Present for the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) and attending the meeting were: Pam Goff, Chairman, Andy Goldman, Warren Doty, John Eisner, Jane Slater and Chuck Hodgkinson. Also attending were Heather Quinn, Nick Briggs, Posie Haeger and Philippe Jordi. Bill Rossi, Allen Healy and Tim Carroll were absent.
The meeting came to order at 6:00 PM. Ms. Goff welcomed all of the guests and opened the public hearing at 6:01 PM. With no one other than the people seeking Chilmark CPA funds in attendance Ms. Goff asked each to briefly summarize their request. She explained all CPA articles under consideration are for the April 25, 2016 Annual Town Meeting.
Philippe Jordi, Island Housing Trust (IHT): Mr. Jordi summarized he has submitted a regional application to all six Towns seeking a cumulative total of $700,000 CPA Affordable Housing Funds to purchase approximately 6-acres of land in Tisbury and design a rental apartment project at Keune’s Way in Tisbury. Approximately $100,000 of the total CPA requests will be used for design costs. The IHT has already purchased the land and will use the money to reimburse itself. The plan is to raise an additional $7 million in grants to construct 22 affordable apartments for qualified residents with a maximum of 60 percent of county median income. The apartments will be two and three bedroom units and designed as the Sepiessa units in West Tisbury. Chilmark’s 10 percent share of
the CPA requests is $70,000.
The Committee asked if a permanent affordable housing deed restriction has been placed on the IHT property. Mr. Jordi said the deed restriction won’t be placed on the deed until it raises the $7 million for construction. If IHT is not able to raise the needed funds it may decide to sell the property on the open market – without any affordable deed restrictions. The Committee said if it recommends this project it will not release any funds until proof of filing the affordable deed restriction is provided. This deed restriction is also a requirement of CPA affordable housing fund use.
The Committee asked if any of the other Towns are receiving any “preferences” for some of the apartments – as Mr. Jordi stated at the last meeting Chilmark is not. Mr. Jordi said other Towns are investing much more than Chilmark. Mr. Goldman said if any other Towns received apartment preferences and Chilmark did not then it would be a misrepresentation to Chilmark voters. If one Town has a preference then all contributing Towns must have a preference. Mr. Jordi said “then no Towns will receive any preferences for any of the apartments”. Lastly, the Committee asked if any of IHT’s regional projects will be built in Chilmark. Mr. Jordi did not know.
With no further comment Ms. Goff thanked Mr. Jordi and invited Ms. Haeger to present her proposal.
Posie Haeger, Featherstone Center for the Arts; Oak Bluffs: Ms. Haeger thanked the Committee for its time and said she understands town council and the DOR do not think the project is eligible for CPA funds because the venue charges admission fees and therefore is not eligible for public funds. The Committee agreed with town council’s opinion, thanked Ms. Haeger for understanding and wished her good luck as she has other avenues to raise funds.
Ms. Goff invited Mr. Briggs to summarize his proposal.
Nick Briggs, MV Skate park Association; Oak Bluffs: Mr. Briggs explained the skate park is a private 501c3 that is funded by Oak Bluffs for trash removal and simple upkeep. He continued by saying this too is a regional application seeking a cumulative total of $200,000 CPA Park & Recreation Funds from all six Towns to fund the improvement and expansion of the skate park features--$22,260 of which is Chilmark’s share. He explained concrete ramps will be installed to replace the existing wooden ramps and several new features will be constructed. The Committee explained that no CPA funds may be used for operating expenses. Mr. Briggs assured the Committee the funds would only be used for construction. Chuck H. said town counsel advised this project
meets the eligibility criteria for CPA Park & Recreation funds. With no further questions Ms. Goff thanked Mr. Briggs and invited Chilmark School to present its proposal.
Heather Quinn for the Chilmark School: Ms. Quinn explained she is attending at Ms. Stevens’ request and admitted she is not very familiar with the project. Ms. Goff read the summary from the agenda. Ms. Quinn added that Ms. Stevens asked her to say the Community Center has committed $5,000 toward the cost thus lowering the balance being sought from CPA funds to $69,000. In discussion the Committee thought this is a capital expense for the school and should be included in the school assessment—rather than funded as a separate CPA fund request from the Town. There are significant facility repairs that have been deferred and need attention throughout the school system. These seem to take a priority and will also be reflected in Town assessments when they
are planned. With no further comment Ms. Goff asked Mr. Goldman to summarize the Housing Committee’s request.
