The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 26, 2007


Carlisle receives $297,471 in CPA matching grant

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has awarded Carlisle a grant of $297,471 in a dollar-for-dollar match of the FY07 monies collected by the 2% property tax surcharge authorized under the Community Preservation Act (CPA). Since 2002, Carlisle has been awarded a total of $1,566,735.

The expenditure of CPA money is restricted to the following: open space preservation, community affordable housing, preservation of historic buildings and landscapes, and public recreation. At least ten percent of the annual revenue must be reserved for each of the first three purposes, while the remaining 70% may be spent on any type of qualifying project. Spending requests are evaluated by the town's Community Preservation Committee and recommendations are brought to Town Meeting for approval.

As of June 30, the town had $208,119 in the CPA Historic Reserve, $137,119 in the Community Housing Reserve and an Undesignated Fund Balance of $487,588. All money allocated for open space is being used to pay principal and interest on the Benfield Land purchase until the debt is paid.

A reduction in the state matching grant is predicted in the next few years as more towns vie for fewer funds. The recent slump in the real estate market has reduced the amount of fees collected from the Registry of Deeds and Land Court which are used to fund the state grants. Meanwhile, according to, this year the state split a total of $68 million among 113 communities, up from 102 communities last year (see table). As of August, there were 127 towns eligible to participate next year. According to Selectmen Doug Stevenson speaking at the October 23 Finance Team meeting, the 100% matching rate that has existed during the past six years is expected to drop to between 40% - 50%.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito