The Community Preservation Committee will deliberate over the proposed projects for 2023, and vote on which ones to recommend to the City Council for final approval.
The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) makes recommendations on how to spend the funds raised after Watertown passed the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in 2016. The money can fund projects in multiple areas: historic preservation, affordable housing, and open space and recreation.
In February, the CPC heard six proposal for projects to be funded. On Thursday, March 30, at 7 p.m. the Committee will discuss the proposals and vote on recommendations. The meeting will be conducted remotely (see below for information for how to participate).
Historic Preservation Projects
Commander’s Mansion Cultural Landscape Report and Exterior Assessment: The City of Watertown applied to do the project at the historic mansion on the former Watertown Arsenal grounds that is now owned by the City. The first phase would feature recommendations for a preservation treatment plan and rehabilitation along with recommendations for potential uses for the historic site.
Old Burying Ground and Common Street Cemeteries Preservation Plan: The Historical Society of Watertown applied to do a survey of two historic cemeteries in Watertown. The Old Burying Ground is located at the intersection of Mt. Auburn and Arlington streets, and the Common Street Cemetery is next to Watertown High School, at the corner of Common and Mt. Auburn streets. Many items would be addressed by the cemeteries historic preservation plan, including fencing, gates, tombs, gravestones, access, soils, vegetation, trees as well as recommendations for future maintenance, according to the meeting minutes.
Edmund Fowle House Museum Gutters Replacement: The house, built in 1772, is one of the oldest in Watertown and has historic significance. The project would replace existing wood gutters with fiberglass molded gutters to provide the same appearance and meet historical standards. The new gutters would catch more storm water and the existing downspouts would have the capacity to drain the greater volumes of water.
Affordable Housing Project
103 Nichols Avenue Project: The Watertown Housing Authority is requesting $175,000 of CPA funds for predevelopment work to create a 5-unit Facilities Consolidation Fund/Department of Developmental Service group home on the site of a vacant, WHA owned property. Beaverbrook STEP would provide $50,000 to the project if the CPC granted funding. Beaverbrook STEP provides adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the housing services, clinical supports, health care, employment and social activities.
The Community Preservation Committee heard about a proposed project to renovate Saltonstall Park. Also a propsal for climate control at the Edmund Fowle House will be heard at a later time. That project will not be presented at this meeting, but they DPW is hoping to present it in May, said Community Preservation Coordinator Lanae Handy.
Last year the Council approved the first two Community Preservation projects, the rehabilitation of Irving Park and the restoration of two historic paintings in the lobby of Watertown City Hall.
The public can join the March 30 virtual meeting on Zoom at: https://watertown-ma.zoom.us/j/91525442843 Participants can also join by phone: (877) 853-5257 or (888) 475-4499 (Toll Free); enter Webinar ID: 915 254 42843 #