With just over $1 million in available funds and $ 2.3 million in applications, Community Preservation Committee (CPC) members will decide where to best spend this year’s Community Preservation Act funds.
Co-chairman Patti B. Haney said the committee received 13 proposals, which is not a record number, but may be the most dollars ever solicited in a funding cycle.
The CPC received proposals for projects in three of the four categories that Community Preservation Act funds can be spent: community housing, historic preservation and recreation. Although they did not receive any open space proposals, about 70 percent of CPC funds are already dedicated to repaying previous land bank obligations.
Committee members vote at the end of August on their recommendations for the fall Town Meeting. In the meantime, the committee will ensure the applications are complete and eligible for CPC money, and will evaluate and prioritize them based on a set of established criteria. Each applicant will get a chance to pitch their project in front of the board in July.
Recreation represents the largest category of requests, with $1.4 million being sought for four projects. The bikeways committee is asking for 41 new bike racks; the recreation department wants new tennis courts in West Falmouth; the department of public works (DPW) wants new fencing for schools and ball fields, and the most costly proposal was submitted by the town for a new irrigation system at Falmouth Golf Course costing $800,000.
Ms. Haney said the irrigation application came as a surprise to her when she learned of it just over a week ago.
Committee member Peter L. Clark asked why they haven’t been building up capital dollars to replace the aging system.
Projects to be considered in the historic preservation category are new doors for the West Falmouth United Methodist Church; gravestone restoration at Oak Grove Cemetery; fixing the Village Green fence; mold remediation at the Woods Hole Public Library; renovating the West Falmouth Library; and funds for three small projects at Highfield Hall and Gardens. Historic preservation applications total $461,000.
The DPW wants $321,000 to revamp the town landing on Old Dock Road in West Falmouth, which is considered to be both a recreation and historic project.
The affordable housing category received far fewer applications, only two in fact, to replenish the Falmouth Housing Authority’s stabilization fund and for materials to build a new Habitat for Humanity home on Galleon Drive that together equal $100,000. The committee earmarked $329,000 for housing projects.
In other news, Dr. Clark, after nine years on the committee, said his good-byes at last Thursday’s meeting. He fulfilled three consecutive three-year terms, and according to Falmouth bylaw, must retire. He may re-apply after one year off, but he said he was not sure yet if he plans on returning.
“We really deal with important issues in this committee, and I will miss that,” he said. He also commented on the committee’s dynamic, stating that even when they disagreed, they “remained respectful of one another.” The town library’s IT manager, Peter D. Cook of Ridgeview Drive, will fill his seat.