Community Preservation Committee Seeking Applications for Potential Projects

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The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) seeks applications for potential projects to be funded by Watertown’s Community Preservations Act funds, and informational meetings have been scheduled for potential applicants. 

The money raised from a 2 percent surcharge on Watertown property tax bills can be spent on projects in four areas: open space, outdoor recreation, community housing, and historical preservation. As of June, the CPA Fund had nearly $9 million. 

The CPC takes applications and recommends which projects should receive funding, but it does not initiate, implement or manage projects.

Community Preservation funds can be used for the following types of projects:

  • buy, create, preserve open space and rehabilitate and/or restore open space that is acquired or created using CPA funds;
  • acquire, preserve, rehabilitate, or restore historic resources;
  • acquire, create, preserve, and support community housing; and
  • acquire, create, preserve, and rehabilitate and/or restore passive and active outdoor recreation facilities.

Projects can be done on public or private property, said Watertown Community Preservation Coordinator Lanae Handy, but the applicants must have permission.

“If they are a local group interested in doing a project on town property they need to get the consent and support of the Town,” Handy said. “They can’t just apply for funds if they don’t have the approval of the Town.”

Similarly, applicants may have to get permits and approvals for other types of projects before getting funding.

Town Departments can also apply for projects using CPA funds, Handy said, but they cannot be projects that already have approved funding.

“CPA funds can’t supplant funding for projects that are already in the pipeline that already have funding,” Handy said. “It is not supposed to supplant funding, it is supposed to supplement.”

These and other subjects will be discussed at a pair of meetings on Aug. 24 and Aug. 26 (see details below).

“I’m going to be talking about things they should consider when applying. There are a lot of intricacies,” Handy said.

The first step in the application is to submit a preliminary application to see if the project is eligible for funding. The deadline to submit the project eligibility forms is Oct. 4, 2021. Applicants will be notified whether or not they are eligible by Oct. 11. 

The full application for eligible projects must be submitted by Dec. 10, 2021. This step requires submitting much more detailed applications. 

“They will have more details about the project and they have to prepare a detailed budget and timeline, details about who their project team would be and what their roles would be,” Handy said. “They need to have a budget that is pretty detailed with a good estimate.”

Some examples of potential projects that the public suggested at forums held by the CPC can be seen in the Community Preservation Plan (click here to view). The plan also has a chart to show what the CPA funds can and cannot be spent on. 

See the announcement from the Community Preservation Committee, below:

The Watertown Community Preservation Committee is now accepting Community Preservation Project Eligibility Forms.

We welcome your ideas for Open Space, Outdoor Recreation, Community Housing, and Historic Preservation projects.

• Before you begin your application process, please read the Community Preservation Plan as well as the CPA Application Manual and application instructions found at under How to Apply.

• Join us at one of two application workshop dates shown below. Both workshops will be held at the Watertown Library, Lucia Mastrangelo Meeting Room, 123 Main Street, Watertown. For space planning purposes, please email Lanae Handy at , including your name, organization, and selected workshop date.

Application Workshop Dates

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 from 10:30am – 12:00pm

Thursday, August 26, 2021 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm


Project Eligibility Form Due: October 4, 2021

Notification of Eligibility: October 11, 2021

CPA Funding Application Due: December 10, 2021

Applicant Project Presentations: February 2022

If you have any questions, contact Lanae Handy, Community Preservation Coordinator at or call at 617-715-8620.

Click here for additional information

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