LETTER: Framingham Historical Commission Unanimously Supports Framingham Community Preservation Act Ballot Question

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FRAMINGHAM – The members of the Framingham Historical Commission would like to express their emphatic support for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and its adoption here in Framingham. This is a vital tool for historic preservation in Massachusetts, one that our community has not been able to make use of since the legislation was passed in 2000. We urge all Framingham residents to vote this November in support of adopting CPA in Framingham.

We consider CPA to be such an important tool for a community that it was our number two recommendation in our 2016 Historic Preservation Plan, after public outreach. We supported the efforts of the CPA Study Committee established by the City Council this past year, and voted unanimously in support of their final report recommending adoption. And at our October 14 meeting, we voted unanimously to support the adoption of CPA in Framingham.

We have seen a number of projects in recent years that would have been ideal CPA historic preservation projects. The accessibility upgrades to Village Hall, the restoration of a mile marker at Buckminster Square, and the restoration of veterans’ tombs at the Old Burying Ground would have been excellent ways to use historic preservation CPA funds to preserve our community’s history. In contrast to these completed projects, the Saxonville Athenaeum has been standing unused for many years. Restoring that building using CPA funds would return a significant public meeting space to the Saxonville neighborhood. In addition to historic preservation projects, we see the value that additional funding for open space, recreation, and affordable housing can provide our community.

With a 1% surcharge and a number of exemptions, CPA will amount to a $50 yearly tax increase for most homeowners in Framingham, a small price to pay to support valuable projects throughout the community.

We have watched for 20 years as some of our neighbors have made effective use of CPA funding in their communities. Ashland, Southborough, Sudbury, and Wayland have all had CPA for a number of years and have been able to more fully support historic preservation efforts in their communities. We
encourage Framingham voters this November to support CPA, and to support the preservation of our community’s history and historic assets.

Signed, members of the Framingham Historical Commission
Paul F. Silva, Chair
Frederic Wallace, Vice-Chair
Lewis Colten
Lynne Damianos
Susan Kennedy
Thomas Schuetz
Kevin Swope

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