Following the recommendation of Westford’s 2016 Recreation Master Plan, Westford’s Parks and Recreation Commission has submitted a request for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to develop a Recreation Center Feasibility Study for Westford.
Allocation of CPA funds follows a two part process. First the application for funds is reviewed by the town’s Community Preservation Committee (CPC) and if approved by the CPC, the request is then placed on the town meeting warrant. The CPC will be reviewing the Parks and Rec Commission’s request for funds on August 23, 2016. If passed by the CPC the funding request will be on the Special Town Meeting warrant for October.
How you can help!
Please take a minute to support the request for CPA funds by sending an email or snail mail of support by August 21st to:
Jesse Beyer, CPA, CGA
Assistant Town Accountant/Finance & Budget Analyst
55 Main St
Westford, MA 01886
Points that you can mention in your letter of support:
1) The 2016 Recreation Master Plan recommended that Westford conduct a feasibility study.
2) Funding for the 2016 Recreation Master Plan was provided by CPA funds. CPA funds have been consistently used for feasibility studies. In the past three years, communities such as North Andover, Lexington, Wareham, and Wayland, to name a few, have used CPA funds for feasibility studies.
3) Benefits of a recreation center
- Promote health and wellness through recreational, fitness, and educational programming to a multi-generational population
- Job creation
- An economic stimulus for local businesses and partnership opportunities for businesses to offer services at the center
- New business attraction
- Year-round boost to tourism and leisure retail industry
- Provide recreation services to financially challenged residents
- A catalyst for improving community togetherness
- Reduction in health problems and costs
- Teen recreation opportunities
- Increased property values and tax revenues
- After school opportunities for children
- Make Westford an even better place to live!
It is important that the CPC realizes that the community is behind this initiative and your email/letter of support will help demonstrate that Westford residents want to see this study happen.
More Info on the Recreation Center Feasibility Study
The Recreation Master Plan calls for Westford to develop a needs assessment and feasibility study for an indoor recreation center that includes an aquatic component, gymnasium, fitness, rowing tank training, community meeting room space and classrooms for recreation and community programming. An additional component that the master plan did not identify, but has since become a priority issue, was the need for long term office space for Westford’s Parks and Recreation Department. The Parks and Recreation Department’s prior home at 35 Town Farm Rd had numerable safety and health issues and was closed in April of 2016.
A tentative high level scope of work for the study could include:
- Evaluate the nature, scale and economics of constructing an indoor recreation center within Westford
- Identify the potential audience/supporting membership of an indoor recreation center within Westford
- Assess what amenities/programming would be most logical to provide as part of a recreation center
- Explore the physical characteristics of various sites on which the recreation center could be constructed
- Outline the associated administration, maintenance and operational costs associated with the recreation center’s potential construction and programming
- Evaluate potential funding sources available to support short-term and long-term recreation center alternatives
- Determine feasibility of public/private partnerships for development & operation of a recreation center