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Uplands Shut Out for Community Preservation Money

Nine projects could get a chunk of the nearly $2 million in CPA funds.

Supporters of proposals to purchase a parcel of silver maple forest known as the Uplands on the Belmont/Cambridge line slated to become a 299-unit apartment complex will not be receiving financial help from the town's Community Preservation Act as both preliminary applications to dip into the fund were denied in the first round of reviews.

Floyd Carman, Belmont's treasurer and a member of the Community Preservation Committee, said both applications were rejected by the entire committee as each – one brought by the town and the other by resident Anne-Marie Lambert – lacked specifics in the amount each would seek.

The greatest roadblock to the Upland applications was that "there is no financial deal on the table so how do we know how much we could provide," said Carman.

The 13 applications, which ranged from community housing, historic preservation, open space and recreation, were initial proposals of interest by town departments and residents seeking to dip into the $2 million fund the town established after voters approved two years ago next month a 1.5 percent surcharge to property taxes.

Carman said in this first round, the committee were more interested in the proposal than a final dollar request as they examined each to determine if they met standards for funding.

In the case of replacing Town Hall windows, the committee felt the project should be brought to the Capital Budget Committee then the CPA.

In the next round, the applicants will be required to give a best estimate on the funding required. Yet the CPA is unlikely to fully fund any one project, hoping the money will help generate dollars from other sources.

Community Preservation Preliminary Applications Projects Approved Applicant Preserving/digitizing Belmont's vital records Ellen Cushman Town Hall's Concord Avenue door remediation Kevin Looney Underwood Park (a new pool) Peter Castanino Irrigation improvements at Rock Meadow Gardens Mary Trudeau Landscape plan for walking path at Clay Pit Pond Mary Trudeau Building survey/investigation of the Homer House Susan Smart Electric service upgrade/underground wiring Donna Hamilton Comprehensive cultural resources survey of Belmont Lisa Harrington Joey's Park Rehabilitation Ellen Schreiber Projects Rejected Uplands Land purchase David Kale Reservation of funds for Belmont Uplands acquisition Anne-Marie Lambert Town Hall window replacement Kevin Looney Affordable housing creation fund Alisa Gardner-Todreas

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