Boston City Councilor At-Large Michael F. Flaherty recently held a hearing of the Boston City Council’s Community Preservation Committee, in his role as Chair of the committee, to review and recommend the passage of the appropriation of $24,309,000 in FY20 Community Preservation Fund revenues. The City of Boston’s Community Preservation Committee recommended these funds be used to support 40 projects across the city. This year $15,750,000.00 will be used to support 9 affordable housing projects; $3,440,000 for historic preservation projects; and $5,119,000 for projects focused on the creation and preservation of recreational use and open space projects.
Following a very productive virtual hearing on Tuesday May 5th with testimony from project advocates, neighborhood leaders, and representatives from the City of Boston, Councilor Flaherty is prepared to recommend passage of all 40 projects at the amounts designated by the Mayor. “I was pleased with the quality of the applications we received this year. Each and every project we reviewed was fully deserving of funding,” said Councilor Flaherty. “Community Preservation Funds are all about making sure residents have a voice in the betterment of their communities and I am confident that each of these projects will go a long way towards improving the quality of life in our City.”
The Community Preservation Fund was created upon the adoption of the Community Preservation Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 44B in November 2016. In just three rounds of funding to date, over $67 million has been awarded to 131 projects spanning across every neighborhood of Boston. Councilor Flaherty is proud of the success of this program thus far, having taken a leadership role in the campaign alongside the Yes for a Better Boston Coalition for its passage by popular vote in the City of Boston in 2016 and as the Chairman of the City Council’s Community Preservation Committee since its inception. Many projects from earlier rounds of funding are at or nearing completion and have had a transformative effect on their neighborhoods already.
Among these 40 projects are three historical preservation projects in Boston City Council District 1, two projects in Charlestown, and one in East Boston totaling $820,000. In Charlestown, these funds will contribute to a sprinkler relocation project at the USS Constitution Museum to ensure that this cultural resource is available for generations to come, as well as critical roof repairs to the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center which offers early education, Head Start, and a range of crisis response, anti-poverty services to low-income families and seniors. In East Boston, these funds will contribute to the purchase and acquisition of the Donald McKay House, which will become the new home of the East Boston Museum.
“In district one, I’m thrilled to see CPA funds utilized for critical investments in historical preservation. Congratulations to both the Kennedy Family Services Center and the USS Constitution Museum for their respective grants to renovate vital learning environments for local children in Charlestown”, said District One Councilor Lydia Edwards. “Thank you to the CPC for it’s $600,000 award to buy, preserve, and renovate the Donald McKay House in historic Eagle Hill to be utilized as the East Boston Museum. We are thankful to the East Boston Museum and Historical Society, the EBCDC, and generations of activists who worked tirelessly to make this a reality. East Boston is one step closer in securing space for a museum that celebrates our neighborhood’s rich history.”
“These historic preservation projects are important to keeping our communities connected to places that reflect the rich histories of Charlestown and East Boston”, said Councilor Flaherty. “As our City grows and changes, it’s important that we preserve spaces where we can honor our history and build and continue to serve our communities.”