First Congregational Church bottom, The Evergreens and Dickinson Homestead on left center & top
CPAC member Jim Brissette had originally spoken against the request a few meetings back, worrying every historically significant building in town would be requesting fire suppression systems. But he said the testimony he heard convinced him the Museam is a special -- almost unique -- case and worthy of the added protection despite the cost.
Chair Mary Streeter was not as convinced saying Amherst College should be able to come up with the extra $50,000 that the committee originally cut. But supporters pointed out the College was matching the CPA request dollar for dollar, so that $50,000 cut was really a $100,000 cut.
The Committee was not as generous with the First Congregational Church, whittling their $357,647 request down to $200,000. Vice Chair Paris Boyce voted against any money saying since the Church was doing a million in renovations, mainly an elevator, so they simply picked an item, fire suppression, that fell within the guidelines of the CPA.
The $390,000 approved for both historic structures still needs Town Meeting approval but that is all but guaranteed.
At the begining of the meeting the CPAC also approved recommending Town Meeting allow the $190,148 approved last year for rehabilitation of the North Common in front of Town Hall be used for that purpose.
The original approval was contingent on a $400,000 PARC grant, but the state denied that request for the second time. Thus town officals will return to the CPAC in a couple years for additional funding.
North Common is the centerpiece of downtown