The recommendation by the Gloucester Community Preservation Committee that $300,000 in Community Preservation Act dollars be steered into the Newell Renewal stadium reconstruction project not only makes sense now, with the project well under way and with fund-raisers zeroing in on the top end of their $3.5 million goal.
The only real question about the allocation, which still requires City Council approval, is why the project — which is, after all, a parks and recreation project at its core — wasn’t eligible from the start.
Thankfully, state lawmakers rectified the absurdity of that situation – which stemmed from the CPA’s previous recreation and open space requirement that any such money be applied only to projects that included sites a city or town was seeking to acquire, and did not already own.
And that has indeed opened the door to giving this project the $300,000 boost that should essentially make up the last remaining funding gap for the Gloucester Fishermen’s Athletic Association, which has spearheaded this classic private-public partnership.
To that end, the City Council should indeed give its emphatic approval to pump the CPA money into the stadium. It should ensure, once and for all, that this model grass roots project achieves all of its goals. That includes the creation of a facility that will be a true source of Gloucester community pride.