrastructure remains in need of repair and improvement. We must remain vigilant with regard to those who wish to impose new taxes and fees on Massachusetts residents, and those who would seek to undermine public confidence in state government.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together so far, but I’m not letting up. We’re just getting started. Our mission continues, and it’s a mission I am proud and excited to pursue.
Thank you, as always, for your generous support of everything that I do. I can’t tell you how much I value your trust, confidence, and constant encouragement.
Rep. Xiarhos Releases Spring 2021 Legislative Agenda
March 8, 2021
BOSTON – State Representative Steve Xiarhos (R – West Barnstable) has only been in office for a few weeks, but he is already busy working on a bold legislative agenda on behalf of his 5th Barnstable District constituents.
“After almost a year dealing with the pandemic and its effects, people are looking to Beacon Hill for leadership and help getting Massachusetts schools and businesses back on-track,” said Xiarhos. “As a legislator, my focus is to do all I can to help people get back to a sense of normal as soon as possible, while we continue our work dealing with the lingering public health concerns brought about by COVID-19.”
Recently, Xiarhos released a fifteen-page agenda outlining some of his top priorities for 2021. In it, Xiarhos discusses how he has been busy helping constituents and volunteering for charity during the first few weeks of his term. He also explains his recent appointment to several legislative committees and how he plans to work with those committees on important policy issues. And, Xiarhos has summaries of bills he has filed for consideration by the House as of late February, which was the deadline for newly-elected members to propose legislation.
“I was elected to help make Cape Cod a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Since taking office, I have worked hard every day toward that goal,” said Xiarhos. Among his legislative proposals are measures intended to improve public safety and reduce financial burdens on individuals and small businesses. Xiarhos also is focused on helping seniors and veterans, improving education, and protecting the environment. Through it all, Xiarhos says he intends to be a vocal advocate on behalf of taxpayers and for the four communities he represents.
Xiarhos says he anticipates lots of opportunities to work on these and other priorities as the House gets down to business later this Spring. “Our biggest task at hand is working on a budget for next year, and I want to be active in that process,” said Xiarhos. “I have been working hard to develop a regular dialog with local officials and constituents to make sure I understand needs within the community and ways I can be helpful. I think communication is important and I plan always to be accessible to those who need help,” he said.
To download a copy of Xiarhos’ legislative agenda, please click on the button below:
Xiarhos represents the 5th Barnstable District in the House of Representatives, which includes the Town of Sandwich and portions of Barnstable, Bourne, and Plymouth.
Rep. Xiarhos Refiles “Nero’s Bill”
February 4, 2021
BOSTON – State Representative Steven Xiarhos (R- West Barnstable) has refiled legislation that would allow police canines who have been injured in the line of duty to be treated and transported by emergency medical services (EMS) providers.
The bill, HD.326 An Act Providing for the Care and Transportation of Police Dogs Injured in the Line of Duty, otherwise known as “Nero’s Bill”, was filed in response to the April 2018 shooting of Yarmouth Police Sergeant Sean Gannon and his canine companion officer, Nero. The legislation was originally filed by former Representative Will Crocker in the 2019-2020 legislative session but was never voted on.
Nero was gravely injured in the 2018 shooting, but due to existing state law, the canine was unable to be treated or transported by EMS providers. At the time of the shooting, Xiarhos served as the Deputy Chief with the Yarmouth Police Department.
“I will never forget the sight of wounded K9 Nero being carried out, bleeding and gasping for air in the arms of a police office,” said Representative Xiarhos. “I will do everything in my power to make this bill become law in honor of K9 Nero and all of the devoted and loving animals serving and protecting us for generations to come.”
This bill would seek to allow emergency personnel to treat and transport injured working police canines. It would also require a full cleaning of the ambulance following the transportation of the animal and require any emergency personnel who renders care to have completed training consistent with standards approved by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.
“This bill refiled by Representative Xiarhos will take away any hesitation for first responders to administer emergency care to operational K9s and transport them to a veterinary hospital without fear of the sanctions that currently exist,” said Chief Frank Frederickson of the Yarmouth Police Department. “I hope that the necessity for these services will be rare but we all know that this situation can happen in any community and at any time. We owe this to the K9s and their handlers, who both operate in dangerous
Twenty-nine other legislators have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill thus far.
The deadline for representatives and senators to sign on as a co-sponsor is Friday, February 26th, 2021.