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Posted on: September 15, 2022

Community Preservation Committee Now Accepting Applications For Community Betterment Projects

Community Preservation Act sign and photos of playground, monument, Munroe Tavern and gazebo.

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is currently accepting applications for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for the 2024 fiscal year. Applications are due by November 1, 2022.

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a state statute which individual communities in the Commonwealth may choose to adopt. Funding is imposed through a surcharge of up to 3% on property tax bills and supplemented by state matching funds from the Massachusetts Community Preservation Trust Fund.

Project Categories

The Community Preservation Act allows communities to utilize funds for the:

  • acquisition, creation and preservation of open space
  • acquisition, preservation and rehabilitation of historic resources
  • acquisition, creation, preservation and rehabilitation of recreational resources
  • acquisition, creation, preservation and support of community housing

The statute also allows for rehabilitation of both open space and community housing if acquired with CPA funds.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for CPA funding, projects must meet certain criteria as established by the statute.  In addition to falling into at least one of four categories: historic preservation, open space, community housing and/or recreation, applicants must also demonstrate the projects have significant public benefit and can be implemented practically, expeditiously and within budget.

Process

Applicants should visit the Community Preservation Committee’s webpages for more information on types of projects funded, then download the application form and instructions.

The nine-member Community Preservation Committee reviews applications and recommends projects to Town Meeting for final approval and appropriation. Applicants are required to attend a CPC meeting and present a detailed proposal in order for the CPC to make its recommendation.

Applicants should also be prepared to attend and present at Town Meeting information sessions and Town Meeting.  Proposals should be consistent with current Town planning documents.

Applications are also evaluated for their benefits to improve under-served populations, leverage additional public or private funding, serve more than one CPA purpose or save resources that may otherwise be threatened.

For more information, please visit the Community Preservation Committee’s webpages or call Christopher Tierney at 781-698-4629.

History

Since the 2006 passage of the Community Preservation Act in Lexington, Town Meeting has appropriated over $89 million in funding for CPA-approved projects, with over $20.4 million of that total provided by state supplemental matching funds. In July of 2019 Governor Baker signed the FY20 state budget, including the permanent increase to the CPA Trust Fund. In 2020, the legislation increased the recording fees at the Registries of Deeds which provide revenue to the CPA Trust Fund. In total, almost $78.5 million was paid to the 177 CPA communities eligible for a distribution across Massachusetts in November 2021. 

Past projects have included:

  • renovations to the Cary Memorial Building and other historical Town assets
  • the acquisition and rehabilitation of Lexington’s Community Center
  • the creation of affordable housing
  • rehabilitation of numerous Town parks and playgrounds
  • the acquisition of the Wright, Busa, Cotton and Leary Farms  

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