Watertown Community Preservation Plan Released, Committee Wants Public’s Reactions

A shot of the cover of the Community Preservation Committee’s Draft Five Year Plan, released in late April. Watertown has several million dollars to spend on projects to acquire land for open space and outdoor recreation, create affordable housing and preserve the Town’s historic structures and resources. The Committee that will make recommendations on how to spend the money recently released a draft of the plan that will guide which projects will get funded. Last week, the Community Preservation Committee made the draft of a five-year plan available for the public to read (see it here). The Committee wants to know what Watertown residents think about the plan, and will host a meeting on May 20 at 7 p.m. to gather input.

LETTER: Why We Need More Trees in Watertown

The Washington Post yesterday included an article about how climate change is worsening right now during the pandemic. It is not stopping for us to fight the pandemic or for anything else. Despite a temporary clearing of smog, the writer says, “the romantic vision of nature “healing” itself was always an illusion … carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are the highest they’ve been in human history, and possibly higher than in the past 3 million years. The specter of man-made climate change looms all the more ominously over a planet in the grips of a viral pandemic.” The authors go on to talk about “giant plumes of Saharan dust that wafted over the Atlantic …

Public Invited to Help Create Principles for Watertown’s Community Preservation Process

The Community Preservation Committee is determined not to let the COVID-19 pandemic slow progress toward awarding the first set of projects, but before that can happen they have some work to do and are seeking the public’s help to do so. The next step is a Webinar on Tuesday, June 30 from 6-7 p.m., which is being held in lieu of the second public forum. (See more information about the webinar and how to register below). In January, the group had a public forum to hear what types of projects residents want to see the Community Preservation funds used on. They also did an online survey and held focus groups in March just before for the shutdown, and had planned a second public forum in April but that had to be cancelled, said Lanae Handy, the Community Preservation Coordinator.

Watertown Cable Show Finds Out the Latest with the Community Preservation Committee

In the latest episode of Watertown Cable show Inside Watertown, Elodia Thomas, second from right, and Lanae Handy (right) joined hosts John Airasian, left, and Charlie Breitrose to talk about the Community Preservation Committee. Two people deeply involved in Watertown’s Community Preservation Committee were the guests on the latest episode of Watertown Cable’s Inside Watertown. Elodia Thomas, chair of the Community Preservation Committee (CPC), and Lanae Handy, the CPC’s Community Preservation consultant, joined co-hosts Charlie Breitrose and John Airasian at the Watertown Cable Studio, recently. They talked about the latest happenings with the group who recommends how the town’s CPA funds are spent. The CPC recently held its first public forum (see video here), where attendees learned about what the CPA funds can be spent on, and then had the chance to gave ideas for projects they would like to see in Watertown.

Community Preservation Committee Wants to Hear from Public

The following information was provided by the Community Preservation Committee:

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) in Watertown raises funds through a 2% percent surcharge on local property taxes and a variable annual distribution from the MA Community Preservation Trust Fund. There are four eligible project funding categories: community housing; open space; outdoor recreation; and historic preservation. It is mandated that 10% of funds generated annually must be designated to each category. Please note funding for open space and recreation is a combined category. Up to 5% may be used for administration and the remaining 65% may be allocated among the project categories.

Community Preservation Committee Invites Public to Interactive Forum

The Community Preservation Committee invites the public to find out more about the Community Preservation Act during an interactive public forum. Attendees can share their ideas to help the CPC plan to spend the CPA funds on affordable housing, open space/recreation, and historic preservation. The event will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 from 7-9 p.m. at Tufts Health Plan, in the Mt. Auburn Rooms North & South, 705 Mt.