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Williamstown Trust Chairman Ready to Answer CPA Questions
By Stephen Dravis, Williamstown Correspondent
05:48PM / Monday, January 28, 2013
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The Housing Trust is asking for more funding from Community Preservation Act funds this year; also in the mix is funding for Margaret Lindley Park, a trail and contined work on preservation at Southlawn Cemetery.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The chairman of the Affordable Housing Trust is looking forward to the opportunity to discuss the body's application for a Community Preservation Act grant at Tuesday's meeting of the Community Preservation Committee.

Stanley Parese said he was surprised that the CPC chairman suggested at the Jan. 9 meeting that the trust withdraw its application, but Parese is prepared to respond to that suggestion Tuesday night.

"I'm confident that we can respond fully to the chairman's concerns," Parese said on Monday afternoon.

He declined to get into the specifics of that response, preferring to keep the discussion limited to the meeting room and not carry on the conversation through the media.

Parese said he had not discussed the issue with CPC Chairman Philip McKnight since the Jan. 9 meeting.

At that meeting, McKnight raised questions about the wisdom granting the Affordable Housing Trust money from the town's CPA revenues. The CPA fund is generated by a property tax surcharge of 2 percent, excluding the first $100,000 of valuation.

The CPA's intention is to help fund "to community housing (senior and affordable), historic preservation, open space, and land for recreational use," according to the town website.

Last year at town meeting, the town approved a $200,000 CPA grant to the Affordable Housing Trust, which was created at the same Town Meeting. The trust is asking for the same amount this year.

McKnight said on Jan. 9 that he planned to ask the housing trust to withdraw its application.

The CPC is considering four other applicants this year, ranging in size from $548 for a recreational trail around the town-owned Lowry Property off Stratton Road to a $65,000 application from the Conservation Commission to drill a new well to supply potable water to the bath house at Margaret Lindley Park.

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