Meeting to review Community Preservation Act proposals in Phillipston

Phillips Free Public Library in Phillipston. The town’s Community Preservation Committee will review a proposal to spend $47,900 for repairs to the library’s floor at a meeting on April 11.

Phillips Free Public Library in Phillipston. The town’s Community Preservation Committee will review a proposal to spend $47,900 for repairs to the library’s floor at a meeting on April 11. FILE PHOTO BY GREG VINE

By GREG VINE

For the Athol Daily News

Published: 04-09-2024 5:00 PM

PHILLIPSTON – The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is inviting residents to a public meeting this Thursday, April 11, to discuss projects the committee would like to fund in the year ahead.

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the former Phillipston Memorial School, 20 The Common. Any expenditures proposed by the CPC must, under the rules of the Community Preservation Act (CPA), be approved by voters at Town Meeting.

The four projects recommended by the committee include $5,625 for the construction of a shed for the Phillipston Community Garden; $47,900 for repairs to the floor at the Phillips Free Public Library; $30,000 for a design for a revitalized town common; and $30,000 for the restoration of windows on the east side of the Congregational Church.

The total cost for all four projects comes to just over $113,000. The town has accrued nearly $1.5 million in CPA funds since voters approved its adoption in 2007.

The amount being sought by the CPC for work on the Phillips Free Public Library is based on an estimate provided last November by Art Leray General Contracting of Winchendon. The project calls for lifting and strengthening the floor library.

After occupying two previous locations, according to the town’s website, the library was relocated to the former Schoolhouse #1, built in 1790. Earlier this year, the Selectboard voted to hire the engineering firm Tighe & Bond to undertake a full structural assessment of the building.

The CPC lay dormant for several years, in part due to the COVID pandemic. Last year, the town’s Selectboard appointed several new members to the committee, which began reviewing funding requests late last year.

The CPA is funded through a 3% property tax surcharge. The first $100,000 of a property’s value is exempt from the surcharge. Properties belonging to low-income households or low- to moderate-income senior households are also exempt. Local revenues are matched by a variable statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund. Funds can be used solely for the preservation of open space, historic preservation, creation or maintenance of recreational facilities and community housing.

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Greg Vine can be reached at gvineadn@gmail.com.