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Chatham Town Office
549 Main Street,
Chatham, MA 02633

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Community Preservation Committee Minutes 9/21/2009
Community Preservation Committee
Thursday, September 21, 2009 - 4:30 pm
Community Center Club Room
Chatham, Massachusetts

Committee Members Present:  Victor DiCristina, John Kaar, Bob Oliver, Ira Seldin, Carol Scott, Cynthia Small and Joanne Taylor
Committee Members Absent:  Bob Denn, Jordan Popkin

Others present:  David Oppenheim, Nat Mason, Sue Nickerson, Gloria Freeman, Frank Messina, Norm Pacun, Nancy Geiger, and Jennifer Petit

John Kaar called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm.  

Item 1.  Additions to the Agenda

John Kaar noted that Frank Messina would introduce some information regarding possible future applications for historic preservation.  He also indicated that the order of the agenda would be changed to accommodate Jennifer Petit’s schedule.  

Item 2.  Minutes:  

Minutes of the August 3, 2009 meeting were approved without changes.
Minutes of the September 3, 2009 meeting were approved with one change:  Page 4 – change “when” to “which”

Item 3.  Project Status and fund Update – Jennifer Petit

Jennifer Petit distributed financial information regarding current project status.  She reviewed the form, noting amounts remaining and closed projects:
        Marconi Maritime Center $4,500 remaining
        Chatham Housing Voucher $16,500 remaining
        Affordable Housing Consultant   $15,435 remaining
        RFP – Marconi Site      $27,000 remaining
        Railroad Museum closed out; 0 remaining
        Housing voucher Program $30,700 remaining
        Open Space Acquisition  $23,992 remaining – ongoing
        First Time Homebuyer    $30,000 remaining
        Veterans Field Playground       closed out; 0 remaining
        Golf Course Tee Access  0 – cancelled due to SJC decision
        Archaeological Survey   $3,000 remaining – ongoing
        Marconi Site Building Preservation      $484,732 remaining – ongoing
              This project should be completed in the next month.  It is expected to be under budget and money remaining will be returned to the CPC general fund.  
        Conservation Land Management    $23,800 remaining – RFP on hold, awaiting hiring of new conservation agent
        Conservation Land Public Access $15,266 remaining
        Homebuyer Assistance    $125,000 remaining.  This program has been advertised but current limit of $60,000 per unit has made it unworkable at this time.
        FY 08 Administrative Costs      closed out; 0 remaining
        Technical Assistance for Affordable Accessory Apts.     $60,000 remaining
        Digitizing Historic Documents   closed out
        Training Field Interpretive Sign        $1,000 – on hold awaiting new Conservation Agent
        Historic Property Survey        $45,450 remaining.  This project is partially complete; awaiting new RFP for phase II.
        Affordable Housing Trust Fund   0 remaining - $250,000 transferred to Trust
        Emergency Generator     0 remaining – generator purchased
        FY 09 Administrative Costs      closed out; 0 remaining
        Transfer to General Fund        $324,000 – debt service
Jennifer Petit will prepare a report showing returned to the CPC fund from closed projects.  

Other financial information was reviewed including the community Preservation Fund Report which was sent to Mass. DOR.   This showed a total fund balance of $2,056,131.18 on June 30, 2009.  Encumbrances on this report totaled $906,000, leaving a balance of $1,081,000 to be appropriated by June 30, 2010.  

Jennifer Petit also discussed the FY 11 Estimate of Funds, noting that there is not yet a commitment from the state regarding the match percentage.  For this reason, the town has estimated a 0 match from the state – taking a very conservative approach – with the result that FY 11 shows an estimated revenue of $645,000.  

Item 4:  Old Business

A.      St. Christopher’s window restoration – John Kaar announced that St. Christopher’s Church has withdrawn its application.  Bob Oliver made the following motion, seconded by Carol Scott:  That the decision to withdraw the application be accepted by the CPC and the item be removed from the Warrant at the upcoming special Town Meeting.  

        The motion passed by unanimous vote.  

B.      Nathan Harding House “Conditions.”  Jennifer Petit said that she would like to clarify one of the “conditions” regarding the Nathan Harding House warrant article and warrant explanation.  She has spoken to Bruce Gilmore, Town Counsel, about the condition that CPA funding would reduce the selling price, dollar for dollar, to the CCCHFA.  However, to simplify, it has been suggested that the Purchase and Sale Agreement indicate that the sale price will be reduced by the amount of the CPC grant, if approved at Town Meeting.  The Warrant Article will be prepared to reflect this.    

