The Community Preservation Committee has temporarily suspended its August 12 deadline for the next round of project applications.
“The committee wants to consider if it should move forward with the normal funding round schedule,” administrative clerk Carole E. Sutherland said.
During a typical funding round, Community Preservation Fund applications are due in August, vetted by the committee in the autumn, and go before Falmouth Town Meeting for approval at the April Town Meeting.
“Nothing is normal these days, but the committee will consider doing that and making no changes to the application schedule,” Ms. Sutherland said. “The committee may delay, and postpone that main funding round until the November 2021 Town Meeting.”
If it does so, the committee would swap its funding rounds and consider time-sensitive applications at the April 2021 Town Meeting. In 2022, the committee would resume its normal schedule of considering the annual applications in April and time-sensitive applications in November.
That was the intention this year, with 12 Community Preservation Committee articles scheduled to go before Town Meeting in April. Town Meeting addressed one of these articles at its outdoor meeting on Monday, June 22, appropriating $120,000 to fund Community Preservation Committee administrative expenses for Fiscal Year 2021.
“As it stands now, we got one article approved, the admin article, so the office can stay open,” Ms. Sutherland said.
There are 11 other Community Preservation Committee warrant articles outstanding, including 10 project applications and a $1,357,518 transfer into the Falmouth Affordable Housing Fund. Ms. Sutherland noted that these project applications were put together last summer.
“Those applications are going on a year now, they haven’t been approved and we don’t know when they will be approved,” she said. “Can the projects be done for the same amount of money? That is a big question.”
Aware of the potential for further delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Sutherland said the committee wants to avoid that question for the next funding round by minimizing the time between the application deadline and the vote at Town Meeting. The committee will review the timetable for the next funding round at its next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, July 9, at 6 PM.
“The current deadline of August 12 has been suspended until the Community Preservation Committee decides how it will be proceeding with the project application schedule,” Ms. Sutherland said.
Noting there is approximately one month between the July 9 meeting and the initial Wednesday, August 12, deadline, she said it is likely the application deadline will be postponed even if the committee opts to bring funding requests to the April 2021 Town Meeting.
“We’re trying to be fair to the applicants and give them enough notice,” Ms. Sutherland said.