By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Nearly $5 million of requests have been submitted to the Community Preservation Committee, which makes recommendations on how to spend the money the town raises through a 3 percent surtax on real estate tax bills.
The annual Town Meeting on May 19 will have the final word on these expenditures. The biggest request is a proposal to spend $2.5 million to buy the Berry Street property where developers want to build 196 apartments.
Another $1,041,000 has been requested to improve the athletic fields at North Andover High School. The Fields Committee is seeking $290,000 for the continued renovation of McEvoy Park.
Town Planner Judy Tymon recently asked the committee to support $176,000 for a multi-use trail for walkers and bicyclists. The trail would start on High Street, go along Walker Road, cross Route 125 and the lower fields of North Andover High School and extend as far as Weir Hill.
Another $570,000 has been requested for the Old Center preservation project.
The Community Preservation Committee will vote on which of these requests to support at Town Meeting. Town Manager Andrew Maylor told the selectmen Monday night that John Simons, chairman of the committee, will provide more details on the projects at the May 31 selectmen’s meeting.