Category Archives: Financial

Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA)

From:

  1. Richard DeSorgher (first),
  2. Norfolk Registrar of Deeds (second – Medfield paid in $166,440.00), and
  3. the Division of Local Services (DLS) newsletter this week –

===============================================

From: Richard DeSorgher
Sent: Monday, February 1, 2021 5:03 PM
To: Osler Peterson
Subject: Community Preservation Funds

Hi Pete,

 Hope you are well and staying safe during this most trying of times, especially as a town selectmen. I know you and I talked about the importance and common sense tax-saving ability adopting the Community Preservation Act would be for Medfield, so I am attaching the notice sent to me from the Registry of Deeds about the land document surcharges Medfield has forwarded to the Community Preservation fund; that sadly Medfield is missing out on but of which 186 other communities are taking advantage.

I was appointed to the Historical Committee down here in Mashpee and I have seen the advantage of those funds. Mashpee originally contributed 3% to the CPC funds. We have since reduced it by one percent, having a one percent surcharge instead go towards waste-water treatment in the town.

 We have approved through the Community Preservation funds a new war memorial for the town veterans, a community garden, a playground,  a dog park, a pickleball court (a sport I had never heard of before moving here),funding for low-income housing, money to preserve the Mashpee Parsonage, one of the oldest structures in town, preserving early town records, purchasing conservation land (a former bog), just to name a few in the short time I have been down here.

 It is such an important and money saving act that the town has adapted. 

Towns, like Medfield, are contributing to the system but are not receiving any of the benefits and instead must fund town projects at 100% instead of having the CPC funds to help lessen the taxpayers’ load.

I know I am preaching to the choir but just wanted to send along the Registry of Deeds letter in case you did not receive one and to give some re-enforcing support now that I have actually seen it in action.

 Stay well and thanks for all you and the town government does for the citizens of Medfield.

Richard 

WILLIAM P. O 'DONNELL
REGISTER OF DEEDS
ASSISTANT RECORDER OF THE
LAND COURT
Selectman Osler L. Peterson
Medfield Board of Selectmen
10 Copperwood Road
Medfield, MA 02052
Dear Selectman Peterson,
COUNTY OF NORFOLK
COUNTY O F PRESIDENTS
REGISTRY OF DEEDS
NORFOLK REGISTRY DISTRICT OF THE LAND COURT
January 20, 2021
The fees for the Community Preservation Act are set by the State Legislature on land documents
recorded here at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. I thought the chart on the reverse side would be
of interest to you. It provides an illustration of the funds generated by the Community Preservation Act
(CPA) in your community based on recorded real estate filings during the 2020 calendar year.
The Community Preservation Act was signed into law on September 14, 2000. Today there are
186 Massachusetts communities that have adopted this act. 16 communities out of the 28 communities
that make up Norfolk County have adopted the law. As of December 31, 2019, fees collected for the
Community Preservation Act were increased to $50.00 for most land documents recorded and $30.00 for
municipal lien certificates. The Registry of Deeds, at no additional cost to the Commonwealth or local
communities, collects these revenues once a land document is recorded and forwards the monies to the
Massachusetts Department of Revenue on a monthly basis. The funds forwarded to the Commonwealth
are then redistributed back to the communities that have adopted the Community Preservation Act.
The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds which is located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the
principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title
examiners, mortgage lenders, genealogists, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate,
accessible land record information. For assistance, please contact our Customer Service Center at (781)
461-6101 , or visit our website at www .norfolkdeeds.org.
1 hope you find this data to be informative and helpful. In the meantime, if I can be of assistance
to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 781-461-6116 or by email at
registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org. 2020 was certainly a challenging year and one we will not soon
forget. I wish you a happy and healthy 2021. Be well. Be safe.
WPO/rg
Sincerely yours,
~//frJP~
William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk County Register of Deeds
649 HIGH STREET. DEDHAM . MASSACHUSETTS 02026
TE L EPHONE : 781 -461-6 11 6 FAX : 781-326-4246
EM Al L : registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org
www.norfolkdeeds.org
I] facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds ~ twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds You(g youtube.com/NorfolkDeeds
linked fm linkedin.com/company/Norfolk-County-Registry-of-Deeds ~ @NorfolkDeeds
NORFOLK COUNTY REGISTRY OF DEEDS
COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT (CPA)
SURCHARGES BY TOWN FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2020
TOWN TOTAL
AVON $60,260.00
BELLINGHAM $219,660.00
BRAINTREE $400,235.00
BROOKLINE $478,050.00
CANTON $269,455.00
COHASSET $147,775.00
DEDHAM $288,320.00
DOVER $86,525.00
FOXBOROUGH $199,605.00
FRANKLIN $393,210.00
HOLBROOK $125,170.00
MEDFIELD $166,440.00
MEDWAY $158,550.00
MIUJS $117,615.00
MILTON $329,310.00
NEEDHAM $389,610.00
NORFOLK $155,295.00
NORWOOD $266,565.00
PIAINVILLE $102,095.00
QUINCY $731,850.00
RANDOLPH $279,160.00
SHARON $230,840.00
STOUGHTON $288,795.00
WALPOLE $314,670.00
WELLESLEY $312,495.00
WESTWOOD $189,110.00
WEYMOUTH $620,970.00
WRENTHAM $171,120.00

