The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 2, 2003


Town to vote on CPA housekeeping details — no spending projects yet

Article 15 of spring Town Meeting will ask "to see what sum the Town will vote with respect to any report or recommended action of the community preservation committee (CPC), or take any other action relative thereto."

Town Meeting must authorize any future CPA spending.

Carlisle's CPC was formed two years ago to administer funds collected under the community preservation act (CPA.) State law requires that towns allocate at least 10% of CPA money for community housing, at least 10% for open space ("not including land for recreational use,") and at least 10% for historical preservation. This money does not have to be spent in the year it is collected. However, even if the money is to be saved, Town Meeting must vote to set aside these amounts. This time Carlisle must vote on the $214,553 collected during fiscal year 2002. This is the first time Carlisle voters have had to do this housekeeping process.

The future use of remaining fiscal 02 CPA money may be left unspecified, and spent later for any combination of housing, open space, or historical preservation project, as well as for the "acquisition, creation and preservation" of lands for recreation, or for administrative expenses. CPC chair Caren Ponty said the committee will ask for authority to use $5,000 for administration and operating expenses.

CPC seeks multi-use project

The committee has not yet received any project applications to use the CPA funds. The CPC's stated goal is to save all or most of the CPA money for use on a large project which would meet many of the town's needs. An example of such a project might be a down-payment on a large parcel of land, where some of the acreage would be used for the construction of affordable housing, while the remainder might be saved for open space or playing fields. Project applications are available from the town administrator at Town Hall, or at the Gleason Library.

Nearby towns using CPA funds

Some nearby towns have already begun to spend their CPA funds in many ways. Bedford has several projects underway, including affordable housing, purchasing land for open space and recreation, and for restoration work in their historic Job Lane house. Lincoln plans to use CPA funds for affordable housing, as well as to replace the roof on the historic Pierce house.

Where CPA money comes from

Carlisle currently has $549,304 in its CPA account, collected during fiscal 02 and 03. This money was generated by a local 2% real estate tax surcharge, as well as state matching funds.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) uses fees collected from the Registry of Deeds and Land court, and distributes them among those towns which have adopted the CPA. Last year the state matched local CPA revenues dollar for dollar. On October 15, 2002 the DOR distributed $17,854,420 and Carlisle received $214,533. The nearby towns of Lincoln and Acton were among those towns which adopted the CPA this past November. Currently 58 of the state's 351 towns and cities are participating.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito