Upon the recommendation of the Somerville Community Preservation Committee, the Board of Aldermen approved more than $1.3 million in Community Preservation Act funding for 12 open space and historic preservation projects. This follows the previously approved recommendation to provide $880,416 to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in January. The funded projects will bring improvements to historic treasures in Somerville, including the Milk Row Cemetery and the Grace Baptist Church. The CPA will also support a new schoolyard for the Winter Hill Community Innovation School and designs for the Healey Schoolyard, Henry Hansen Park, Blessing of the Bay Park, and the Community Growing Center.
“We are thrilled that CPA funds will be able to increase the number of parks, playgrounds and other open spaces that we can help build or renovate as well as pay for major work on the Grace Baptist Church, which is both a historic landmark and the home of organizations that provide critical social services in our city,” said Community Preservation Committee Chairman Dick Bauer. “We appreciate the continued community support and input we received from members of the public and hope that the community is as excited as we are about these upcoming projects in addition to last year’s CPA-funded projects like the Community Path upgrades and Hoyt-Sullivan Playground renovations that are now coming to fruition.”
Including this year’s projects, the Community Preservation Act, which has received more than $12 million (including $1.8 million in matching funds from the Commonwealth) since its adoption in 2012, has supported a total of 43 affordable housing, historic resources, and open space/recreation land projects. As a result, 53 new units of affordable housing are being created, eight historic buildings and two historic collections are being preserved, five historic buildings are being made more accessible, and six open spaces are being improved.
“In three short years, we’ve already seen the power of CPA to help us meet our community goals of increasing affordable housing, preserving our rich history, and improving our open spaces,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Projects ranging from stabilizing Prospect Hill Tower and improving schoolyard garden classrooms in each of our community schools to converting Mystic Water Works into affordable housing are strengthening our community. I want to thank the Community Preservation Committee and Somerville residents for their input and recommendations on how to prudently spend this funding, and the Board of Aldermen for their support of CPA.”
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