Category Archives: Open space

CPA meeting 12/10 at 7pm

Adopting the Community Preservation Act is a way for Medfield to save money on our property taxes – it saves us money because of the state  matching money.  This year Medway is getting a state match at over 40% of what they paid in to their CPA fund, because they do the CPA at 3%, like we should be doing.  Medfield is already paying in to the money being distributed to the CPA towns, but we do not share in the payout because we have not yet adopted the CPA.

The letter below is from the newly formed town committee exploring the CPA for Medfield.



Dear Community Member,

Care about preserving Medfield’s unique character?  We urge you to join us at *7 p.m. on Dec. 10 at the Zullo Gallery* for conversation, wine, beer and bites to eat so you can learn more about the Community Preservation Act (see attached flyer for basic points).

We’ve all witnessed rapid changes taking place in Medfield over the years. Numerous historic structures have disappeared or are at great risk of disappearing; open space is  threatened by development pressures; affordable housing for our seniors is desperately needed; and a costly recreation project will be proposed to Medfield taxpayers at the 2016 Town Meeting.

At the same time, it was recently announced that $36 million in funding will be distributed to 156 towns across the Commonwealth specifically earmarked for preservation of open space, historic structures, affordable housing, and recreation, but Medfield will not be among the towns receiving any funding. Why? Because we have yet to adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA).

In towns that have adopted the CPA, taxpayers will be receiving an almost 30% return on their investment this year alone.

So what can you do?  Join us at the Zullo Gallery on Dec. 10!  This is an opportunity to be among a group of concerned citizens working to educate fellow residents about the Community Preservation Act, and to see who might want to play a role in getting it adopted in the town of Medfield. If you’d like to attend, please just click on the registration form below (not mandatory, but helpful for planning purposes).


Chris McCue Potts
Dan Bibel
Russ Hallisey

CPA information 12/10 at 7pm

This from the newly formed CPA group –

Peak House Gateway Tilden Village


Could it benefit Medfield?

Join us to learn more and take action:

7-8:30 p.m. – Thurs., Dec. 10 – Zullo Gallery
Wine, beer, nibbles

Signed into law in 2000 by Gov. Paul Cellucci and Lt. Gov. Jane Swift, the CPA is a smart-growth tool that helps communities:

  • Preserve open space
  • Protect historic sites
  • Create affordable housing
  • Develop outdoor recreational facilities

A local Community Preservation Fund is fueled by a surcharge of 1%, 2% or 3% of property tax bills (not an increase in the tax rate), with the percentage amount decided by voters. Exclusions, (such as low-income residents, certain types of businesses, etc.) are also decided by voters.

In addition to local funds collected, communities receive annual distributions from the state Community Preservation Trust Fund, administered by the Department of Revenue. It’s like putting that 1-3% surcharge in a savings account that earns high interest.

It was recently announced that for 2015 alone, 156 communities together will receive $36 million from the CPA Trust Fund thanks to a 29.7% state contribution*. Medfield was not among them since we have yet to adopt the CPA. (*Source:

Norfolk, Medway, Millis, Holliston and Needham are some of the nearby towns that have benefited from the CPA.

Many of the proposed projects at the Medfield State Hospital site could qualify for CPA funding.

Thoughts on MSH as planning begins

Sarah Raposa, our Town Planner, sent out the agenda for the first meeting on Wednesday with the town’s master planning consultant, VHB, for the former Medfield State Hospital site.  As part of her email, Sarah suggested that people jot down thoughts, and below are mine:

Medfield State Hospital Site – Issues to Consider at Outset of the Planning Process

1.    Clean Slate – The past discussions and the visioning session created an interesting list of ideas, but should in no way limit options going forward.

2.    Infrastructure – lots needed, and best if developers instead of town can be made to pay

3.    Natural Resources – exist in abundance, and will continue to exist in abundance even if the town opts for a dense development

4.    Environmental – site has been mainly cleaned of known hazards, except the lead paint and asbestos in the buildings

5.    Transportation – none available – shuttle to downtown and train would be ideal

6.    Historic Resources – buildings are beautiful, but likely too far gone to be preserved

7.    Arts & Culture – it would serve the town well to spend to make such uses happen

8.    Housing – will be the economic engine of any development, and if planned well, even if dense, need not be feared in terms of municipal costs and impacts

9.    Open Space & Recreation – exist in abundance, and will continue to exist in abundance even if the town opts for a dense development

Straw Hat Park

Attached below is the landscaping plan for the proposed new Straw Hat Park.  Jean Mineo of the friends of the Straw Hat Park, a Medfield Foundation initiative, reported to the Medfield Foundation board at its meeting last night that her group is looking:

  • for $70,000 of funds from the annual town meeting this April; and
  • to fund raise $24,000 for extras and special features planned for the new park, such as the fountain.

Construction will begin in August if monies are appropriated at the annual town meeting.  The really interesting extras will be included if sufficient funds are raised to allow for them.  Interested supporters can reach Jean at 242-9991.

Monique Allen of The Garden Continuum donated the design services, and Jean continues to donate countless hours to making Medfield more interesting – Jean was behind the Art Boxes that now decorate the traffic control boxes around town and the Thistle project coming this May to decorate forty trees at the Medfield State Hospital.