===============================================

Ask DLS: Community Preservation Act – Part 8

This month’s Ask DLS features Part 8 of frequently asked questions concerning the Community Preservation Act (CPA) and CPA funding for eligible open space projects. Additional questions about the CPA will be featured in future editions of City & Town. For Part 7 of the series, see the January 7, 2021 edition of City & Town. For additional information on the Community Preservation Act see Informational Guideline Release (IGR) 19-14. Please let us know if you have other areas of interest or send a question to cityandtown@dor.state.ma.us. We would like to hear from you.

In general, what community preservation projects are eligible for funding under the CPA?

There are three community preservation project or asset categories: (1) open space (including land for recreational use); (2) historic resources; and (3) community housing. These FAQs will discuss CPA funding for projects relating to open space.

What is the definition of “open space?”

“Open space”  is defined in G.L. c. 44B, § 2 to “include, but not be limited to, land to protect existing and future well fields, aquifers and recharge areas, watershed land, agricultural land, grasslands, fields, forest land, fresh and salt water marshes and other wetlands, ocean, river, stream, lake and pond frontage, beaches, dunes and other coastal lands, lands to protect scenic vistas, land for wildlife or nature preserve and land for recreational use.”

For what purposes may CPA funds be spent regarding open space?

The CPA clarifies allowable community preservation project expenditures through its definitions which are found in G.L. c. 44B, § 2. As a result, the CPA definitions should always be reviewed when determining if an expenditure is allowable.

Acquisition, creation, and preservation – CPA funds may be spent for the acquisition, creation, and preservation of open space.

“Acquisition” is defined in G.L. c. 44B, § 2 as “obtain[ing] by gift, purchase, devise, grant, rental, rental purchase, lease or otherwise.” ”Acquire” does not include a taking by eminent domain, except as provided under c. 44B.

“Creation” – There is not a specific definition of “creation” under the CPA; however, “creation” was defined by the court for CPA purposes in the case of Seideman v. City of Newton, 452 Mass. 472 (2008) to mean “to bring into being or to cause to exist.”

“Preservation” is defined under G.L. c. 44B, § 2 as “protection of personal or real property from injury, harm or destruction.”

Rehabilitation or restoration of open space – CPA funds may also be spent for the rehabilitation or restoration of open space; provided the open space was acquired or created with community preservation funds.

”Rehabilitation” is defined under G.L. c. 44B, § 2 as “capital improvements, or the making of extraordinary repairs, to historic resources, open spaces, lands for recreational use and community housing for the purpose of making such historic resources, open spaces, lands for recreational use and community housing functional for their intended uses including, but not limited to, improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal, state or local building or access codes; provided, that with respect to historic resources, ”rehabilitation” shall comply with the Standards for Rehabilitation stated in the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties codified in 36 C.P.R. Part 68; and provided further, that with respect to land for recreational use, ”rehabilitation” shall include the replacement of playground equipment and other capital improvements to the land or the facilities thereon which make the land or the related facilities more functional for the intended recreational use.

“Restoration” is not defined under the CPA and we are not aware of any cases defining “restoration” in the CPA context. In the absence of such an interpretation, we look to the usual and generally understood meaning of words from sources known to the legislature, such as use in other legal contexts and dictionary definitions. See Seideman v. Newton, 452 Mass. 472, 477-478 (2008). At webster-dictionary.org, “restoration” is defined as “the act of restoring or bringing back to a former place, station, or condition.”

