Category Archives: Art

Votes needed for MSH

From Jean Mineo – her latest thing that helps us all.

vote.2

Hello Medfield Friends,
The Cultural Alliance has submitted a video grant application and we need your vote.

If the video gets enough votes (i.e. lands in the top 10 of the category “arts and culture”), it advances to the next round of evaluation which will award one application in each category $100k and two applications $50k each. A lot of money!

The link to the 2:45 minute video is here:

http://act.usatoday.com/submit-an-idea/#/gallery/60445715

Click on the green vote button next to the video to cast your vote! You may vote once a day, every day through May 12. There are no forms to fill out. Then please share on Facebook or Twitter using the buttons under the video and help spread the word.

The grant addresses the renovation of key historic buildings at the former Medfield State Hospital into an arts and cultural center. The money would go toward hiring an expert to secure historic tax credits worth about $2 million – applicable to any project renovating the Chapel within historic guidelines, even if it doesn’t become a cultural center. This is a valuable asset to our town that does not commit us to a specific use!

Thanks for your help! Like us on Facebook for progress reports:
https://www.facebook.com/CulturalAllianceofMedfield/

Jean

 

C 617-877-5158

JeanMineo@aol.com

@JeanRMineo

www.LinkedIn.com/in/JeanMineo

DIF & TIF for MSH

The cultural arts center analysis recommends the use of district improvement financing (DIF) and tax increment financing (TIF) as mechanisms for financing the cultural arts center and the needed infrastructure.  A DIF allows one to raise monies by issuing bonds that are paid back only out of property tax monies derived from the lands within the DIF boundaries, so the DIF could be the former Medfield State Hospital campus, and the rest of the town would not have to pay in. A TIF sounds like a straight tax break given to stimulate a particular result.

Interestingly, the DLS newsletter this month had the following article on those –

DLS

Ask DLS: Property Tax Incentive and Financing Program Changes

This month’s Ask DLS features questions relating to changes in economic and housing development property tax incentives and financing programs under the Job Creation and Workforce Development Act, Chapter 219 of the Acts of 2016, and the Municipal Modernization Act, Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2016. A summary of the changes made by the Municipal Modernization Act can be found in the August 18, 2016 issue of City & Town. We have also compiled the questions answered in the Municipal Modernization Act series of Ask DLS for your convenience. Please let us know if you have other areas of interest or send a question to cityandtown@dor.state.ma.us. We would like to hear from you.

What is the District Improvement Financing Program?

Under MGL c. 40Q, cities and towns may create one or more improvement districts within their boundaries to promote increased residential, industrial, and commercial activity. Development districts are created by action of the mayor and council in cities, and town meeting in towns.

The centerpiece of the district improvement financing (DIF) program is the “District Development Program,” which is a statement of means and objectives designed to improve the quality of life, the physical facilities and structures and the quality of pedestrian and vehicular traffic control and transportation within a development district. Development programs may also include means and objectives to increase residential housing, both market rate and affordable. Every development program must include a financial plan, which is a statement of the costs and revenue sources needed to carry out development programs, to include (1) cost estimates for the development program; (2) the amount of indebtedness to be incurred; and (3) sources of anticipated capital. MGL c. 40Q, sec. 2.

How is municipal financing of improvements under the DIF program different than financing of other improvements?

A unique financing option involves setting aside all or a portion of the additional taxes, generated by the public improvements entailed in the development program. Districts that set aside a portion of the rise in property tax revenues (the “increment”) to finance the development program are referred to as “invested revenue districts.” General obligation or revenue bonds can be issued in anticipation of higher property tax revenues spurred by the development program in the district.

The revenue from the retained tax increment is reserved and credited to two accounts. MGL c. 40Q, sec. 3. First in priority is the “development sinking fund account” that is used to cover payment of interest and principal on debt taken out to fund the program. Second priority goes to a “project cost account” to cover separate project costs as outlined in the financial plan for the program. An amendment made by the Municipal Modernization Act provides that the requirement to reserve the increment ends when sufficient monies have been reserved to cover the full, anticipated liabilities of both these accounts. MGL c. 40Q, sec. 3(d).

How is the District Improvement Financing tax increment calculated?

The Municipal Modernization Act amended the calculation of the tax increment reserved for debt service and project costs in cities and towns with invested revenue districts under MGL c. 40Q. It will now equal the actual new growth increase added to the municipality’s levy limit under Proposition 2½ for the development activity and expanded tax base within the district. MGL c. 40Q, sec. 1. The previous formula was based on certain adjusted valuation increases that were difficult to calculate, did not correspond to the new property tax revenue generated by the program and were not fixed until the tax rate for the year was set. The amount will now be known before the rate is set since it is based on Proposition 2½ new growth. Moreover, the assessors can provide a realistic estimate of the increment for budgeting purposes. This will ensure that the revenues generated by the increment are not used to support the budget generally.

