, Newburyport, MA

December 5, 2013

CPA funds will increase next year


---- — NEWBURYPORT — Last-minute changes in state budget allocations mean that the city will receive about 52 percent more next year from the state coffers to fund its Community Preservation Act initiatives.

City officials say that there has been a transfer of about $25 million to the statewide Community Preservation Act (CPA) trust fund. That means that more money will be available for eligible communities around the state.

For Newburyport, it means more funding in the future for the dozen or so local organizations that apply for —and receive — CPA money.

For the 2013 cycle, recently finalized by the City Council, the city’s CPA contribution is $653,278, and the state’s matching fund is $341,175 for a total of $994,453.

The total figure for next year is not available, as the city’s contribution is not known. But it will be significantly more, perhaps $170,000, based on past figures.

“This is great news for the city,” said Kate Newhall-Smith, CPC administrator in the Office of Planning and Development.

Application forms for the next funding cycle are now available at City Hall and are due by Feb. 13, 2014.

The Community Preservation Act permits the city to earmark 2 percent of property taxes for purposes designated by the CPA: to acquire and preserve open space, historic resources, affordable housing and recreational resources.

The city has been implementing the program since 2004, and the state supplements the fund with amounts that change year to year.

The following is a summary of FY2014 Community Preservation Committee recommendations, which were finalized by the City Council:

Rail Trail, phase II, $100,000; housing rehabilitation, $75,000; affordable housing trust, $75,000; Joppa Park renovation, phase II, $20,000; Cherry Hill soccer field, $50,000; Atwood Park improvement, $20,000; Kelleher Park Playground, $6,000; Bartlet Mall, $12,000; open space reserve, $50,000; Newburyport High School, phase I and II, $150,000; National Register signage, $6,500; Little River kiosks, $8,000; historic landscape preservation at Atkinson Common, $20,000.

Several items are funded each year: City Hall debt payment, $195,187; open space debt payment, $128,818; and FY14 administration expenses, $12,000.

City officials say that not all money allocated in a given year will be spent immediately.