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Community Preservation Committee launches 2019 application round

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The City of New Bedford’s Community Preservation Committee (CPC) will launch the Community Preservation Act application round for Fiscal Year 2019 on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. with an informational “Technical Workshop” at the New Bedford Public Library located at 613 Pleasant Street, in the 3rd Floor Meeting Room.

The CPC anticipates a budget of $1.1 million to fund CPA eligible projects in FY19 and strongly encourages organizations, businesses, and residents who are considering applying for funding in this round to attend the workshop for detailed information and the opportunity to ask questions about CPA and the application process.

About the Community Preservation Act in Massachusetts

The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a Massachusetts state law (MGL Ch. 44B) designed to help Massachusetts towns and cities plan for sustainable growth and provide funds to achieve their community preservation goals. CPA allows participating cities and towns to adopt a real estate tax surcharge of up to 3% to raise funds and create a local dedicated fund for preserving open space and historic resources and expanding community housing and outdoor recreational activities. The CPA stipulates that decisions regarding the allocation of CPA funds in cities and towns that adopt the initiative are to be made by a local community preservation committee (CPC) whose task is to receive and review applications and to make recommendations to the City Council, which in turn makes the final allocations.

In addition to the community tax surcharge, the state provides matching funds that are not less than 5% and not more than 100% of the funds raised by the community. The actual percentage varies from year-to-year dependent on the health of the state’s Community Preservation Trust Fund, which is funded by a surcharge on Registry of Deeds transactions.

About the Community Preservation Act in New Bedford

New Bedford voters adopted the CPA program through a ballot question in November 2014. New Bedford elected to fund the CPA account through a 1.5% surcharge on annual tax assessments and established a Community Preservation Committee in 2016. The city began collecting surcharge revenue on the 2016 tax bills and will continue collection on a quarterly basis. There are two surcharge exemptions available:

· The first $100,000 of taxable value of residential and commercial properties.
· Residential property owned and occupied by any person who qualifies for low income housing or low to moderate income senior housing.

For FY 2018 the selections were:

Under open space, the CPC selected:

– Acushnet Sawmill New Bedford expansion and community garden.

Under historic preservation, the CPC selected the following projects:

– Schooner Ernestina Morrissey rehabilitation
– Veterans Transitional Housing expansion at 1060 Pleasant Street
– Seamen’s Bethel continued restoration
– First Baptist Community Theatre
– Sgt. William H. Carney House restoration
– Rotch-Jones-Duff House restoration
– 305-307 Pleasant Street foreclosure restoration
– Strand Theatre restoration as Cape Verdean Cultural Center
– Zeiterion Theatre Marquee project
– James Arnold Mansion restoration

Under recreation, the CPC selected the following projects:

– Hazelwood Park rehabilitation
– Abolition Row Park
– Buttonwood Diamond 1 field lighting
– Dias Field rehabilitation
– Brooklawn Basketball Court upgrades
– Buttonwood Brook trail and bridges project

Questions concerning CPA and the application process can be directed to the Department of Planning, Housing & Community Development at 508-979-1500 or CPA@newbedford-ma.gov.

On September 12, 2018, application materials will be made available on the city website at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/planning/community-preservation/.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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