CPA – Medfield is missing out

This week I got the letter below from the Register of Deeds, Bill O’Donnell, which highlights how Medfield loses twice by not having adopted the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA):

  • first because our residents paid $45,290 in 2014 in Registry of Deeds surcharges to support the CPA, money that then got distributed to other towns, and, then
  • second because Medfield has not adopted the CPA it does not share in the matching state monies given to communities that do participate.

The CPA is akin to a town savings account for three specified areas:

  • historic preservation,
  • affordable housing, and
  • open spaces or recreational uses.

Once a town adopts the CPA, it taxes itself 1-3% extra each year, and the state provides matching monies.  The match started at 100%, but as more towns opted in the match has dropped to around 30% – still free state monies.  A town committee would decide on what to spend the CPA monies.  I heard about lots of uses for CPA funds in other towns at the MMA annual meeting last weekend

For me it is crazy not to pick up the free state monies, if we think/know that we will be spending monies on the three covered areas any time in the future.  It is one clear way to save on our property taxes. The only reason for someone not to want to adopt the CPA is if they do not intend to continue living in Medfield.

Therefore, I will ask that a warrant article be placed on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting about adopting the CPA.

For more information on the CPA click through to


January 2015

Medfield Board of Selectmen Osier L. Peterson 10 Copperwood Rd. Medfield, MA 02052

Dear Selectman Peterson.

As Register of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds. I thought the reverse side chart that illustrates the amount of funds generated from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) would be of interest to you. This revenue is based on recorded real estate filings from your community in calendar year 2014.

The Registry, at no cost to the Commonwealth or local communities, collects these revenues for the state when a document is recorded. These monies are then forwarded to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue on a monthly basis. The funds collected by the Commonwealth are then redistributed to communities that have adopted the CPA through a variety of formulas.

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, 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

I hope you find this information informative and useful. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 781-461-6116 or by email at

Sincerely yours.
William P. O’Donnell
Norfolk County Register of Deeds
649 HIGH STREET. DEDHAM. MASSACHUSETTS 02026 TELEPHONE: 781-461-6116 FAX: 781-326-4246
You □


AVON $14,950.00
BELUNGHAM $58,070.00
BRAINTREE $116,160.00
BROOEUNE $163,040.00
CANTON $83,640.00
COHASSET $38,980.00
DEDHAM $80,070.00
DOVER $26,170.00
FOXBOROUGH $53,420.00
FRANKLIN $101,410.00
HOLBROOK $37,250.00
MEDFIELD $45,290.00
MEDWAY $44,910.00
MTU IS $26,370.00
MILTON $85,270.00
NEEDHAM $109,060.00
NORFOLK $39,010.00
NORWOOD $79,800.00
PIATNVILLE $26,610.00
QUINCY $244,340.00
RANDOLPH $90,080.00
SHARON $59,550.00
STOUGHTON $94,330.00
WALPOLE $81,880.00
WELLESELY $95,300.00
WESTWOOD $53,710.00
WEYMOUTH $172,260.00
WRENTHAM $44,500.00


Hunt Club history lecture next Monday

This from Gil Rodgers of the Norfolk Hunt Club –

David Lewis, Jr., ex-MFH, to Speak on the History of the Norfolk Hunt Club

The featured speaker at the Medfield Historical Society meeting on Monday, November 3, 2014 will be David W. Lewis, Jr. , ex-Master of the Fox Hounds (MFH) (1973 – 1980) and member of the Norfolk Hunt Club.   The narrated slide presentation will be held in the basement of First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 26 North Street, Medfield beginning at 7:30 PM.

David is the editor of the definitive book on the history of Norfolk Hunt Club, “The Norfolk Hunt: One Hundred Years of Sport,” 1995. He will talk about the history of (drag) fox hunting with the Norfolk Hunt Club since its origins in 1895 interjecting entertaining stories about some of its prominent members — such as Henry Vaughn (MFH) and Miss Amelia Peabody, and notable events of the Club over the last 100 years — such as annual Farmer’s Day celebration and the traditional Thanksgiving Day hunt.

This is an opportunity to learn first-hand about a tradition that is emblematic of the rich and distinctive culture of Medfield, Dover, Sherborn, and surrounding towns.

Bonds written at 2.577%

Medfield, MA $7,200,000 General Obligation Bonds Net 2.577%

Georgia Colivas, Town Treasurer, received competitive bids from bond underwriters on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, for a $7,200,000, 20-year bond issue. UBS Financial Services Inc. was the winning bidder on the Bonds with an average interest rate of 2.577%. The Town received a total of 10 bids. Bond proceeds will be used to finance land acquisition and water main replacement projects.

Prior to the sale Moody’s Investors Service, a municipal bond credit rating agency, assigned a rating of ‘Aa1’ to the Bonds. The rating agency cited the Town’s sound financial position with healthy reserve levels, stable tax base with strong wealth levels, and history of voter approvals for overrides and exclusions of Proposition 2 ½ as positive credit factors.

The bids for the Bonds were accepted at the offices of the Town’s Financial Advisor, First Southwest Company, at 54 Canal Street in Boston, Massachusetts.

These bonds finance the purchase of the Red Gate Farm property and teh construction of the new water tower at the MSH and the new water main along Hospital Road.