The second time was the charm for proponents of the Community Preservation Act in Watertown, which won with nearly 60 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
The ballot question will create a fund for projects in three areas: affordable housing, open space and historic preservation.
Jennifer Van Campen, one of the leaders of Invest in Watertown, the group that put the CPA on the ballot, said she was confident going into election.
“I actually welt that we were going to win all along,” Van Campen said.
The confidence came despite the fact Watertown voters rejected the CPA in 2005. Also, there was also an active “No” campaign from the Concerned Watertown Homeowners, who funding mechanism because it would hurt families and residents struggling to afford living in town.
The money for the CPA comes from a 2 percent surcharge added to Watertown’s property tax bills, and the town will receive some matching funds from the state. Low-income residents and low- and moderate-income seniors can apply to the town to get a waiver from the surcharge.
Also, the Watertown Strong Schools parent group urge voters to reject the CPA because there are school bond projects that will be on the ballot in the next few years.
Van Campen said she thought residents saw the benefits of the CPA this time around.
“We had a more organized campaign with more volunteers, and more importantly, so many other communities have adopted it and are doing great things with the money,” Van Campen said. “A lot of projects have been built and Watertown residents have been able to see those.”
Along with the volunteers from town, Invest in Watertown also got donations and help from Metro West Collaborative Development, of which Van Campen is executive director, and from the national group Trust for Public Lands.
The “Yes” on Question 5 not only won the total vote, it also won in all 12 precincts in town.
The closest vote came in Precinct 11 on the Westside of town, where Yes won by just two votes, while the largest margin came in Precinct 3 in the East End, where Yes won by 549 votes.
Precinct-by-Precinct Results for the CPA
|Yes on CPA
|No on CPA