What are some examples of allowable CPA open space projects?

Acquisition of open space – Acquisition of real property or an interest in real property is allowable for open space purposes, including the acquisition of agricultural land, grasslands, fields, forest land, watershed land, fresh and salt water marshes and other wetlands, ocean, river, stream, lake and pond frontage, beaches, dunes and other coastal lands, land to protect scenic vistas, land for wildlife or a nature preserve, land for recreational use and land to protect existing and future well fields, aquifers and recharge areas. Again, one must look to G.L. c. 44B, § 2, to determine the definitions of “real property” and “real property interest” for CPA expenditure purposes. Under G.L. c. 44B, § 5(f), the price of an acquisition must not exceed the value of the property as determined through “procedures customarily accepted by the appraising profession as valid.” And, under G.L. c. 44B, § 12,  real property interests financed in whole or in part with CP Fund monies must be bound by a permanent restriction which conforms to the requirements of G.L. c. 184, §§ 31-34 and the city or town must own any real property interest acquired with community preservation monies. Management of the properties may be delegated by the legislative body to the conservation commission, park commission or to a nonprofit corporation created under G.L. c. 180 or nonprofit trust created under G.L. c. 203.

Acquisition of open space – Appropriation of CP funds to a conservation fund established by G.L. c. 40 § 8C is allowable; however, any expenditure of such funds remains subject to the restrictions imposed by the CPA, including the requirement that any land acquired must be bound by the restriction described in G.L. c. 44B, § 12. Therefore, the conservation commission may spend CPA funds only for those purposes that are authorized by both G.L. c. 40 § 8C and the CPA, for example, acquisition of land for open space purposes. To ensure that these requirements are carried out, the CPC recommendation and any legislative body appropriation vote should expressly include these conditions.

Rehabilitation of open space – Expenditures for rehabilitation and restoration of open space (not including lands for recreational use) are not allowable unless the open space was acquired or created using CPA funds pursuant to G.L. c. 44B, § 5(b)(2). For example, funding is allowable for “rehabilitation” of municipal forest land only if the forest land was acquired with community preservation funds. CP funds cannot be used, however, to fund any expenditure that would fall within the CPA definition of “maintenance,” even if the expenditure is required by a forest management plan. G.L. c. 44B, §§ 2 and 5(b)(2). See Part 6 of these FAQs for more information on prohibited CPA expenditures, published in the December 3, 2020 edition of City & Town.

Stay tuned for next month’s City & Town for Part 9 in our FAQ series on the CPA when we will discuss allowable CPA land for recreational use projects. For more information, see Informational Guideline Release (IGR) 19-14.

Medfield’s cherry sheet numbers

Below are Medfield’s cherry sheet numbers in the Governor’s budget released by Division of Local Services (DLS) this week. The town’s state monies will be up $335K or 3.96% over last year per these numbers.

The town’s state revenue numbers are called “cherry sheet” numbers because historically these budget numbers were issued on red paper – back when things were still done on paper.

Next in the annual state budget process the House will produce its budget numbers, followed by the Senate version, the consensus version of the two, the Governor’s vetos, any legislative veto overrides, which is what will then be next year’s budget. That process usually takes until April.

MMA on Gov’s budget

GOV. BAKER FILES $45.6 BILLION FY 2022 SPENDING PLAN

• $39.5M INCREASE IN UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID (3.5%)

• GOV’S CH. 70 PLAN WOULD INCREASE FY 2022 SCHOOL AID BY $197.7M (3.7%)

• CHARTER SCHOOL & SPECIAL ED REIMBURSEMENTS INCREASE

• MIXED RESULTS FOR OTHER MUNICIPAL AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTS

 

January 27, 2021

Today at noon, Gov. Charlie Baker submitted a $45.6 billion fiscal 2022 state budget plan with the Legislature, proposing to reduce overall state expenditures by almost 1 percent next year as the Administration plans a sustainable recovery from the fiscal and service delivery disruptions caused by the ongoing coronavirus public health emergency and the related economic recession. Similar to the recently finalized fiscal 2021 budget, the Governor’s spending plan for next year relies on temporary and one-time revenues, including emergency federal funds related to the pandemic and up to $1.6 billion from the state’s Stabilization Fund.

