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Community Preservation Committee Minutes 01/24/2011
Community Preservation Committee

Monday, January 24, 2011 - 4:00 pm
Community Center Meeting Room
Chatham, Massachusetts


Present:  John Kaar, Chair, Victor DiCristina, Ira Seldin, Jane Moffett, Carol Scott, and Joanne Taylor
Absent: Jordan Popkin, Cynthia Small

Others Present:  Barbara Cotnam, Valerie Foster

Item 1:  Additions to the Agenda

Victor DiCristina has information for the committee regarding the scheduled review with the Board of Selectmen.     

Item 2:  Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the January 10, 2011 meeting will be reviewed and approved at the next meeting.  

Item 3:  Old Business

John Kaar reported that two applications have been withdrawn:
  • John Hawes Homestead.  Victor DiCristina reported that Bob Bensen had withdrawn the application to avoid any controversy regarding public funds being used in a private restoration project.  
  • West Chatham Underground Utilities.  John Kaar reported that an opinion from the Town Attorney (that the project was not appropriate for CPA funding) had resulted in the withdrawal of this application.  
Item 4:  New Business

Marconi Area Recreation Proposal.  John Kaar reported that the Town Attorney and the Department of Revenue have both indicated that funding this project with CPA funds was not appropriate.  There was brief discussion about Senate Bill 90 which has been proposed to change CPA restrictions regarding the development of recreational facilities on property not purchased with CPA funds.  Barbara Cotnam asked if the Town Attorney had seen an article (distributed at an earlier meeting) regarding a project being developed in Sandwich.  John Kaar indicated that the Town Counsel had seen that article and did not agree with the interpretation of the law being used to allow that project.  

John Kaar indicated that it is important to advocate for passage of SB90.  Barbara Cotnam added that Rep. Sarah Peake will be co-sponsoring that bill in the new legislative session.  

Barbara Cotnam noted that the Board of Selectmen has approved a walking trail and removal of some invasive plants in the subject area.  

Cedar Street Conservation Area.  John Kaar reported that he has received an email from the Assistant Conservation Agent regarding a new cost estimate for the removal of invasive plants in the Cedar Street Conservation Area.  The application for funding will be amended to include the new cost estimate.  

Rental Assistance Program.  Valerie Foster provided information about the current and previous rental assistance programs which included the following:
  • The initial program assisted 21 families within a five-year time frame
  • Eight of these families purchased homes
  • The current program has assisted 24 families in a three-year time frame
  • The average rental assistance is $275/month per family
  • Emergency funds are available to assist with security deposits and first and last month rent
  • Most rents are below-market level; landlords are very cooperative in keeping rents low
  • The current application is seeking $239,720 and is expected to assist 24 families.
  • Demand for rental assistance remains high
  • The average rental assistance is expected to be $300 to $350/month
  • In-kind services are being provided by the Chatham Housing Authority
  • The units involved in this program do not count as part of Chatham’s 10% affordable housing goal
  • The rental units are all “legal” apartments.  Insurance documents, tax records and state sanitary inspections are required.
  • Average family size is 3 or 3.5; many are single parents with children
Valerie Foster agreed to solicit a letter of support from the Affordable Housing Committee.  

CPC Discussion/Approval Procedure.  John Kaar indicated that the CPC will discuss and vote on applications on February 7, 2011.  At this time there are three projects to be considered:
Chatham 300 Steering Committee’s request for funding for historical markers
Conservation Commission’s request for funding to improve the Cedar Street property
The Chatham Housing Authority’s request for funding to continue the rental assistance program

John Kaar estimated that there will be $800,000 available to fund these programs.  

Annual Report to the Board of Selectmen:  Victor DiCristina reported that the CPC review with the Board of Selectmen has been scheduled for March 15, 2011.  


Item 5:  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.  



Marie Williams
Notes by Marie Williams