COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

 

MINUTES OF MARCH 12, 2002 MEETING

 

 

1) In attendance: Dorothy Kibbe, Sheila Thompson, Ceci Melville, Noreen Couture, Jim Morris, John M. Flynn, John D. Flynn, Doug Boyd

 

2) The meeting was called to order at 7:35 pm. The minutes of the January 28, 2002 meeting were reviewed and accepted with the usual typographical corrections.

 

3) Dorothy Kibbe reported that the Town Clerk had received notice from the Office of the Attorney General confirming the AG's acceptance of the action taken at the Fall 2001 Town Meeting. Reportedly, the vote of Town Meeting to remove the "eminent domain" authority from the Community Preservation Act, as adopted by the town in the Annual Town Meeting in April of 2001, will be accepted by the AG. Written confirmation of that action is expected shortly.

 

4) The CPC received the following reports from the CPC members representing specified community groups:

 

A) Sheila Thompson reported on behalf of the Conservation Commission that there is a meeting of the Community Preservation Coalition to be held in Worcester on March 16,2002 which might be of benefit to the CPC. She further reported on a web page for the Community Preservation Press which contains information of potential interest to the CPC. Lastly, she reported that the Conservation Commission briefly discussed a proposal advanced by Sherry Himmelstein on behalf of the Hampden Land Project (HLP) and currently had no position on the proposal.

 

B) Noreen Couture reported on behalf of the Historical Commission that the Community Preservation Act (CPA) had been discussed at their last meeting. It was the recommendation of the Historical Commission that a portion of the CPA funds be dedicated to improvements in the town cemeteries; specifically improvement to historical gravemarkers and surrounding grounds.

 

C) Ceci Melville reported on behalf of the Housing Authority that, due to the shortness of time, the Housing Authority currently had no suggestions of specific projects for consideration by the CPC.

 

D) John D. Flynn reported on behalf of the Planning Board that the Planning Board had no current suggestions for consideration by the CPC.

 

E) Jim Morris reported on behalf of the Parks and Recreation Department that the issue of additional open space for recreation purposes had been discussed by the members of the Parks and Recreation Department. Discussions ensued as to whether CPA funds could be expended for recreational use and it was the consensus of the CPC that CPA funds could be expended for acquisition of property for recreational use as long as the funds were not used to develop the recreational activities.

 

5) John M. Flynn raised the HLP proposal for acquisition of land off of North Road which borders on Memorial Park. Discussion ensued as to the appropriateness of diverting a, substantial portion of current and future revenues to a single project. It was agreed by  the CPC to schedule a further meeting and invite a representative of the HLP to attend and make a brief presentation.

 

6) The Chair reported there is currently $10,384.69 in the CPA fund resulting from the August 2001 and February 2002 tax collections. It is anticipated the Commonwealth will disburse CPA funds on or about October 15, 2002. There was discussion as to whether the CPC was required to make a recommendation to Town Meeting in the current fiscal year. It was agreed that Doug Boyd would contact Town Counsel and request an opinion as to the necessity of placing an article on the warrant for the Special Town Meeting.

 

7) The CPC set a special meeting for March 21, 2002 at 7:00 pm to consider the proposal of the HLP.

 

8) The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm

 

Respectfully submitted

 

Douglas Boyd.