UNRESTRICTED MUNICIPAL AID INCREASED BY $31.6 MILLION

As Gov. Baker pledged to local officials at the beginning of his administration, his budget includes a $39.5 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid, tracking the expected 3.5% increase in state tax revenues. Implementing this state-local revenue sharing framework is good news in a very challenging time for state and local finances.

Click here to see the Division of Local Services preliminary fiscal 2021 Cherry Sheet aid amounts for your community

OVERALL CHAPTER 70 SCHOOL AID WOULD GO UP BY $197.7 MILLION, A 3.7% INCREASE – ALTHOUGH A LARGE NUMBER OF DISTRICTS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN AT MINIMUM AID ONLY

The Governor’s budget recommendation re-starts implementation of the funding schedules in the 2019 Student Opportunity Act (SOA) that were delayed last year after the coronavirus recession upset the original first year funding plan.

Fulfilling the commitments in the new Student Opportunity Act, the Governor’s fiscal 2022 budget submission would bring Chapter 70 school aid up to $5.48 billion, a $197.7 million increase in school aid. This would fund the first year of the 7-year plan to add $1.5 billion in new state funding for K-12 education. The majority of the funds would implement the improvements to the foundation budget, adding weight for low-income students, English Language Learners, special education costs, and school employee health benefits. While this is important progress, an initial look at the budget indicates that a large percentage of cities, towns and school districts would remain minimum-aid-only, and receive the minimum $30 per-student increase in the Act. The MMA will continue to strongly advocate for significantly higher minimum aid throughout the budget process.

The Governor’s Chapter 70 recommendation would make a significant change in how cities and towns can meet their required local contributions for fiscal 2022. Municipalities may use up to 75% of the total grant awarded to the local school district through the Elementary and Secondary Education Emergency Relief (ESSER) program enacted by Congress last month (also known as ESSER II) to fund a part of the increase in its local contribution requirement under Chapter 70, but not more than the increase in required local contribution in FY2022 relative to FY2021. This is a new temporary provision that is explained in the narrative and slides on the DESE school finance website provided below.

Click here to see DESE’s calculation of fiscal 2022 Chapter 70 aid and Net School Spending requirements for your city, town, or regional school district, based on the Governor’s proposed budget and legislation.

This landing page will also include the preliminary fiscal 2022 charter school assessments and reimbursements.

CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS WOULD INCREASE TO $143.5M – CHARTER FUNDING REMAINS A SERIOUS PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED

The Governor’s budget would increase the charter school reimbursement account up to $143.5 million, intended to meet the commitment in the Student Opportunity Act to fund 75% of the state’s 100-60-40 statutory obligation to mitigate Chapter 70 losses to charter schools.

The Student Opportunity Act pledges to phase in full funding of the statutory reimbursement formula over three years, and while this plan may meet that requirement, it would not fix the serious flaws in the charter school finance system. Charter schools will continue to divert a high percentage of Chapter 70 funds away from many municipally operated school districts, and place greater strain on the districts that serve the vast majority of public school children. Major problems will continue unless a true resolution of the charter school funding problem is achieved, a top MMA priority.

SPECIAL EDUCATION CIRCUIT BREAKER INCREASED TO $367.7M

The Governor’s budget would add $22.5 million to fund the Special Education Circuit Breaker program at $367.7 million, an increase of 6.5%. The Student Opportunity Act expanded the special education circuit breaker by including out-of-district transportation, an important enhancement for cities and towns.

REGIONAL SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION REIMBURSEMENTS REDUCED

Gov. Baker’s budget submission would reduce funding for regional transportation reimbursements from $82.2 million this year to $75.9 million. This will be a hardship for virtually all communities in regional districts. Reimbursements for transportation of out-of-district vocational students remains significantly underfunded at $250K. Increasing these accounts is a priority for cities and towns and the MMA.

McKINNEY-VENTO REIMBURSEMENTS REDUCED

The Governor’s budget would reduce reimbursements for the transportation of homeless students from $13.5 million this year to $11.1 million in fiscal 2022. The impact of this funding level will vary from community-to-community depending on the number of homeless families that remain sheltered in local hotels and motels. The Administration has been successful in reducing the number of homeless students who are dislocated from their original district, but those communities that continue to provide transportation to many students may continue to see shortfalls.

