The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:
Watertown’s Community Preservation Committee is pleased to announce that the Commonwealth has released $203,645 more to Watertown’s Community Preservation Fund, bringing the total annual state match to $956,905 for our City.
These resources are a supplemental distribution from $20 million in state surplus funds for Community Preservation Act (CPA) communities in fiscal year 2022. State matching funds come from fees assessed on certain real estate transactions through the registration of deeds. For the past fiscal year, the state match equaled 38.5 percent of the CPA funds raised locally.
Mark Kraczkiewicz, current chair of the CPC, said, “These matching state funds of nearly a million dollars confirm the wisdom of Watertown voters when they adopted the CPC. Our local funds leverage significant additional money from the state to support local community projects.”
Lanae Handy, the City’s Community Preservation Coordinator, said, “The CPC received six proposals for funding this round. These project applications run the gamut from the rehabilitation of public parkland to historic preservation and the creation of community housing. After public presentations by proposal applicants at CPC meetings scheduled for this February, the CPC hopes to make its recommendation to the Council by the end of March, to be voted on by the Council later in the spring. We look forward to many more quality projects since there’s more than $14 million in the CPA fund.”
Last year, the CPC recommended two projects, both of which were approved by the Council: rehabilitation of Irving Park, and repair and preservation of the paintings in the City Hall foyer that depict the town in 1630 in 1930. The paintings restoration is underway, and the park improvements are planned to begin this spring.
More information about the CPC and the CPA can be found on the City’s website at https://www.watertown-ma.gov/352/Community-Preservation-Committee and pages linked from there.
About the CPA
The CPA is a state law allowing Massachusetts communities which opt to use the Act to add a small surcharge on local property taxes, to fund projects that build and rehabilitate parks, playgrounds, and recreational fields, to acquire and protect open space, create local affordable housing development, and preserve historic buildings and resources—to name some of the possible activities. Watertown adopted the CPA by local referendum in 2016, with a 2% local surcharge. Local organizations and City departments submit project proposals to the City’s nine-member volunteer Community Preservation Committee (CPC). The CPC reviews project proposals and makes recommendations to the City Council. Then the Council votes to approve project funding.