The annual increment is based on the increase in the community’s levy limit (“new growth”) attributable to real estate parcels within the district for that year, including the portion attributable to prior years with an assessment date after the base date of the program. The percentage of the increment being reserved for financing the project must be specified as part of the district financing plan.

Example
District is created April 1, 2017
Base date is January 1, 2017 (FY18)
FY19 with January 1, 2018 assessment date is first year for tax increment

$100,000 of FY19 tax base growth is attributable to parcels in district
FY19 increment = $100,000.

$150,000 of FY20 tax base growth is attributable to parcels in district
FY20 increment = $252,500 [$102,500 ($100,000 FY19 increment increased by 2.5%) PLUS $150,000 additional increment]

$100,000 of FY21 tax base growth is attributable to parcels in district
FY21 increment = [$358,813 [$258,813 ($252,500 FY20 increment increased by 2.5%) PLUS $100,000 additional increment]

Where can municipalities enter into TIF Agreements?

The Job Creation and Workforce Development Act, Chapter 219 of the Acts of 2016, made a number of changes in the economic development incentive program (EDIP), which makes state tax credits and local property tax exemptions available for certain economic development projects. MGL c. 23A, secs. 3A3G. The EDIP program is administered by the state Economic Affairs Coordinating Council (EACC), which approves the tax incentives. The Act streamlined the requirements and procedures for the two local property tax exemptions under the program, which are the tax increment financing (TIF) exemption and the special tax assessment (STA).

Municipalities may now apply to the EACC to declare an area in their city or town, or contiguous areas in neighboring cities or towns, as eligible for TIF agreements. An area can be designated as TIF-eligible if the EACC finds that there is a strong likelihood that any of the following will occur within a specific and proximate period of time: (1) a significant influx or growth in business activity; (2) creation of a significant number of new jobs—not merely replacement or relocation of current jobs within the state; or (3) a private project or investment will contribute significantly to the resiliency of the local economy. It is no longer necessary that a TIF-eligible area be within an Economic Target Area (“ETA”).

Cities and towns can enter into TIF agreements with persons or entities undertaking either (1) certified projects, or (2) real estate or facility expansion projects in a TIF-eligible area. Any project must be consistent with the municipality’s economic development objectives and likely to increase or retain employment opportunities for residents of the municipality. MGL c. 23A, sec. 3E. A certified project is a project run by a business for which the EACC has approved state tax incentives. An eligible real estate project must be construction, rehabilitation or improvement of any building or other structure on a parcel of real property which, when completed, will result in at least a 100% increase in the assessed value of the real property over the assessed value of the real property prior to the project. A facility expansion project requires relocation from one location to another in the state or expansion of an existing facility that results in a net increase in the number of full-time jobs at the relocated or expanded facility. See definitions in MGL c. 23A, sec. 3A.

What happens to a local tax incentive for a certified project when the certification is revoked?

The 2016 Act clarified the impact of an EACC revocation of a certified project for a business that is also receiving a local tax incentive. MGL c. 23A, sec. 3F. The EACC can revoke state tax credits for certified projects that are in material non-compliance with the job creation or other requirements agreed to as a condition of the credits. The local tax incentive will now terminate at the beginning of the tax year in which the material non-compliance occurred, unless the agreement between the municipality and business expressly provides otherwise. If a local tax incentive is terminated, the municipality may amend the agreement to continue it. The amended agreement must be approved by the legislative body and EACC. In addition, the municipality may recapture the previously foregone taxes by making a “special assessment” on the taxpayer in the year after the year of the EACC’s decision to revoke project certification. The recapture could go as far back as the finding of material non-compliance. The procedure for municipalities to assess and collect the recaptured amount as a property tax is also spelled out.

What is the new local option to promote creation of middle income housing? (Republished from March 2, 2017 City & Town)

Under G.L. c. 40, sec. 60B, cities and towns may, through their respective legislative bodies, provide for Workforce Housing Special Tax Assessments (WH-STA’s) as incentive to create middle-income housing. Municipal Modernization Act, Chapter 218, sec. 39 of the Acts of 2016. Unlike other property tax incentives, such as economic development tax increment finance (TIFs) agreements, no state-level approval is required. Local WH-STA plans may allow for exemptions as great as 100% of the fair cash value of the property during the first two years of construction. Over a three-year stabilization phase following construction, the exemptions are available in declining maximum percentages of the fair cash value.