PAYMENTS-IN-LIEU-OF-TAXES (PILOT) LEVEL FUNDED

The Governor’s budget would level fund PILOT payments at $31 million, which would be a significant hardship for many smaller, rural communities with large amounts of state-owned land. This is a key account due to the major impact that PILOT payments have on budgets in very small communities.

Please contact your legislators today and ask them to support the $39.5M increase in municipal aid and the $197.7M increase in Chapter 70 aid.

Please ask your legislators to address the serious flaws in charter school funding, increase minimum Ch. 70 aid to $100 per student, and increase funding for school transportation, PILOT payments, and ensure full funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker

DLS comparison data for towns

This Division of Local Services (DLS) dashboard has really interesting data on comparing towns, one to another, however, it is just a little hard to use because of the small size of the map and the need to roll your cursor over the town on the map to get its data.

New DLS Data Visualization Tool Now Available





















The Division of Local Services has a new tool available for quickly finding key financial and demographic information for all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns. The Municipal Finance Snapshot Dashboard uses Tableau visualizations to display data in 14 financial categories including Average Single Family Tax Bill, Local Receipts, New Growth and much more. Selecting a city or town from the map provides a wealth of data about that community. Please visit the Municipal Finance Snapshot Dashboard to explore all the information DLS has to offer in a new, easy-to-use way!

Please contact the Data Analytics & Resources Bureau at databank@dor.state.ma.us with questions or feedback.
  You are receiving this message through the Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Division of Local Services DLS Alerts system. These periodic notices include our City & Town e-newsletter, IGRs, Bulletins, Cherry Sheets and other municipal finance-related information. To unsubscribe to DLS Alerts and the City & Town e-newsletter, please email dls_alerts@dor.state.ma.us.

MCSP funds another year of Interface Referral Service

The raising of the funds to renew the Interface Referral Service annual membership (off of the town’s property taxes) was championed by MCSP stalwart Andreea Cazacu Hagood, MD.

This from the Medfield Patch –

MCSP funds another year of Interface Referral Service

The Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention is proud to announce the renewal of Interface Referral Service for 2020-2021.

By Colleen M. Sullivan, Patch MayorVerified User Badge
Dec 18, 2020 9:00 pm ET|Updated Dec 18, 2020 9:02 pm ET
  • https://patch.com/img/cdn20/users/321386/20201214/034720/styles/patch_image/public/medfield-interface-card-front___14154315676.jpg
  • https://patch.com/img/cdn20/users/321386/20201214/034720/styles/patch_image/public/interface-card-back___14154333211.jpgInterface Referral and Resource Card. (Courtesy photo)
Interface Referral and Resource Card.
Interface Referral and Resource Card.

MCSP funds another year of Interface Referral Service

The Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention (MCSP) is proud to announce successfully funding the renewal of Interface Referral Service for the Town of Medfield for 2020-2021. In a year as emotionally trying as 2020, MCSP hopes to increase the awareness of this valuable service for any resident of Medfield.

The William James INTERFACE Referral Service, offered through the Freedman Center, is a mental health and wellness referral Helpline available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843 (toll free). This is a free, confidential referral service for residents of participating communities. Callers from these participating communities are matched with licensed mental health providers from an extensive database, on average, within 2 weeks of their call to INTERFACE. Each referral best meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller.

MCSP would like to thank the following organizations for their support and generous contributions that allow for the continued service: Norwood Hospital/Steward Health Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Needham, and CHNA7 – Community Health Coalition of Metrowest.

In addition to the aforementioned health partners, there are others to thank. Several local businesses and many community members have supported programming that raises funds for the coalition; others have shown their support by making donations. Special thanks to long time supporters: Tracy Buckley of Medfield Yoga Studio, Burning Wheel Yoga, and Karen Johnson.

MCSP is an initiative of Medfield Foundation, Inc. (MFi), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization administered by Medfield Outreach. For more information, visit medfieldfoundation.org. To donate, visit the Medfield Foundation’s Network for Good page. When making a donation through Network for Good, please be sure to include the name of the coalition (Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention) in the designation of the online form.

The Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention welcomes you to join monthly meetings and learn more about what we do! If you’re interested please email medfieldoutreach@medfield.net to be added to MCSP’s email list. Be sure to check out our social media and website at www.facebook.com/medfieldcsp and www.medfieldcsp.org

$50K MassDevelopment grant for RFP assistance re MSH

The town received a $50,000 state grant to assist with the RFP for the former Medfield State Hospital site. Here is the announcement letter that came yesterday, despiteits date. –

99 High Street
Boston, MA 02110
Main: 617-330-2000
Fax: 617-330-2001
massdevelopment.com
Charles D. Baker
Governor
Karyn E. Polito
Lieutenant Governor
Mike Kennealy
Chairman
Lauren A. Liss
President and CEO
December 8, 2020
Nicolas Milano
Assistant Town Administrator
Town of Medfield
459 Main Street
Medfield MA 02052
nmilano@medfield.net
Re: MassDevelopment Real Estate Services Award – Medfield State Hospital Reuse
Dear Mr. Milano:
We are pleased to inform you that the Town of Medfield’s application for technical assistance through MassDevelopment’s Real Estate Services Call for Proposals has been accepted for the FY2021 funding round for a budget not to exceed $50,000. Given this is a site-specific project, the repayment clause will apply in the Memorandum of Agreement between the Town of Medfield and MassDevelopment.
This year’s overwhelming level of interest made the funding round highly competitive. Forty communities applied with a combined request of $1.5M in technical assistance. Ultimately, 9 projects were selected to move forward in FY2021.
One of MassDevelopment’s Real Estate project managers will reach out to you in the next few weeks to discuss project start-up and next steps. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to Christine Madore, Vice President, Real Estate Services at cmadore@massdevelopment.com or 617-330-2053.
Sincerely,
Cassandra McKenzie
Executive Vice President, Real Estate
MassDevelopment

Medfield Rail Trail awarded $100K state grant

Congratulations Christian Donner and his Medfield Rail Trail colleagues.

Email today from DCR about Medfield Rail Trail’s $100,000 grant award towards construction of the Medfield section of the Bay Colony Rail Trail –

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Please see the attached Press Release for the 2020 MassTrails Grants!  It is now okay for you to contact public, press, and partners.  

We will be in touch very soon as we work to move these projects forward as quickly as possible.  

Have a nice weekend,

Amanda

Amanda Lewis

MassTrails Program Manager

Department of Conservation and Recreation

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Community = Medfield

Organization = Town of Medfield

Project Title = Medfield Rail Trail
Brief Project Description = The Medfield Rail Trail is a proposed shared use trail following the route of the MBTA rail bed in Medfield, running approximately 1.3 miles from Ice House Road to the Dover town line. The Trail will provide connections for residents throughout the region (particularly youth and seniors) for biking, walking, jogging, cross country skiing, and horseback riding. The rail trail
will provide a direct connection to the planned mixed-use redevelopment of the 128-acre Medfield State Hospital; the planned Dover Greenway; the Bay Circuit Trail, an extensive regional trail system from Plum Island in the north to Kingston Bay in the south; as well as access to the Norfolk Hunt Club’s extensive regional trail network.

Project type = Construction

Trail use = Shared-Use Path

Award = $100,000

Match = $74,480

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4 Million in MassTrails Grants

55 Local Projects Will Greatly Enhance State’s Network of Trails

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $4 million in MassTrails Grants to 55 local trail projects throughout the Commonwealth. The grants will support the state’s vast network of trails with projects dedicated to the construction, maintenance, and improvements for a variety of public trails, including hiking trails, bikeways, and shared-use paths.

“Massachusetts has an extensive network of public trails connecting communities and regions while offering excellent recreational opportunities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By supporting local trail projects, our Administration is dedicated to building on that network and ensuring residents and visitors can hike, bike and run on safe, well-maintained and accessible trails.”

“Trails are important resources that improve our quality of life by providing great access to parks, reservations, forests, and other public properties throughout Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The MassTrails Grants Program serves as a critical funding source for our many local partners who are working to improve infrastructure, create new segments, and enhance existing trails for the public to enjoy.”

MassTrails Grants focus on the improvement of existing trails, the construction of new trails, and the maintenance of the statewide trail system. This year’s projects include:

  • The installation of trail facilities and amenities and facility landscaping;
  • The completion of trail design and engineering plans;
  • The installation and maintenance of directional and interpretive trail signage;
  • The development and creation of GIS mapping and trails guides;
  • The purchasing of trail maintenance equipment; and,
  • The upgrading of existing trails to accessible trail standards.

