By Carol Britton Meyer
Community Preservation Act proposals for the current round of funding include a new World's End visitors center, purchase of the historic Benjamin Lincoln house, affordable housing, and 10 others.
Voters at next year's Town Meeting -- and that includes you! -- will decide which of the projects recommended by the Hingham Community Preservation Committee they would like to see move forward. The process has just begun for 2019-2020, and more information will be available.
In my view, the Benjamin Lincoln house proposal is of particular interest because the Lincoln family has lived in the house since the 17th Century and has agreed to take it off the market until the CPA process is complete. That's because the family doesn't want it to go into the hands of private owners, who could possibly change the inside of the house. The house would come with the contents, including a number of historic artifacts, and would likely be used as a learning center/museum.
Another proposal requests $650,000 for affordable housing under the Hingham Affordable Housing Trust -- an issue that 's on the minds of many Hinghamites as housing prices continue to escalate.
Others include creation of a Benjamin Lincoln Park on Station Street; upgrades to the popular Plymouth River Playground; South Shore Country Club improvements, including a new outdoor pool with a "bubble" for year-round use; an updated "Vision for the Inner Harbor" plan, and more.
It's interesting to note, said CPC member Vicki Donlan at a recent meeting, that Benjamin Lincoln is NOT related to Abraham Lincoln, as many people think!
Community Preservation Act funding comes from a 1.5 percent CPA annual taxpayer surcharge that Hingham voters adopted in 2000. The state matches a portion of the funds.
CPA funds may only be used for open space acquisition, historic preservation, community housing, and limited recreational projects.
The CPC will make its recommendations at the April 2020 Town Meeting, which has the final say.
So there's plenty of time to follow the process and think about which proposals you might support at next year's Town Meeting!