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Community Preservation Committee
Contact TypeContact Information
Contact:
Director
Senior Planner
Address:
141 Keyes Road
First Floor
Concord, MA 01742
Phone:
978-318-3290
Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.



 
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Additional Links:
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Members as Appointed by their respective Boards and Commissions
Name
Designated By
Term Expires
Bouzha Cookman, Chair
Board of Selectmen
2017
Dorothy Ortner, Vice Chair
Board of Selectmen
2019
Joe Vlacovsky
Board of Selectmen
2018
Paul Mahoney, Secretary
Board of Selectmen
2016
Geoffrey Taylor, Treasurer
Historical Commission
2017
Linda Escobedo
Housing Authority
2017
Greg Higgins
Natural Resources Commission
2016
John Cratsley
Planning Board
2016
Peter Ward
Recreation Commission
2017
 
 

Community Preservation Committee
2016 Meeting Schedule
(updated 12/15/15)
Date
Time
Location
Monday, January 25
7:30 P.M.

1st Floor Conference Room, 141 Keyes Road

Wednesday, February 3
Finance Committee Public Hearings
7:00 P.M.

Town House Public Hearing Room
22 Monument Square

Tuesday, February 16
7:30 P.M.

2nd Floor Conference Room, 141 Keyes Road  

Monday, March 7
7:30 P.M.

2nd Floor Conference Room, 141 Keyes Road  

April 4-7
Annual Town Meeting
7:00 P.M.
Concord Carlisle High School,
500 Walden Street

Monday, April 11
7:30 P.M.

1st Floor Conference Room, 141 Keyes Road  


Monday, May 9

7:30 P.M.
1st Floor Conference Room, 141 Keyes Road



 2016 Annual Town Meeting Community Preservation Act Funding Recommendations

The Concord Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is pleased to announce its recommendations for Community Preservation Act funding at Concord’s 2016 Annual Town Meeting.  At its meeting on December 7, the CPC voted to recommend full or partial funding for 14 of 17 applications submitted.  Funding requests totaled over $5M while available funds totaled $1,480,844.  In accordance with the state CPA statute, a minimum of 10% of the available funds has been allocated to projects in each of the three categories of Community Housing, Historic Preservation and Open Space.  The remaining funds have been distributed between the above three categories, the Recreation category, and existing reserve accounts for future use.  All of the recommended projects must be approved by vote of Town Meeting before any funding can be released.
The CPC evaluated each project in accordance with the criteria established in the Town’s Community Preservation Plan at a series of meetings in October and November, and conducted a group site visit to each of the represented properties on October 17.  The Committee presented the applications for public comment at a public hearing on November 23 and spent the last two meetings completing a final review of all the proposals.  With these assessments in mind, the CPC completed its review and approved the following funding recommendations:

COMMUNITY HOUSING RECOMMENDATIONS:

Regional Housing Services Program, Town of Concord: $17,500 to fund the Town’s membership in the Regional Housing Services Office, an inter-municipal organization that provides professional housing staff for the administration of Concord’s affordable housing programs and six neighboring communities.   

Affordable Housing Buy Down Program, Concord Housing Development Corporation - $120,000 to establish an account that can be used as needed to preserve existing affordable housing units and/or create new affordable housing units. These opportunities often come up with little warning and this fund will allow the Town to act quickly when needed.   

Community Housing Reserve Fund - $82,500 to be placed in an existing reserve for future Community Housing projects and/or land acquisitions.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION RECOMMENDATIONS:

Emerson Umbrella Window Restoration, Umbrella Community Arts Center - $138,250 to restore 100 original wood windows located on the front and side facades of the original ca. 1929 former high school.  This work will restore original building fabric and improve the building’s energy efficiency by adding new wall insulation and double paned glass in the restored windows.  This is part one of a phased project.

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Roadway and Stone Wall Improvements, Concord Public Works - $225,000 to complete much needed repairs and improvements on the roadways, paths and stone retaining walls found throughout the national register listed historic ca. 1855 cemetery.  The project will preserve the historic landscape by correcting erosion damage, upgrading stormwater management systems, and repairing/replacing failing roads and pathways.  This is part one of a phased project.

