The Longmeadow Community Preservation Committee (CPC) held a public hearing on January 23 at the Community House to hear citizen's comments regarding the proposed 2012 CPA projects.
There were only ~ 10 people in attendance (in addition to committee members) which is surprising given that there is approximately $1 million in the CPA funds for possible allocation to approved projects (see --> http://bit.ly/z6cm2m )- A large portion of this CPA money comes from Longmeadow property tax revenue.
There were a number of supporters (including myself) speaking in favor of the Storrs House Restoration and Preservation Project ($150K) jointly proposed by the Longmeadow Historical Society and the Storrs Library.
Some of the other public comments centered around a couple of the proposed projects (Community House Heating Plant Replacement, Community House Sewer + Driveway Upgrade and Town Hall Sewer Lateral Replacement) that appeared to be town maintenance issues that should be addressed by the town.
Question: If these maintenance projects are not considered by the town to be high priority items and fail to meet the town's approved capital project list, why should the money be spent out of CPA funds?
When the public hearing was concluded, all but one member of the public left.
The CPC then started deliberations for each project. Here are the results....
1. Residential Home Modification Fund- $48K, APPROVED with some changes in procedure
2. Community House Heating Plant- $125K, TABLED for discussion at next meeting. Need for additional project specifics.
3. Tree Funding- $500K, TABLED for discussion at next meeting. Possible legal issue with using CPA funds for this purpose.
4. Community House Sewer/ Driveway Repair- $58.5K, APPROVED
5. Center School Gymnasium Esplanade- WITHDRAWN BY APPLICANT
6. Town Hall Sewer Repair- $13.1K, APPROVED
7. Preservation of Town Records- $10.1K, APPROVED
8. Storrs House Restoration and Preservation- $150K- TABLED for discussion at next meeting- need for additional information + some committee members felt it was too much money at one time and advocated a staged approach.
9. American Legion Building Upgrades- $29.7K, APPROVED
The Storrs House represents an important historical landmark and is a depository of historical documents and artifacts for the town of Longmeadow. From my vantage point it is a perfect example of how CPA funds should be allocated as compared to fixing sewer laterals for the Town Hall and Community House facilities.
I strongly urge the CPC to approve the Storrs House Restoration project as proposed at their next meeting so that it can be passed by town voters at the upcoming Annual Town Meeting on May 8.
Town residents can show their support for this project by sending email to the Community Preservation Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org