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Community Preservation Committee reviews projects, announces start of new funding cycle

by | Aug 25, 2023 | Featured: News, News

The Community Preservation Committee met for an hour on Thursday to provide a quarterly review of projects that are currently receiving CPC funding and to announce that applications are now being accepted for the new funding cycle.

Under the Community Preservation Act (CPA), at least 10 percent of the funding raised must be allocated among three categories — open space, historic preservation and affordable housing, according to the state website. The remaining 70 percent can be allocated to any of these categories, as well as recreation.

Potential Hopkinton Historical Society application discussed

One potential application for this funding cycle came during the public comment period from a Hopkinton Historical Society volunteer. The organization is considering applying for a grant to preserve and protect historical documents and to make them publicly accessible by preventing water leaking into the Historical Society building because of the high groundwater table there.

Located at 168 Hayden Rowe Street, the HHS has experienced a challenge due to water seepage in the building’s basement. The moisture can cause archival materials and textiles to deteriorate. While efforts were made to patch up the problem, it was determined in an engineering study that showed that the building needed to be repaired. The project is estimated to take two years at a cost of approximately $70,000.

Chair Ken Weismantel and other members provided advice about applying for a CPC grant. He said the time frame was reasonable for the project. Because of the cost, it would be subject to town procurement policy, including a requirement that workers be paid the prevailing wage. A preservation restriction will need to be placed on the building, which would include an annual inspection.

Updates on current projects provided

Regarding current projects, Land Use administrative assistant Shannon Soares said that the grant agreement and budget submission has been received from the Town Manager’s office for the Jenner property. Budgets were submitted by the Open Space Preservation Commission for boundary marking for nine parcels. The Upper Charles Trail Committee also submitted its budget materials. Grant agreement paperwork was sent to the Trails Committee and the Hopkinton Housing Authority.

Regarding the Trails Committee, Weismantel said he received an email from its chair, Peter LaGoy. LaGoy is in the process of getting agreements signed for the trail project at the Chamberlain Street extension.

Town Clerk Connor Degan updated the committee on the document digitizing project he is overseeing. He is seeking an alternate funding source for it but is unsure if he will be submitting a formal CPC request. Work will resume on the project before the end of the calendar year, he said.

Weismantel explained that town counsel gave its opinion that the documents could be preserved with the funding previously allocated but not digitized “because that is creating history.” He called it “a little bit of subtlety.”

The hope for digitization would be to make these documents more accessible to the public.

In addition to putting historic documents into plastic, Degan explained that the ink in them has to be de-acidified. Inks used in the past contained high levels of acid, which can destroy the paper over long periods of time. Some documents also have to be re-bound.

Regarding the Cemetery Commission’s fifth phase of its restoration project, Weismantel suggested that a new application would need to be submitted to continue the work.

Parks & Recreation Commission chair Dan Terry told the committee that the pickleball/tennis court project off Fruit Street is moving forward, which a groundbreaking anticipated shortly. Turf preparation at the lacrosse wall has been completed.

He explained that there has been no progress on security camera installation at Sandy Beach or EMC Park yet, noting that a new department director should start next month. There have no bids on the engineering work for the amenities building project at EMC Park. Terry said that town engineer Dave Daltorio will be providing advice.

The drainage around the Little League field “either failed or never worked properly,” he added. Until that gets resolved, work cannot begin on the skate park. Also, work would not be able to commence most likely until this time next year because of Little League field usage during the spring and summer months. The delay may cause the cost of the project to escalate.

The longstanding work of trying to get a seasonal boat dock at Lake Maspenock has been delayed because a waterways permit needs to be secured, Terry added.

Liaisons assigned

Members were assigned to liaison roles. Weismantel will be the liaison to the Town Manager’s Office, while John Morris will be the Housing Authority liaison. Eric Sonnett will be the liaison to the Upper Charles Trail Committee, the Cemetery Commission and the Historic Commission. Steve Levandosky will be the liaison to the Trails Committee, the Hopkinton Area Land Trust and the OSPC. Terry will be the Parks & Rec liaison. Chris Alicandro will be the liaison to the Town Clerk’s Office.

Grant applications due by Oct. 12

Soares noted that applications for CPC funding must be received by Oct. 12. Anyone seeking information or an application can email her at ssoares@hopkintonma.gov.

Future meetings

If necessary, a meeting will be held on Sept. 21. Subsequent meetings will be held on Oct. 19, Nov. 9, Nov. 21, Dec. 14 and Dec. 19.

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