To use this incentive, a city or town must designate one or more areas that present exceptional opportunities for increased development of middle income housing as WH-STA zones. The plan must describe in detail all construction activities and types of residential developments intended for the WH-STA zone. The city or town must also promulgate regulations establishing eligibility requirements for developers to enter into WH-STA agreements. The regulations must address procedures for developers to apply for a WH-STA; the minimum number of new residential units to be constructed to qualify for WH-STA tax incentives; maximum rental prices and other eligibility criteria to facilitate and encourage construction of workforce housing.

The city or town may then enter into tax agreements with property owners in WH-STA zones that will set maximum rental prices that may be charged by the owner to create middle income workforce housing.

The revised Cultural Arts Facility Feasibility Study

DBVW Architrects-cultural arts center

I had not realized that Louise Stevens had done an updated revision to her financial analysis of a cultural arts center at the former Medfield State Hospital site, so I am posting a link to that updated report here –

20170406-ArtsMarket-Medfield Feasibility Report April REV

DBVW Architrects-cultural arts center-glass connector

These renderings are from the DBVW Architects report –

20170406-DBVW Architrects-1624_Existing-Conditions-Report_17-0403-Email(1)

MSH arts/cultural center financial analysis

msh-lee-chapel-by-jt

Jean Mineo, Medfield’s arts and cultural guru, notes this morning my failure to include the Louise Stevens financial analysis of an arts/cultural center at the Medfield State Hospital site, when I posted a link to the DBVW Architects design concept report yesterday afternoon.  So here is the link to Louise Stevens’ financial analysis of an arts/cultural center at the Medfield State Hospital site from last October, that was updated this month –

20170406-ArtsMarket-Medfield Feasibility Report April REV.pdf

I had intended to post it with the DBVW material, but ran short of time.  The DBVW report has the stunning visuals with a new glass connector between the Lee Chapel and the Infirmary, while the Louise Stevens analysis says that it can work financially.

My major take away from hearing Louise Stevens present and reading her report last fall was that the arts/cultural center can be financially self-sustaining, mainly by means of rental income as a wedding location.  However, the benefit to the town is having a robust arts/cultural center all the other days of the year.

These studies were spearheaded by Jean’s efforts, and were funded partly by monies voted at the annual town meeting a year ago and a state grant Jean secured for the town.

Cultural/arts center proposal for MSH

Lee Chapel at msh

At the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee meeting last night, Douglas Brown of BDVW Architects from Providence presented his analysis of the potential for using the Lee Chapel and the adjoining Infirmary building as a cultural arts center.  Mr. Brown indicated that those two buildings were in good condition.  His plan has them being connected by a glass addition, which would become the entry way and also house the rest rooms.   The written report is available via the link that follows.

20170406-DBVW Architrects-1624_Existing-Conditions-Report_17-0403-Email(1)

An earlier economic analysis found that such a proposal was generally close to being economically self-sustaining.  Also, most of the construction costs appeared to be covered by selling the naming rights and fund raising.

One of the most intriguing suggestions was to have the new arts/cultural center be melded into and run as part of the Medfield Park & Recreation Commission, so that the town would have a Parks, Recreation, and Arts Commission.  The Medfield Park & Recreation Commission members present last night wanted to get the results of their new building feasibility study this June before they consider any such change.

Jean Mineo, Medfield Foundation 2017 volunteer of the year

Jean Mineo

Jean Mineo – 2017 Medfield Foundation Volunteer of the Year

Jean Mineo was selected as the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year just last month by the judges.  Jean was nominated by both Chris McCue Potts and Minta Hissong, a first having the same person nominated more than once in one year.  Jean and all the remarkable eight other Medfield volunteers who were nominated this year will be celebrated at the reception next Sunday, March 19 at 3PM at The Center. The public is invited to attend.

Brothers Marketplace generously sponsored the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards and support was also received from the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation.

Below in the order they were received are the nominations first by Chris McCue Potts, and then the one by Minta Hissong.


 

It is no secret that Jean Mineo is the “chief cultural Officer” for the town of Medfield — past, present and future! Her past work includes making possible innovative and visually interesting community art, including a sculpture trail at MSH site, power boxes painted with historical or other images relative to Medfield, and outdoor pianos for all to enjoy. Additionally, Jean founded the Cultural Alliance of Medfield so that the town would have an active cultural projects/events/advocacy organization to supplement the grant-making role of the Medfield Cultural Council. Her current work involves a number of initiatives, from making the vision of the Straw Hat Park and Holiday Stroll both a reality — and highly successful ones indeed evidenced by Town Meeting support for park funding, and the enormous turnout and positive feedback on the 2nd annual Stroll!  For both endeavors, Jean had to oversee all aspects — from fundraising, volunteer and partner recruitment, political navigation, logistical details, publicity and so much more.  Through it all, Jean always does it thoughtfully, with a calm and focused demeanor, and in a way that inspires others to get involved. Rarely does Jean get frustrated when confronted with a hurdle or challenge (which is sure to happen) — she just focuses on what needs to get done to keep things moving forward.