“Local trails are excellent resources that not only enrich our lives by providing increased opportunities to explore nature, but also enable us all to commit to healthy, active lifestyles,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The MassTrails Grants Program is a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s dedication to investing and enhancing the Commonwealth’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources, and we look forward to celebrating the completion of these 55 projects.”

“The MassTrails Grant Program invests in path improvements and construction which allow for more access to important destinations, giving residents safe, healthy, and low carbon travel options as well as options for active recreational activities,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Now more than ever, the public is seeking transportation options due to the pandemic and this funding creates, enhances, and maintains networks of multimodal, shared-use pathways which help people get to where they need to go while reducing their carbon footprint and lowering pollution.”

Funding for MassTrails Grants comes from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) capital budget, and from the motor fuel excise tax on off-road vehicles including ATV’s and snowmobiles, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Surface Transportation Act, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). All MassTrails Grant applications have been reviewed in consultation with an inter-agency MassTrails Team and the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB).

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to foster public-private partnerships in an effort to attain mutual goals that directly benefit the public,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “The 2020 MassTrails Grants Program will assist our partners in protecting and enhancing many of the Commonwealth’s natural and recreational resources, including closing gaps within the state’s network of trails, strengthening infrastructure, and making significant improvements.”

“These grants support our tremendous inventory of remarkable open spaces and the communities that host them. North Reading now has significant state support to examine converting an abandoned rail-line into a rail trail,” said State Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Funding from MassTrails not only advances this opportunity, but it also helps bring more recreational access for people across the state to enjoy outdoor spaces and improve our quality of life.”

“Visitors from all around the world come to Western Massachusetts for its beautiful outdoor recreational opportunities all of which improve our quality of life and are important parts of our communities,” said State Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “The MassTrails Grants Program provides critical funding for improving and supporting our public trails for all to enjoy.”

Additionally, each recipient matches awarded grants with a minimum of twenty percent in funding or in-kind services for the designated project. This year’s total investment, including matching funds, is approximately $7 million. In order to meet their funding obligation, an organization is able to utilize a variety of methods to fund at least twenty percent of the project’s total cost to receive the grant. Methods include in-kind labor and professional services, material donations, use of equipment, or a cash match. Funding is made available to registered non-profits and municipal, state, and federal agencies.

“I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for supporting local trail programs through the 2020 MassTrails Grants Program,” said State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence). “I am joyful to learn that Groundwork Lawrence has been awarded this grant which will allow them to continue their work in increasing access to the Merrimack River Trail for all residents of the Commonwealth. The 17th Essex District will benefit substantially from this grant, given that it will bring more connectivity to all three communities: Lawrence, Andover and Methuen.”

“Funding and maintaining our local trails and paths, especially at a time when it can be hard to get out of the house, is crucial to communities we serve,” said State Representative Josh Cutler (D-Pembroke). “Thanks to grants like MassTrails and the Baker Administration, Hanson can help foster outdoor recreation for its’ citizens to enjoy.”

“The people of Clinton take great pride in the town’s surrounding natural beauty,” said State Representative Harold Naughton (D-Clinton). “The parks and trails are treasured by locals and visitors alike, and I am thrilled that the Commonwealth is investing in the spaces that make our community such a special place to live.”

“I am excited to learn that Ashland has received a grant through the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s MassTrails program,” said State Representative Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham). “I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and Commissioner Montgomery for their further support to enhance and expand Ashland’s vibrant trails.”

MassTrails Grant projects are located within the following municipalities: Ashland, Adams, Arlington, Ashburnham, Athol, Barnstable, Becket, Belchertown, Bourne, Braintree, Brookline, Chelmsford, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Clinton, Concord, Dalton , Dartmouth, Egremont, Fitchburg, Florida, Franklin, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Groton, Hanson, Hatfield, Hawley, Hinsdale, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Lanesboro, Lawrence, Lee, Lenox, Lowell, Mattapoisett, Medfield, Monterey, Mount Washington, Natick, Needham, New Ashford, New Bedford, Newburyport, Newton, North Adams, North Reading, Northampton, Northfield, Peabody, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Plymouth, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Southampton, Springfield, Sturbridge, Sudbury, Templeton, Townsend, Tyringham, Wareham, Washington , Williamstown, Windsor, and Yarmouth. A full list and brief description of each of the 55 projects receiving a grant can be found on the MassTrails Grants webpage.