        There was brief discussion about whether the historic preservation project should be tied to a specific purchaser (CCCHFA) and whether this condition was appropriate.  David Oppenheim distributed copies of the draft P&S stating that it is being reviewed and is expected to be signed by both parties prior to Town Meeting. He added that he understands the following conditions voted on at the previous CPC meeting:  
  • That the barn will be replicated, although it is not part of the CPC historic preservation project
  • That the house will have an historic preservation deed restriction
  • That “public access” will be ensured through a view easement
  • That the P&S will contain a clause stating that the CPC funding ($185,136) will reduce the sale price, dollar for dollar, to the purchaser.  
        He added that the CCCHFA has the right to cancel the P&S if CPC funding is not approved at Town Meeting.  

        Norm Pacun addressed the committee, asking several questions about this project:  
        (1)  Who will enforce the historic preservation restriction?  John Kaar indicated that the HBDC would have oversight over this project; it has not yet been determined who will “hold” the deed restriction.  Norm Pacun suggested that it would be important to know this prior to Town Meeting.  

        (2)  How will it be determined/enforced that Department of Interior Historic Preservation Guidelines are used for the restoration?  John Kaar indicated that CPC administrative funds will be used to hire a consultant who will approve the final appearance/restoration of the house.  There will be no money exchanged until this approval is obtained.  

        (3)  Will any unspent funds be returned to the CP fund?  John Kaar indicated that no funds are actually expended until the project is completed and then only those funds expended by the builder are reimbursed.  This is primarily an accounting function.  

        (4)  If the barn is not part of the project, could it be removed or altered in the future?  John Kaar responded that as the barn is not part of this project, there is no control over the barn in the future.  

        (5)  What is the basis of the cost estimates?  John Kaar reported that cost estimates were obtained from the architect and builder and were discussed at a previous meeting.  Both the developer and representatives of CCCHFA have indicated that they have confidence in the estimates and that they feel the estimates are based on good knowledge and experience for this type of project.  

Item 5:  Upcoming Presentations

John Kaar reminded the committee of upcoming presentations:
Board of Selectmen on September 22 at 4 pm
Finance Committee on September 24 at 7 pm in the Library
Special Town Meeting on September 30 at 6:30
Item 6:  New Business

A.  Senate Bill 90:  John Kaar distributed an explanation of this bill which is intended to address several CPA-related issues:  
  • A matching “floor” of 75%
  • Extending funding to recreational projects NOT purchased with CPA funds
  • Allowing towns to generate revenue in new ways or by voting funds from general revenues
John Kaar indicated that the CP Coalition is seeking support for this bill and has requested support at a September 29, 2009 Public Hearing at the State House.  Information about this bill and support requests are included on the CP Coalition website.  

John Kaar distributed a draft support letter for all to read.  A motion was made by Joanne Taylor, seconded by Victor DiCristina, that the support letter be sent to the Community Preservation Coalition.  The motion passed by unanimous vote.  

Copies of the letter will be send to Rep. Sarah Peake and Sen. O’Leary.  

B.  Chatham Historic Commission possible future projects:  Frank Messina reported on several possible projects being developed by the CHC and others:  

Restoration of the Chase Park Windmill - This windmill is no longer operating and in need of repair. A goal is to have it operating and open for public visitors by the town’s 300th anniversary in 2012.  

Coast Guard Boathouse – The boathouse is now being stored in Quincy.  Chatham Bars Inn has indicated a willingness to have it located on its beach property adjacent to the Fish Pier.  The boathouse could be used by many community groups for a myriad of purposes including:
        Railway restoration making boat repairs easier and quicker
        Pleasant Bay Community Boating – for rainy day classes and winter storage
        Cape Challenge Sea Scouts – storage of its 30’ boat
        Coast Guard Heritage Museum
        Chatham Schools – educational programs and wet lab

Conservation/Preservation Deed Restrictions – There was additional discussion of enforcement and funding issues for deed restrictions.  This will be included on a future meeting agenda.  

Item 7:  Committee Calendar

John Kaar distributed a new committee roster and meeting schedule.  

Item 8:  Correspondence

John Kaar noted that post cards have been received regarding National Archive Month.  A celebration will be held on October 9 from 5 – 7 pm at the Atwood House.  
Additional Discussion:  There was brief discussion of committee member roles as representatives of various town commissions as well as discussion of how “conditions” are included in various projects.  This is done primarily by including the conditions in the contracts prepared by the Town.  Ira Seldin asked if the committee would see the wording of the Nathan Harding House historic preservation restriction prior to it being finalized.  

Item 7:  Adjournment
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6 pm.  

Marie Williams
Notes by Marie Williams