A hugely beneficial initiative that Jean led was the town matching initiative for Medfield Cultural Council funding for local nonprofits. For very little money (but big impact), Jean successfully made the case for the match, rallied residents to turn out for the Town Meeting vote (and speak up), and then played a role in making sure residents knew what kind of impact the doubling of available funding could have on local cultural groups and projects, including Zullo Gallery, Gazebo Players, Medfield Music Association, Medfield Public Library, and others.

Jean’s current efforts serving on the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, have the potential to provide future payoff with expansion of the town’s cultural offerings. She has spent countless hours pulling together local cultural groups and representatives who have a shared vision for the huge impact cultural initiatives/a cultural focus could have at the MSH site. Her work has required endless meetings, bringing in unpaid expertise for a visioning session, rallying the community to support the hiring of a paid consultant to conduct and report back on a feasibility study, and building relationships and navigating all levels of town politics, and the work is ongoing. Jean even launched an artistic competition for the creative reuse of the old waterworks gears from the MSH site!

Jean’s commitment to Medfield’s cultural vitality and overall town character, and the impact her time and energy has made on our community, is nothing short of amazing.

In terms of impact and results, consider this:

1) The thousands of people who have visited and enjoyed the Straw Hat Park so far…including all of the attractions that were in place prior to the official ribbon-cutting in the fall of 2016. This includes piano players, sidewalk chalk art viewers, and so many others wanting to envision the possibilities!

2) The thousands of people who have taken part in the Holiday Stroll for the past two years – whether volunteers, residents, out of town visitors, or artisans selling their works or providing services. The Stroll helped deepen the sense of community that is so strong in Medfield, and helped to lift so many spirits. The community-wide event also helps to support the livelihood of many artists, and also showcase Medfield’s own
artistic talents, including visual and musical.

3) The thousands of people who drive or walk by and appreciate all of the various community art Jean has made possible through the Art in Public Places initiative (via Medfield Foundation).

4) The tens of thousands of people who will benefit if MSH redevelopment includes one or more cultural components – this would include residents, visitors and contributing artists.

As a testament to Jean’s work as former head of the Medfield Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded her with a Leadership Circle Award in 2015, and the town recognized her contributions with a special event at the Zullo Gallery. https://www.mass-culture.org/lca_honorees.aspx

In addition to all of Jean’s cultural work, she served on the MAP board (including president) and has also been actively volunteering with community projects sponsored by United Church of Christ in Medfield (prior to and separate from working there).

Jean Mineo is long overdue for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Let’s make 2017 her year!

 


 

I am nominating Jean Mineo for the volunteer of the year award. Jean serves on many boards, organizations, and donates hours of her time to our town. I will focus on one of her big accomplishments of 2016, the Straw Hat Park. This park would not have been created but for Jean’s vision, drive, patience, knowledge and fortitude. I was lucky enough to be on the Straw Hat Park committee with Jean from the beginning when we first started meeting in December of 2013! Jean worked tirelessly from the beginning when in the summer of 2013 she started gathering ideas for the park with public art in the space. From there the selectman gave her permission to gather a team and see what could be done with the pocket park. Jean spent hours and hours on administration, attending meetings, meeting with key players in town, surveys, PR, social media guru, fundraising, speaking at town meetings, and finally working with the tradesman to get the work done. It was her project and she kept plugging away when politics and obstacles got in the way. I watched her work from behind the scenes and her dedication to our town is second to none. She always had a way to make it work. The Straw Hat Park is a beautiful new space in our town that is already getting a lot of use. This creation of this space from dirt/grass to our new park is because of Jean’s work and she deserves to be formally recognized. Thank you for the consideration.
-Minta Hissong

Holiday Stroll Dec. 2, 4-9PM

holiday-stroll-2016-postcardfront

(Medfield MA) The Cultural Alliance of Medfield (CAM) announces its second annual Holiday Stroll on Dec. 2, 2016 from 4 – 9 pm in downtown Medfield. This is a festive family event that takes place at seven locations along Main Street (use 468 Main Street for your GPS). The Holiday Stroll includes cookie decorating, an outdoor ice sculpture, 40 juried artisans, roaming carolers and M.E.M.O.’s outdoor tree lighting ceremony. All events are within walking distance, free parking nearby at the Montrose School (29 North Street) and free admission. For complete details and a list of artisans, visit www.MedfieldCulture.org

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