Community Preservation Committee
CPC Funding Recommendations for the 2017 Annual Town Meeting
At its meeting on Monday, December 5, the Concord Community Preservation Committee (CPC) unanimously voted to recommend full or partial funding for 12 of the 15 applications submitted this year for Community Preservation Act funding at the 2017 Annual Town Meeting. This year, the CPC had the difficult task of deciding how to recommend the $1,561,731 between the 15 excellent projects which totaled nearly $2.8M in requested funds. The Committee has spent the last few months working on how best to recommend the available funds, with the understanding that a minimum of 10% of the available funds must be allocated to projects in each of the three categories of Community Housing, Historic Preservation and Open Space. The remaining 70% of the available funds may then be distributed between those three categories, Recreation projects, and/or reserve accounts for future use. It is important to note that the CPC’s review is to recommend projects for funding, but it is Town Meeting that makes the final decision.
The CPC is pleased to announce that the following projects have been recommended for CPA funding in 2017:
COMMUNITY HOUSING RECOMMENDATIONS:
Regional Housing Services Program, Town of Concord - $18,000 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 seven neighboring communities.
Junction Village Affordable Assisted Living Development, Town of Concord - $350,000 representing the first of three anticipated requests for CPA funding to cover $1 million of the Town’s contribution to the new entirely affordable housing development. The Concord Housing Development Corporation and the Grantham Group are developing the 83 unit, fully affordable assisted living complex on former State land in West Concord.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION RECOMMENDATIONS:
Emerson Umbrella Window Restoration, Phase II, Umbrella Community Arts Center - $101,000 to complete the restoration of the original windows in the ca. 1929 former high school building. The remaining 42 windows will be fully restored with double paned glass, new insulation and hardware to both restore the original building fabric and improve the building’s energy efficiency.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Roadway, Drainage and Stone Wall Improvements, Concord Public Works - $300,000 to complete the final phase of road reconstruction, stone wall repairs, and drainage improvements throughout the historic ca. 1855 site. This work preserves the historic landscape by correcting erosion damage, upgrading stormwater management systems, and repairing/replacing failing roads and pathways.
Systems Replacement Project, Concord Museum - $170,000 to replace the obsolete mechanical and electrical systems in the Concord Museum’s original ca. 1930 Little building. This work will create a stable physical environment to ensure the long term preservation of the Museum’s permanent collection of nationally significant Concord based artifacts.
Climate Control Project, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House - $100,000 to replace the failing temperature and humidity control systems in the ca. 1690s structure with a new environmentally sustainable system. This new system is necessary to preserve both the materials on display in the nationally significant structure as well as the building itself.
Timothy Wheeler House Historic Structure Report, Concord Home for the Aged - $15,000 to complete an Historic Structure Report for the ca. 1750/1851 Greek Revival structure which has served as the home for this organization since its founding in 1887. This report will look into the history of the building, explain its development over time, assess its current conditions, and make recommendations for its future preservation efforts.
OPEN SPACE RECOMMENDATIONS:
Re-Planting Trees at the Natural Playscape at Ripley, Concord Children’s Center - $6,000 to replace nine trees in the Natural Playscape that were destroyed during the recent tornado. The trees are part of the natural pathway on the site and are integral to its design and landscape.
Open Space Reserve Fund - $120,000 to be placed in a reserve account for future open space category projects.
OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION RECOMMENDATIONS:
Chamberlin Park Bridge Replacement, Town of Concord Division of Natural Resources - $19,340 to complete the survey and engineering services necessary to design and permit a replacement footbridge through Chamberlin Park in Concord Center. The existing bridge links the Park on Lowell Road with the Keyes Road parking area and crosses the Millbrook and its surrounding wetlands.
Concord Integrated Preschool Playground Initiative, CIPS Parent Group and Concord Children’s Center - $105,000 to construct a new universally accessible playground at the Ripley School. The Playground is intended to be a community resource that complements the Natural Playscape, playing fields, and Gowing’s Swamp access already located on this site.
Rideout Playground Improvement Project, Concord Recreation Department - $46,000 to construct a new picnic pavilion at the center of the Rideout Playground in West Concord. This work is part of the Recreation Department’s ongoing program to update and diversify the current recreational amenities in West Concord.
OPEN CATEGORY RECOMMENDATION:
Land Acquisition Project Fund, Town of Concord - $180,000 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.
The Committee will also be presenting these projects for further review and discussion at the Finance Committee’s Public Hearings on February 28, 2017. Copies of the project applications can be found in the link on the left side of this page.
|Member||Nominated By||Term Expires|
|Dee Ortner, Chair||Select Board||2019|
|Barbara Pike, Vice Chair||Select Board||2018|
|Bouzha Cookman, Secretary||Select Board||2017|
|Geoffrey Taylor, Treasurer||Historical Commission||2017|
|Linda Escobedo||Housing Authority||2017|
|Greg Higgins||Natural Resources Commission||2017|
|John Cratsley||Planning Board||2018|
|Peter Ward||Recreation Commission||2017|
|Monday, January 9||7:00 p.m.||1st Floor Conference Room
141 Keyes Road
|Tuesday, February 22||7:00 p.m.||Town House
Public Hearing Room
22 Monument Square
|Tuesday, February 28
Finance Committee Public Hearings
|7:00 p.m.||Town House
Public Hearing Room
22 Monument Square
|Wednesday, March 22||7:00 p.m.||1st Floor Conference Room
141 Keyes Road
|Tuesday, April 18||7:00 p.m.||1st Floor Conference Room
141 Keyes Road
|Monday - Thursday
April 24 - 27
|7:00 p.m.||Concord Carlisle
500 Walden Street
|Monday, May 15||7:00 p.m.||1st Floor Conference Room
141 Keyes Road
|Monday, June 12||7:00 p.m.||1st Floor Conference Room
141 Keyes Road
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 $36.29 million in matching funds to CPA communities last year and over $542 million to those communities to date. In addition to Concord, 156 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:
1) 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 or November of each year. In 2015, Concord received a 29.65% 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 $4,698,417 to the Town’s CPA fund since its inception.
2) 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.
3) 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 $155,757 in the Community Housing Reserve Fund and $826 in an undesignated Land Acquisition Fund.
WHAT DOES THE SURCHARGE MEAN TO CONCORD TAXPAYERS?
The Assessor’s Department has calculated that in FY17, the median single family home in Concord has an assessed value of $819,400. Using the FY17 tax rate of $14.07 per $1,000 of value, the median tax amount will be $11,528.96. To calculate the median CPA surcharge, first subtract the CPA exemption for the first $100,000 of the taxable value of a residential property, then multiply the remaining number by the recommended FY16 tax rate of $14.07 per $1,000 of value, which in this case is $10,121.96. The 1.5% surcharge, then, for the median homeowner in Concord is $152.