Wheeler Harrington House Preservation, Town of Concord - $40,000 to complete repairs and improvements on Concord’s only Town owned historic residence and one of the oldest structures in West Concord, the ca. 1745 Wheeler Harrington farmhouse. This project will further preserve this unique Town resource by replacing its roofs, repairing damaged masonry and roof framing, and replacing inadequate rainwater drainage systems.  

New Church Main Entrance Steps Restoration, New Church in West Concord - $12,000 to restore the original front steps of the ca. 1903 Queen Anne style church, former Our Lady’s, located at the heart of West Concord in the Church Street Local Historic District.  The proposed work will repair and replace broken stair treads and restore the original brickwork surrounding the staircase.  As part of this funding the church will provide some use benefit to the town.

OPEN SPACE RECOMMENDATIONS:

Old Calf Pasture Habitat Restoration, Town of Concord Division of Natural Resources - $36,000 to continue work to restore the native habitat in the Old Calf Pasture Town Conservation area.  This project is a continuation of the successful 2013 CPA funded project to remove invasive Buckthorn and preserve the regions’ largest population of Briton’s Violets.   

Gowings Swamp Access and Improvements, Concord Children’s Center and Sudbury Valley Trust - $14,100 to complete a three year plan to remove invasive plants from the Gowings Swamp area and better preserve this unique wetlands ecosystem.  The work will also include improving publically used pathways surrounding Gowings Swamp and the Natural Playscape at Ripley.

OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION RECOMMENDATIONS:
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Phase 2C, Town of Concord - $125,000 to complete the 100% design plan for the Rail Trail’s course through Concord.  This funding will be used to complete the designs for the section of trail beginning at Commonwealth Avenue and ending at the Sudbury Town line.  The Town continues to work in cooperation with the Mass. Dept. of Transportation to complete this project.

White Pond Restoration Project, Town of Concord Division of Natural Resources - $166,000 to implement recommendations made in the recently completed White Pond Watershed Maintenance Plan.  The proposed work will complete the design, planning, and installation of new erosion controls on the Town land surrounding Sachem’s Cove and at the State owned public boat launch.  A sampling program also will be conducted to identify additional sources of pollution.
RECREATION RECOMMENDATIONS:

SS Concord Bell Memorial, Rotary Club of Concord - $50,000 to replace the existing seating area adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial in Monument Square with a new memorial space and seating area dedicated to the USS Concord Bell. The last USS Concord served from the 1920s through WWII and has the distinction of having fired the last salvo of WWII.  The bell was presented to the Town after the ship was decommissioned in the 1940s.  This plan includes removal of the current deteriorating billboard and leaning/broken streetlight.  

Drinking Water Fountains for Concord Playing Fields, Concord on Tap and Town of Concord - $24,494 to install six new drinking water fountains at local playing fields that  currently lack such facilities.  The new fountains will have water bottle filling capacity and are proposed tobe installed at fields adjacent to the Alcott, Ripley, Sanborn, Thoreau, and Willard schools and at the South Meadow Playing Field.

Fields Renovation Project at Concord Carlisle High School - Phase III, Concord Carlisle at Play, Inc. - $150,000 for the construction of a new natural grass, multi-purpose field in the area adjacent to the Doug White playing fields.  This is the last phase of a three-phase project to renovate and restore the High School playing fields.

OPEN CATEGORY RECOMMENDATION:

Land Acquisition Project Fund, Town of Concord: $250,000 to be placed in an existing reserve account for future land purchases which support the Town’s efforts to create additional community housing, protect open spaces, preserve historic resources and/or establish new recreation facilities.

These recommendations will be presented by the CPC in a warrant article for approval at the 2016 Annual Town Meeting.  The Committee will also be presenting the projects for further review and discussion to the Finance Committee at their public hearings on February 3.  Copies of the project applications are available at the above link.


The Community Preservation Act in Concord

WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT?

Established under M.G.L. c. 44B, the Community Preservation Act (CPA) allows Massachusetts cities and towns to raise monies through a surcharge of up to 3% of the tax levy on real property.  These funds can be used to acquire, create and preserve open space; acquire, preserve, rehabilitate or restore historic resources; acquire, create, preserve and support community housing; and acquire and preserve land for recreational use.  The Act also includes a significant State matching fund, which provided $27.2 million in matching funds to CPA communities last year and over $414 million to those communities to date.  In addition to Concord, 148 cities and towns across the state have adopted the CPA to date.  

