Get In Line: Community Preservation Set Dates for Applying for Funding

Do you have a project that could use a few dollars to complete?

Well, you may want to get in line to apply for what will be the third funding round from the town’s Community Preservation Committee which distributes the total of a 1.5 percent surcharge on property taxes and state funding for a wide-range of proposals involving acquiring or improving open space and recreation land, rehabbing or preserving historic sites and supporting community housing.

Preliminary applications for CPC funds will be available on July 1 from the committee. But already “eight or nine” groups have made inquires on the process, according to Floyd Carman, Belmont’s treasurer and committee’s clerk.

“Residents have seen the process work and now are thinking about it for their proposals,” said Carman.

And the committee will be holding a tidy amount of cash to help jump start projects.

At its monthly committee on Wednesday, June 11, the CPC estimates it will have a little more than $1.1 million to distribute to organizations or town agencies in the 2016 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015, said Michael Trainor, the CPC coordinator.

That total could increase with the approval of an additional $25 million in additional state matching funds distributed across the state that could up Belmont’s total to $1.4 million, said Trainor.

But groups which believe simply by applying for CPC funding guarantees the money in their bank account will benefit attending the public meeting on Sept. 18 where the committee will answer questions and review the extensive process in which projects are evaluated.

Preliminary applications are due in on Sept. 30. A week later, on Oct. 8, the committee will make the first round of cuts. Groups whose proposals past muster will make a five-minute presentations and answer questions from the committee on Nov. 13. Final applications are due on Dec. 1.

The CPC will make its final decision on accepting or rejecting applications on Jan. 14, 2015.

In April, the CPC made its largest distribution by providing $2 million for the new Underwood Pool. But the committee usually allocates smaller amounts to such projects as $165,000 for the electrical upgrade of town housing, $8,700 to improve the irrigation system at the High School’s “JV” field and $67,000 for the second phase of the Butler School Playground project.

This fiscal year, Carman is advising the committee to create a “reserve” account, setting aside a specific amount annually to build up a funding source to use on acquisitions or projects exceeding the entire funding amount in any future year.

For more information, contact the Community Preservation Hotline at 617-993-2774 or Trainor at mtrainor@belmont-ma.gov

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