WILLIAMSTOWN -- Five proposals, ranging from funding to acquire and develop land for affordable housing to restoring a historic building's chimney, will vie for Community Preservation Act funding in 2013.
Community Preservation Committee chairman Philip McKnight said the process will continue at a public meeting on January 9 at 7 p.m., where the proposals will be discussed in the order submitted. The Committee's recommendations will be presented at Town Meeting in the spring.
McKnight said the total amount requested exceeds what he estimated is in the fund - approximately $325,000. In the past, the Committee found ways to accommodate proposals that are beneficial to the town, he said, but not always in the full amounts.
The local CPA is funded by a two percent property surcharge that Williamstown voters adopted by voters in 2002. The fund gives the town the option of funding projects devoted to community housing, both senior and affordable; historic preservation; open space, and land for recreational use.
The Affordable Housing Trust Board is requesting $200,000 for acquiring and developing land for affordable housing.
Trust Board member Stanley Parese said the request wasn't necessarily for a specific project, but rather to have resources for when opportunities arise.
If a property suddenly comes up for sale, Parese explained, the trust will have funds to purchase a property before Town Meeting, which could be months away.
"The idea here is you don't want opportunities passing by you," Parese said.
The Friends of Williamstown Conservation Lands is requesting $548.25 for construction of a hiking and running trail on the Lowry property.
Kenneth Swiatek, who helped found the group this fall, said the trail could be up to three quarters of a mile long and would follow the tree line around the irregularly-shaped property. Stratton Road is already a popular spot for runners, he said.
The request of $548.25 would go towards tools required for trail work, he explained. Clearing the trail will be a volunteer-led initiative.
"There will be some out of pocket expenses," said Swiatek. The intention is volunteers will purchase some gasoline and oil for equipment, and also lend their time on work weekends.
Swiatek said such a trail could still be constructed in the event affordable housing was built on the Lowry property.
"It would take a different form," he said, "But it could still happen."
Other projects seeking funding include:
* David and Judy Loomis, owners of the River Bend Farm Bed and Breakfast, requested $2,000 for chimney restoration at the Col. Benjamin Simonds House.
* The South Williamstown Historical Committee is requesting $25,000 for the conservation of historic gravestones at Southlawn Cemetery.
* Williamstown Conservation Committee is requesting $65,000 for a well and bathhouse restoration project at Margaret Lindley Park.
To reach Edward Damon,