Public Hearing Information

COMMUNITY PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

TOWN OF NEEDHAM, MASSACHUSETTS

 

PROPOSALS UNDER REVIEW FOR SPECIAL TOWN MEETING

OCTOBER 2020

 

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) invites all interested parties to a public hearing on the following projects that have been included in the October 2020 Special Town Meeting Warrant.  The public hearing will be held on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 7:30 PM Via Zoom – Webinar Link: 878 3685 5280.   The CPC welcomes the input to assist in their deliberations.  A decision on whether the CPC will recommend each of the projects will be made prior to them being presented to Town Meeting.  To view the applications, please go to www.needhamma.gov/CPC  Please send questions in advance to CPC Staff Liaison at clustig@needhamma.gov..


FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH – NEEDHAM FRONT PORCH PRESERVATION & RESTORATION
The First Baptist Church is requesting $126,233 for the historic preservation of the street facing front porch and columns. This request was recently amended to $90,200. The First Baptist Church is on the Town’s historic register and has historic significance to the Town of Needham. The front porch of First Baptist Church in Needham is a prominent and identifying feature of the Great Plain Avenue streetscape. The First Baptist Church was originally located on the corner of Highland Avenue and Great Plain Avenue and was moved to the current location in 1928. Dr. Samuel Francis Smith, the author of “America”, was the pastor at First Baptist Church from 1866-1873 and 1877-1880.  The requested funds will help restore the historic capstone, steps, and landing of the front porch, the porch columns, architectural detailing around the roof line and of the porch façade, as well a cornice piece on the east wing of the church. 

FIRST PARISH CHURCH – STEEPLE PRESERVATION
The First Parish Church is requesting $75,000 for the historic preservation of the steeple. The First Parish Church is on the Town’s historic register and has historic significance to the Town of Needham. The steeple houses a historic Paul Revere Bell that still rings on special occasions. The First Parish Church is Needham’s oldest public building and hosted Needham’s original Town Meeting and still hosts community events throughout the year. The requested funds would help preserve the steeple to ensure continued protection of this historic building.

NEEDHAM COMMUNITY FARM – GROWING BED AREA EXPANSION
The Needham Community Farm is requesting $6,200 to expand the growing area of the community farm to enhance the current recreational growing beds. Needham Community Farm offers community gardening classes, public volunteer participants and community activities and supplies fresh produce to the Needham Food Pantry and Needham Housing Authority sites. The requested funding would result in approximately a 20% increase in growing area.

 CLAXTON FIELD LIGHTS & SKIN RENOVATION – DESIGN
The Parks and Forestry and Park and Recreation Departments are requesting $101,500 to design two key improvements to Claxton Field. The current fields were constructed on a closed landfill that was not properly graded due to the site conditions, settling of materials, and age. The requested funds to the Town would focus on key improvements to the design of the fields at Claxton and the field lighting. The first part of this design project would involve removal the existing skins and evaluating the conditions, and design amendments and grade improvements as necessary to prevent future puddling after heavy rains and reduce field closures. The second part of this design project would address upgrading the field lighting system to more energy efficient lights and evaluating the lighting needs of the field and make recommendations for improvements. 

RESURFACE SYNTHETIC TRACK AT DEFAZIO FIELD
The Parks and Forestry and Park and Recreation Departments are requesting $160,000 to resurface the track at the DeFazio Field. Parks and Forestry Superintendent and a consultant evaluated the synthetic track at DeFazio and determined there was delamination. If funded, this proactive capital improvement, along with basic maintenance, could extend this life of this track by approximately 10 additional years, thereby delaying a full replacement.

 NEEDHAM EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Needham Affordable Housing Trust is proposing to establish a short-term emergency rental assistance program for qualifying Needham renter households who have suffered a reduction in income due to the pandemic. Participation guidelines would restrict eligibility to households with incomes at or below 80% of area median income (AMI), with a preference given for those at or below 50% AMI. Applicants must provide documentation of income reductions due to Covid-19. The program will cover 50% of a household's monthly rent with a maximum monthly assistance of $2,000 for three months of payments. The Program would be administered by a non-profit housing organization responsible for accepting applications, determining eligibility, selecting beneficiaries, entering into agreements with participants and landlords, disbursing checks to landlords, and providing regular reporting on progress.