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Community Preservation Committee members heard appeals for funding from five of 11 applicants on Jan. 30.
Over the next few weeks, CPC members will be considering requests for funds for the rehabilitation of the Westford Academy Track ($350,000), the construction of the Day School playground ($100,000), the replacement of siding and windows at the Sargent School affordable housing facility ($100,319), a field expansion at the American Legion Athletic Complex ($220,000), and the repair of a wall at the Fairview Cemetery ($50,171).
In all, 11 applicants are seeking Community Preservation funds for a total of $6.9 million in requests, for the fiscal year that begins July 1. According to Jesse Beyer, administrator, the fund balance is $3.68 million, including $2.7 million in undesignated funds.
After hearing from all the applicants over the next few weeks, CPC members will bring their recommendations to selectmen. Voters at the March annual Town Meeting will be asked to approve the allocations.
The Westford Academy project is estimated to cost a total of $772K. Last year’s annual Town Meeting allocated $350K in CPC funds toward the resurfacing of the track and the construction of a perimeter fence. Together with a second allocation of $350K in CPC funds from the upcoming annual Town Meeting, project leaders would have $700K in hand, but still need another $72K to complete the work. WA Principal James Antonelli recently announced the launch of a GoFundMe.com campaign and noted that other funds could come from local advertising and in the form of a donation from the WA Trustees.
“The project has gone to bid and we should be receiving cost estimates within the next few weeks,” stated Antonelli.
Day School Playground
The total project is estimated to cost $171K. The Day School Playground Development Committee, led by retired Day School Principal Kevin Regan, has raised about $45,000 so far. In addition to the CPC application seeking $100K, the committee has requested the same amount form the Capital Planning Committee, knowing that if both requests are granted, members would be required to return some funds. But even with an infusion of $100K from either funding source, the committee has another $30K to raise. Earlier this winter members launched a Buy-a-Brick campaign with projected revenues of $9,400. Another $25K in grants, if successfully secured, would top off the fundraising campaign, according to the budget provided by the committee to the CPC.
“We’re hoping to install the new playground no later than September of 2018,” said Regan.
Sargent School Affordable Housing Complex
Paul Teixeira, executive director of the Westford Housing Authority, is seeking $100K in CPC funds to replace a wooden ramp at the Sargent School. The historic building was converted to affordable housing and is now home to seniors and disabled residents. The building’s siding and windows will also be replaced with other committed funds from the state ($221K) and the town’s Housing Authority ($30K). The total project cost is approximately $330K, said Teixeira.
“The CPC funds had been earmarked for historical preservation and the ramping to the front entry of the building,” he stated.
American Legion Athletic Complex
Members of the Parks and Recreation Commission, led by Chairman Kacy Caviston, is seeking $220K in CPC funds to cover the cost of plans that would redesign the entire complex. According to the application, the goals for a redesigned complex are to make use of land not being used, improve handicapped accessibility, improve emergency vehicle access, and provide increased recreational capacity. The commission is not seeking funds from any other sources.
Fairview Cemetery Wall
The Westford Cemetery Commission along with Assistant Town Manager Eric Heideman are seeking $50K to repair a granite wall along Main Street at the Fairview Cemetery that is leaning toward the road. The wall is part of a family tomb, according to the application. The project would require two police details for five days and the cost of hiring a monument company to fix the wall.
Where the money comes from
CPC funds come from a 3 percent property tax surcharge plus state matching funds.
The next CPC meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Millennium Building.