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February 24, 2014

12 applicants eligible for CPA funds in Salem

SALEM — A dozen applicants have asked for funding under the city’s new Community Preservation Act, for everything from a new library roof to a new bike path on Winter Island.

The act was approved by local voters in 2012. It will fund projects involving historic preservation, recreation, housing and open space through a 1 percent surcharge on local property taxes that kicks in after the first $100,000 of taxable value.

The city expects to raise $400,000 this year, and that amount will rise in coming years as a state program to match a percentage of local funding goes into effect.

Salem has a two-phase application process for the funding, the first of which is meant to weed out projects that aren’t eligible, said Jane Guy of the city’s Planning Department.

“That way, somebody’s who’s applying for funding doesn’t go through the whole process of filling out a lengthy application in order to find out they weren’t eligible in the first place,” Guy said.

Of the 14 applications the city’s received so far, 12 have been deemed eligible for funding.

Many of those projects propose restoration work, including for windows at Old Town Hall, sections of fence on the Common, the Dickinson Memorial Chapel at Greenlawn Cemetery, Fort Pickering on Winter Island, and the Choate Memorial and Roger Conant statues.

Other possible projects include a new roof for the Salem Public Library, improvements to the community gardens at Palmer Cove Park and Mack Park, and upgrades for Driver, Patton, Lafayette and Swiniuch parks.

Another project was proposed by North Shore Community Development Coalition, which hopes to acquire and rehab three buildings on Dow and Congress streets. The renovations would include exterior work, a roof replacement, flooring, painting, new kitchens and bathrooms, as well as landscaping, and would affect a total of 37 units, Guy said.

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