At a brief public hearing Thursday night, the Community Preservation Committee approved several applications for fiscal year 2024 funding via the Community Preservation Act, including a $1 million proposal for the redesign of Pyne Field to include a cricket pitch.
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. The recommendations approved at this meeting will be placed on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for votes in the spring.
Pyne Field redesign funding request increased to $1 million
At last week’s meeting, members of the cricket community spoke about the skyrocketing popularity of the sport and the need for an appropriate field on which to play. While committee members expressed support, one concern raised was the availability of parking.
In response to the concern over parking, CPC chair Ken Weismantel recommended increasing the amount of the funding request for the Pyne Field redesign from $706,000 to $1 million to see if spaces can be incorporated into the plans.
“I still think parking ought to be significantly more than what was shown on the plan,” Weismantel said. “And I honestly don’t have a problem with the million dollars, quite frankly.”
Parks & Recreation Commission chair Dan Terry told the committee that the original plan was to implement a two-phased approach. In the first phase, the cricket pitch and youth baseball field would be constructed. Once the amount of usage is determined, Terry said, there would be a better understanding of parking needs. The second phase then would “perfect the parking,” he explained.
Terry added that there is parking available 100 yards away. He also reminded the committee members that cricket is not considered to be a spectator sport and would not demand a large number of parking spaces. Participants tend to carpool.
“I just think you’re going to be more popular than you think,” Weismantel countered, saying he would rather request up to a million dollars and then return what is not needed.
Parks & Rec pulls request for Fruit Street master plan study
While Parks & Rec gained money for the Pyne Field request, the Parks & Rec Commission decided at its meeting earlier that evening to pull its request for $50,000 for a master plan study for Fruit Street. At the last CPC meeting, members pointed out that between the baseball field, cricket pitch and dog park, among other amenities, there really wasn’t much available land left to assess there.
Conroy property funding request not included
Weismantel said the request for funding for the purchase of the Conroy property was being removed for consideration. The 85-acre parcel is located west of Hopkinton State Park, near Saddle Hill Road. It is abutted by a town-owned parcel and a parcel owned by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Marathon School playground, HHS items excluded
The CPC decided at the previous meeting not to include a funding request for $1 million for a playground at Marathon School. It also decided not to consider funding requests for a new high school track, improvements to Field 3 and a proposed amenities building.
Other items approved
The CPC approved the following items for inclusion in the warrant at Town Meeting:
- $40,000 for the restoration of vital historical records.
- An amount to be determined to purchase the Jenner land, a parcel of about 40 acres that is surrounded by the Conroy property and the DCR property.
- An amount to be determined to purchase the Connelly land, a 20-acre parcel adjacent to College Rock.
- $30,000 for boundary markings for land that is owned by the Conservation Commission and managed by the Open Space Preservation Committee.
- $5,000 for trailhead parking at the Ash Street trailhead by Elmwood Farm.
- Two requests for amounts to be determined to purchase parcels at and to the south of Berry Acres.
- $5,000 to add bridges and boardwalks in Berry Acres, west of the Chamberlain Street extension, at Legacy Farms South and at the trail entrance at the northwest end of the rail bed.
- $60,000 for additional benches and shade structures at the dog park.
- $350,000 for outdoor space improvements by the Hopkinton Housing Authority.
- $40,000 for preliminary trail engineering study for the Western Route Trail.
- $48,400 for preliminary trail studies to determine where trails would be appropriate from Hopkinton State Park, traveling south through Legacy Farms North and concluding at a town-owned parcel at 53 East Main Street.
Weismantel noted that any items that were turned down this year can reapply in future years without prejudice. He said he will be presenting the requests before the Capital Improvement Committee on Monday at its 6 p.m. meeting.
The CPC hearing was continued until the next meeting on Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. Materials will be presented by applicants in the meantime to supplement approved requests.