HOW IS THE CPA USED IN CONCORD?

At the 2004 Annual Town Meeting and subsequently at the polls, Concord residents voted to adopt the CPA with a 1.5% surcharge on all real estate property tax bills.  There are two exemptions, however, to this surcharge:

  • The first $100,000 of taxable value of residential real property
  • Residential property owned and occupied by any person who qualifies for moderate- or low-income housing (earning less than 80% of Area Median Income), or low or moderate-income senior housing (earning less than 100% of Area Median Income and are 60 years of age or older).
The CPA mandates that each fiscal year Concord must spend, or set aside for later spending, at least 10% of the annual revenues in the Town of Concord Community Preservation Fund for each of the three CPA interests: community housing, historic resources, and open space.  Beyond these required allocations, Concord Town Meeting decides, based on the CPC’s recommendations, how much of the remaining 70% of the funds should be spent on the three purposes identified above or for recreation. The spending mix for the remaining 70% of the Fund can be modified each year, and any monies not appropriated remain in the Fund for future distribution.  

WHERE DO THE CPA FUNDS COME FROM?

The funds available for spending each fiscal year are a combination of three sources:

  • Projected Fund Revenues for the Upcoming Fiscal Year – Projected fund revenues are made up of the funds collected from the 1.5% surcharge on all real estate property tax bills and the State matching funds collected from existing surcharges on all real estate transactions at the Registry of Deeds and Land Court.  These funds are termed as “projected” because the final numbers are not available until October of each year. In 2014, Concord received a 31.46% match from these State funds, thanks in part to recently passed legislation at the State level which added surplus State funds to the CPA Trust Fund.  State funds have added $4,395,995 to the Town’s CPA fund since its inception.
  • Undesignated Fund Balance – These are funds which were collected in previous years but never allocated. Where did this money come from? Usually an undesignated fund balance represents either unanticipated additional interest received on CPA fund accounts or the receipt of more State matching funds or surcharge tax revenues than were originally anticipated.
  • Reserve Funds - These are funds which were approved at previous Town Meetings to be set aside for future projects in Community Housing, Historic Preservation, and/or Open Space.  At present, the Town has $73,257 in the Community Housing Reserve Fund; $15,000 in the Historic Preservation Reserve Fund; $69,716 in the Open Space Reserve Fund and $150,826 in an undesignated Land Acquisition Fund.     
What does the surcharge really mean to Concord taxpayers? The Assessor’s Department has calculated that in FY15, the median home in Concord had an assessed value of $732,600.  After subtracting the CPA exemption for the first $100,000 of the taxable value of a residential property, and multiplying this number by the recommended FY15 tax rate of $14.29 per $1000 of value, the median tax amount is $10,469.  The 1.5% surcharge, then, for the median homeowner in Concord is $136.


Concord’s Community Preservation Committee

Following Concord's 2004 adoption of the Community Preservation Act, the Board of Selectmen established the Community Preservation Committee (CPC). As specified in the enabling legislation, the Committee is charged with the task of "studying the needs, possibilities, and resources of the town regarding community preservation." The areas of study are open space, community housing, historic preservation and recreation. The Committee is required to consult with town boards and commissions to ascertain the needs of the community and hold at least one public informational meeting per year. Finally, the Committee is to solicit applications for CPA projects and after review present funding recommendations to the citizens at Concord's Town Meeting.

The first task of the Committee was to write a Plan, which was completed in 2005 and has been reviewed and updated each subsequent summer.  It includes the following sections:1) The CPA in Concord; 2) How CPA Funds can be Used; 3) Needs Assessments for Community Housing, Historic Preservation, Open Space, and Recreation; 4) General Selection Criteria; 5) Application Process; 6) Guidelines for Submission; 7) Application Requirements; 8) Application; 9) Funding Process and ten Appendices. The 2012 Community Preservation Plan is available on this webpage, at the Town libraries, and in the Planning Department at 141 Keyes Road.

In writing the Plan, the Committee received input from the Town's boards, commissions and officials.  They also utilized the most recent Comprehensive Long Range Plan, the Open Space and Recreation Plan and the Playground Study.  The Committee continues to update the Plan each year to meet the changing needs of the community.   

(Updated May 13, 2015)








 
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