Chilmark Housing Committee: Mr. Goldman said the Chilmark Housing Committee unanimously voted to request $75,000 of CPA Affordable Housing Funds to replenish the rent subsidy program. The program is managed by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority. The current balance will last to September 2016 at the current monthly cost and annual fee expense. He said the Committee has a policy to have at least six months of available funds for this program – should voters choose to not re-fund the program at annual town meeting. This will give the current recipients time to make alternative plans before the balance is completely drawn down.
FY 2017 CPA Reserve Amounts: Chuck H. said the Town received its matching fund commitment for FY 2015 of $138,547 (61.9 % match of the FY 2015 CPA committed tax surcharge). Aquinnah received $94,171 @ the 100 % matching rate. The matching rate of the other four island Town’s ranged from 38.2 % (Edgartown) to 47.5 % (West Tisbury). Chuck H. then reviewed the FY 2017 required 10 % reserve amount for Housing, Historic Preservation and Open Space of $32,287. The balance of $226,007 will go the Community Preservation Budgeted Reserve.
With no further public comment a motion was made to close the hearing at 6:43 PM. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.
Chuck H. reviewed all of the projected FY 2017 Reserve fund balances. In discussion the Committee considered the guiding policy it adopted two years ago of committing no more than 10 % of annual CPA revenue to non-Chilmark projects. This is about $33,000 for FY 2017. This policy was adopted when over 80 % of annual revenue was committed to regional projects or projects outside Chilmark. All were worthy causes and approved by Town voters. The Committee also agreed it does not need to spend all of the CPA revenue each year. For example, this practice enabled the Town to build the Middle Line Road Housing program by using over $1.7 million of CPA revenue.
Ms. Goff then asked for a recommendation on each proposal.
IHT Keune’s Way Apartments: Mr. Goldman thought the Committee should stay true to the 10 % regional policy this year and suggested allocating the entire ten percent ($33,000) to IHT’s project. This is lower than the requested amount of $70,000. He added since 2002 the Town has allocated approximately 56 % of all CPA revenue to affordable housing. This is below the target amount of 75 % and why he is suggesting all of the ‘regional funds” should go to a regional affordable housing program—with the aforementioned deed restriction contingency. A motion was made to recommend $33,000 of CPA Affordable Housing funds for the IHT project as proposed. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.
Rental Assistance: The Committee agreed this is a very important program that has been in existence since 2002. A motion was made to recommend allocating $75,000 of CPA Affordable Housing funds to replenish Chilmark’s rental assistance program. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.
Chilmark School: The Committee reiterated this type of project should be funded through the school budget, subsequent Town assessments and private fund raising. A motion was made to recommend $5,000 of FY 2017 CPA Park & Recreation funds for the proposed playground. The motion was seconded. In discussion it was agreed if approved by voters the funds would not be released until the complete project as specified costing $74,000 is fully funded. The $5,000 amount matches the Community Center’s commitment. The motion passed unanimously with five in favor.
MV Skate Park: The Committee discussed how this park is one of a few venues for island teenagers to enjoy and that Chilmark was one of the contributing Towns when it was originally built. Even though the ten percent regional guideline has been recommended for the IHT proposal the Committee thought this was a worthy project. A motion was made to recommend $5,000 of FY 2017 CPA Park & Recreation funds for this project. This is less than the request for $22,260. The motion was seconded. In discussion it was agreed this commitment could help Mr. Briggs raise additional private contributions. The motion came to a vote and passed unanimously with five in favor.
FY 2017 CPA Reserve Amounts: A motion was made to recommend the following FY 2017 reserve fund amounts: $32,287.00 for Open Space Preservation Reserve; $32,287.00 for Historic Resources Reserve; $32,287.00 for Affordable Housing Reserve; and $226,007.00 for the Community Preservation
Budgeted Reserve. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with five in favor.
The draft FY 2017 operating budget was reviewed. A motion was made and seconded to approve the budget as presented. With no further discussion the motion passed unanimously with five in favor.
The October 21, 2015 meeting minutes were reviewed and approved as presented by consensus.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM.
Respectfully submitted, Chuck Hodgkinson, CAS.