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CPA Trust Fund awards Barrington $190,000

"With a strong CPA fund, the town will be better able to meet some of our important affordable housing, historic preservation and open space needs." -- Great Barrington Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin

Great Barrington – In its first year of participation in the Community Preservation Act, the town has received more than $190,000 in matching funds from The Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

According to Town Planner Christopher Rembold, on November 12 the DOR released the Community Preservation Act distribution for each CPA municipality.

For Great Barrington the $190,000 match represents an approximately 48 percent match on its fiscal year 2014 local surcharge approximately a 48 percent match on its FY14 local surcharge net of over $393,000. This year’s Trust Fund was derived from fees collected at the Registries of Deeds and a portion of the state’s FY14 budget surplus.

“We are very pleased that Great Barrington received this 48 percent match to our local dollars,” said Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin. “By making the local commitment, we were able to receive our share of funding from the Commonwealth. Leveraging our money with state funds is key to making our money go further and maintaining our fiscal stability.”

The average match for the 155 CPA communities across the Commonwealth was 42.7 percent. In 2012, Great Barrington adopted the CPA at the maximum local surcharge rate of 3 percent. Towns that have a surcharge of less than 3 percent receive on average only a 31 percent distribution from the Fund. Only 10 municipalities across the state received a full 100 percent match.

“The Community Preservation Act supports projects that are vital to preserving the quality of life and character of our town,” Tabakin added. “With a strong CPA fund, the town will be better able to meet some of our important affordable housing, historic preservation and open space needs.”

On December 9, the Town’s Community Preservation Committee (CPC) will begin reviewing applications for funding (click here for information about the applicants). Twenty-one potential projects deemed eligible by the CPC in October were invited to submit full applications by December 1.

“While the Town’s CPA budget is relatively substantial,” said Committee Chair Karen W. Smith, “it is very likely we will receive applications for more funding than we have. Applications must be on time, they must be complete, and they must be consistent with the Community Preservation Plan and the Master Plan. The CPC will take its time and recommend that the May 2015 Town Meeting fund only the most worthy projects.”

It remains to be seen which projects will continue through the process, how much the CPC wants to allocate and how much to leave in prudent reserve for future projects. The CPC begins its deliberations on Wednesday, December 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Fire Station.

— H.B.


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