Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Citizens' Forum on the Use of Historic Town Buildings

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) in collaboration with Newport Collaborative Architects (NCA) will offer a citizens forum to gather ideas for the uses for 4 municipal buildings. The forum, a “visioning session,” will take place at the Senior Center on Wally Kruger Way at 6:30 PM on Monday February 25, 2008. Light refreshments will be provided and craft/drawing activities for children will be available in the meeting room. Transportation can be provided by calling the contact information below.

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) was adopted by Bridgewater in 2006 to preserve and restore historical structures and documents, preserve open space and provide for affordable housing. The fund is supported through a 2% assessment on personal property tax in Bridgewater which is matched by state revenues collected from assessments on all real estate transactions. For the past two years, the state fund has matched the Bridgewater fund at 100%. In addition to awarding grants determined through a competitive process, the CPC is able to bond against future revenues for larger purchases or projects. CPA projects are presented to the town at the spring Town Meeting. CPA funds are spent only after receiving town meeting approval.

At the 2007 spring Town Meeting, the Bridgewater citizens voted for the CPC to select an architectural firm to study the use, preservation and restoration of the Academy Building, the former McElwain School building, the Memorial Building and the Town Hall. NCA was chosen in early December 2007 after a competitive bid process and has met with town department heads, boards and committees to determine their office and meeting space needs. Now it is an opportunity for residents to contribute on February 25th.

CPC chair, Marilee Kenney Hunt says, “We are thrilled to be working with NCA. They have a stellar portfolio of historical preservation and restoration projects. We are excited to receive their report and begin the real work of preserving and restoring Bridgewater’s treasured buildings. Resident feedback will play a critical role in determining how our central business district takes shape.”

Please contact the CPC with questions or to provide ideas if you cannot attend the February 25th session at marilee@thehunts.org or phone (508-697-3681).

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