Springfield Community Preservation Committee undergoing CPA process

SPRINGFIELD – The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is reviewing 25 applicants for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding.

The CPC approves funding for the CPA on an annual basis, with the creation of the act assisting projects that help preserve the character of the community. This year, the Committee received 25 requests totaling $4,678,952. The amount awarded is commensurate with the funding and is expected to be about half of the amount requested, according to CPC Administrative Advisor Karen Lee.

The Springfield CPA is overseen by volunteer members who represent the City Preservation Commission, Historic Commission, Planning Board, Parks Commission, Springfield Housing Authority, Springfield Preservation Trust Inc. and three individuals appointed by City Council President Marcus Williams.

According to CPC President Robert McCarroll, the CPC has distributed more than $6 million in CPC funding to community projects over the past four years.

At the April 5 committee meeting, the group saw presentations of several different projects, including improvements to Marshall Roy Park, Venture Pond, restoration of the Godfrey Triangle, Myrtle Street Park, Merrick Park and at Hennessy Park. Each contestant gave a five-minute presentation about their project and their role in improving the community.

Among the notable projects, Kathy Brown of the East Springfield Neighborhood Council discussed Marshall Roy Park’s request for $68,516. After receiving funding from APC in 2021, Brown said the park’s proposed walking trail needs more financial support.

“Between the [coronavirus] pandemic and some additional design requirements, we find ourselves coming back asking you to see our excitement and know the neighborhood is extremely excited about this half mile path around Marshall Roy Field that will be a walking gem for locals of our neighborhood and beyond,” Brown said.

The East Springfield Neighborhood Council member also discussed a request for $120,000 to improve infrastructure at Marshall Roy Park.

Armory Quadrangle Civic Association President Betsy Johnson highlighted Merrick Park’s $250,000 proposal. Located near the Springfield Public Library and several housing redevelopment projects, Johnson said the land is currently unusable. She noted that the area lacks benches, American Disability Act requirements and other recreational facilities.

“We’re looking for something that will encourage library users to want to stop and read. [We also want] the library to have a space where they could even do some programming outside,” Johnson said.

Springfield Parks and Recreation Department members Christopher Seabrooks and Laura Walsh submitted the other CPA requests on behalf of the department.

The other CPA candidates will be presented at the CPC meetings on April 26 and May 3. Thereafter, the CPC will begin deliberations in June and submit its final recommendations to City Council in September.

Readers can view the full application process at https://www.facebook.com/SpringfieldCommunityPreservationCommittee.

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