Onset Bay Association to request $333,000 at Town Meeting for new bandshell

Oct 5, 2018

An article put forward by the Onset Bay Association (OBA) will ask voters at the Fall Town Meeting to approve up to $333,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to replace the Lillian Gregerman Bandshell in Onset. The aging structure at 1 Union Ave. hosts a variety of events during the summer such as free concerts and movie nights which routinely draw crowds numbering in the hundreds.

According to OBA President Kat Jones, the replacement of the bandshell critical to its continued success as a summertime destination and economic hub.

“There’s only so much cosmetic repairs can do,” Jones explained. “We’re at the point where it’s time for a complete overhaul.”

According to Jones, the proposed replacement would take the bandshell back to its Victorian roots in style.  The existing benches at the structure would be restored and brick stairwells would be built between aisles to prevent further erosion when it rains. Landscaping as well as the installation of additional seating, audio equipment, lighting and handicap accessible areas are also included in the OBA’s replacement plans.

“It needs a lot of TLC,” Jones said. “But we’re prepared to do all we can.”

The $333,000 request for the project is based off industry estimates and is projected to cover the bulk of the replacement cost including demolition. Current estimates for the new bandshell sit at $357,724.

The Community Preservation Committee allocates funds every year for a variety of community projects through the state’s Community Preservation Act in four categories: open space, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreation. The money is raised through a surcharge on property tax bills. The state then matches a percentage of this town-raised money with funds being approved at Town Meeting.

Jones noted that the OBA will be being applying for grants in addition to their request for Community Preservation Act funds in order to reduce the project’s final cost.

“Anything we don’t use would go back into the fund,” she said.