ATM Warrant / Budget Cuts

MHS field-2

Annual Town Meeting set for 11 AM June 27 on MHS field

The COVID-19 delayed 2020 annual town meeting (ATM) will take place on Saturday, June 27 at 11 AM outdoors on the Medfield High School turf field, with a rain date on June 29.  The warrant for the ATM has been pared down to just the articles needed to enact the FY21 budget, with the intention to hold a special town meeting when the virus permits, perhaps in the fall, to deal with any other necessary town business.

The Select Board voted last night to recommend approval of all the articles.  The Warrant Committee had already voted to recommend approval of all but one or two of the articles, and is expected to recommend approval of the remaining ones when they receive the final numbers related to those articles.

The town’s budget is built off a guess that the town’s state aid will be reduced by 10% next year.  It is a guess because the state legislature is not able to give the town guidance on what to expect, because the federal government has yet to share with the state what to expect by way of federal assistance – creating this uncertainty for every American city and town is not the way government should run.

The Select Board is expected at its next meeting on June 16 to vote to make use of the legislation passed this past week that allows the ATM quorum to be reduced to just 10% of the usual quorum – our quorum is 250.

See the 2020 ATM warrant articles here –

20200609-KT-BOS ATM DRAFT 06082020

Budget cuts

Also at the Select Board meeting last night, the Town Administrator, Kristine Trierweiler, recommended and the Select Board approved the following town side budget cuts in order to balance the town’s FY21 budget:

Town Administrator's Recommended Budget Cuts Department Amount Details All departments $8,279 All office supplies accounts cut by 20% Town Administrator $17,321 Reduce TA Overtime Account to $1,000 (this account pays for OT as well as Retirement Seperations) Town Administrator $5,000 No contractual increase for TA Staff reduction ‐ Town Accountant $25,267 Eliminate (2) part time employees Hours reduction‐Payroll $21,998 Reduced hours for an FT employee Merit/COLA $41,113 Managerial Merit (24 Positions)* Merit/COLA $105,425 All Non Union Town employees 2% COLA (Water and Sewer Listed Below for Enterprise, Police and Fire would have to be addressed in CBA) IT $25,000 Eliminate funding for Network Consultant and capital equipment replacement (both funded for emergency purposes) Facilities ‐ Hiring Freeze $35,000 Facilities 0.6 employee Police ‐ Staff Reduction $54,476 Reduced request by one police officer Building Department ‐ Reduced hours $1,057 Adjust part‐time employee hours DPW ‐ Hiring Freeze $53,102 Vacant full time position DPW Highway Materials $25,000 Level fund from FY20 DPW New position $70,387 No new position at DPW Council on Aging $10,135 Allocated expenses from Revolving Fund (budget offset) Budget adjustments $10,836 Reduced budget requests in various departments Library ‐ hiring freeze $14,710 Vacant part time position Parks and Recreation $48,942 Cut swim pond salaries from the General Fund. Any swim pond related salaries to be paid from the Parks and Recreation Revolving Fund, which receives camp and swim pond fee revenue Police Officer Medical bill $58,000 Make payment in FY20, rather than FY21 ‐ this was planned to be a monetary article Total $631,048 Free Cash Usage Amount Details Stabilization Fund $200,000 Cut annual payment of Free Cash into the Stabilization Fund from $200,000 to $0. CARES/FEMA money (non revolving fund) to be put into stabilization Enterprise Funds Amount Details Water/Sewer ‐ COLA $15,420 No 2% COLA for water/sewer employees

FY21 Town Budget Cuts_KT631 (002)

Budget sheets for tonight

FY21 Budget Worksheet - for WC 6.1.2020 (002)_Page_1

FY21 Budget Worksheet - for WC 6.1.2020 (002)_Page_2

FY21 Budget Summary 05302020 (002)

Mass fiscal situation

Senate Ways and Means Committee’s sobering data on our financial future (shared by Carol Read) –

05-05 Massachusetts Economic and Fiscal Outlook Caucus Presentation_Chairman Michael Rodrigues

05-05 Massachusetts Economic and Fiscal Outlook Caucus Presentation_Chairman Michael Rodrigues