The Community Preservation Act: Town Meeting 2014

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A view of the dog park built in Randolph, MA with Community Preservation Act funds (photo from the Friends of Randolph Dog Park website)

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by Pam Hallett

As many A-DOG members are also Town Meeting members I am reaching out to you to be sure you understand the Community Preservation Act (CPA).  I am working with a small group of individuals trying to bring The Community Preservation Act to 2014 Town Meeting for adoption.  (If Town Meeting votes in favor of the CPA, it will then be put on the ballot so that the voters can decide whether Arlington should adopt the CPA.)  This link gives an overview of the Act.  This flyer explains how a small property tax surcharge ($86 per average household per year) could generate a significant amount of funding to use on open space, parks and outdoor recreational facilities, historic preservation and affordable housing.

So, think new dog parks, Thorndike Dog Park improvements, Menotomy Rocks Park and the Arlington Reservoir improvements to name a few parks/recreational facilities which could use the funding.  The Town of Randolph received funding from their CPA to create a new dog park in 2011 and again in 2013 to plant a screen of mature trees along the edge of the park.

The state provides an annual match to the fund.  Last year it was a 52% match.  Arlington could be looking at collecting over $1M each year to spend as the community sees fit.  The State match would increase that amount significantly.   Please read the information on the links for more specific information.

I hope that A-DOG will support the adoption of the CPA and that Town Meeting members who are also A-DOG members will stand up and support the adoption of the CPA at Town Meeting. Please contact me for more information and discussion.

Pam Hallett <phallett@housingcorparlington.org>

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Notes: This article represents the opinion of the author, an A-DOG member, and not an official position of A-DOG.  The Board of Selectmen has now voted (4-1), in their March 10 hearing, to recommend that Town Meeting vote in favor of the CPA.  Their draft recommended vote is here.  A report from the Town Manager to the Selectmen, describing possible projects the CPA might contribute to, is here.

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