Community Preservation Committee to hold annual hearing Thursday

Jay Vinskey, City Planner for Westfield

WESTFIELD – The Community Preservation Committee will hold its annual public informational hearing on Thursday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 201, City Hall, 59 Court Street.
City Planner Jay Vinskey said the annual hearing is to gauge the interest of what people want the committee to do with the Community Preservation Act funds. “It’s to give guidance to the committee to focus their efforts on one place or another,” Vinskey said.
The places he referred to are the four areas where CPA funds may be used: Open Space, Historic Resources, Community Housing and Recreational Land.
New funding for FY2019 in these categories is anticipated to be $65,000 in Undesignated & Recreation, $22,000 in Historic, $50,000 in Open Space, and $50,000 in Housing. These amounts will be added to the unspent balances in the same categories: $808,193 in Undesignated & Recreation, $52,937 in Historic, $52,937 in Open Space, and $248,932 in Housing.
Immediately following the hearing will be the quarterly meeting of the committee, to review new and pending applications, and the status of recommended or funded projects.
Vinskey said the Rail Trail is requesting another $90,000 in CPA funds for the Central Downtown project, which is slated to begin construction in the summer.
The Landlord Fowler Tavern, which received $28,000 to recreate its historic doorway in October, is asking for another $180,000 for more historic restoration to its exterior. Both requests will be reviewed at the meeting. In addition, outstanding historical restrictions on previously funded projects including Athenaeum accessibility, the YMCA Mansion, and the Stowe House will be discussed. Also discussed will be the status of work at the Hotel Bismark.
The Community Preservation Committee was established in 2003, following a public referendum which adopted the Community Preservation Act. The revenues generated from the CPA surcharge of 1% on property tax bills (which enables supplemental state funding not available to non-CPA communities) is used to acquire and preserve land for open space and recreation, preserve and restore historical resources or support community housing. The Committee reviews applications and recommends the expenditure of CPA funds for qualified projects, which are subject to Mayoral endorsement and a City Council appropriation vote.
The Westfield Community Preservation Plan is available at the city’s website at under the Community Preservation Committee.

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