| Danielle Eaton
SPRINGFIELD – The Community Preservation Committee in Springfield is encouraging people to think of ways to improve their neighborhood through the Community Preservation Act funding.
To help people better understand what the act is, how to apply for funding and what types of projects are accepted for recommendation to the Springfield City Council the committee will be hosting two informational sessions.
Chair of the Community Preservation Committee Bob McCarroll told Reminder Publishing, “We want the CPA to be as user friendly as possible, we want people who have ideas to come to either of the sessions.”
While the act has only been in effect in Springfield for “two funding cycles,” McCarroll said a variety of projects have been proposed and funded during that time.
“There have been 26 CPA projects funded,” he said. Examples of funded projects include playgrounds, historic building renovations and the addition of walking trains near Venture Pond.
He explained while anyone can propose a project, there are specific requirements about what types of projects can be funded by the act.
Project funding has to be used in the following ways:
McCarroll said while there are unlimited possibilities for proposed projects, “The committee has said they’d love to see things that enhance waterfronts and make them usable for recreational use,”
One of the most recent projects that was funded was a study to see how a dog park could potentially fit into the scheme of Springfield. McCarroll said, “We were pleased to see residents, councilors and the Thomas J O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center looking into that.”
McCarroll emphasized that the committee simply makes recommendations to the city council regarding which projects they believe should be funded, but they do not make the final decision.
The informational meetings will take place on Feb. 11 and March 3. The February meeting will take place at the East Forest Park Library Community Room on 136 Surrey Rd. in Springfield. The March workshop will take place at the Wesley United Methodist Church on 741 State St. in Springfield. Both meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The deadline to submit project proposals is April 1. From there, McCarroll said they will meet with those who submit project proposals, vote on their recommendations around the middle of summer and then send them to the city council. From there, the Springfield City Council will make their decisions and let applicants know if their project was funded in the fall.
Those looking for more information, directions on how to apply and to download the application can visit https://www.springfield-ma.gov/finance/index.php?id=community-preservation.