By Jim Clark
A vote to have the adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) placed on the November 6, 2012 ballot passed without objection at the August 16 Special Meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
According to the state, the CPA allows communities to create a local Community Preservation Fund to raise money through a surcharge of up to 3% of the real estate tax levy on real property for open space protection, historic preservation and the provision of affordable housing. The act also creates a significant state matching fund, which serves as an incentive to communities to pass the CPA.
The law, which was put into practice 12 years ago, has gone through changes over the years, and recently received a significant going-over by the state legislature, in hopes that more cities would adopt it.
The modifications to the law tend to make more CPA revenues available for recreational projects, which was a big selling point for Somerville officials.
Speaking in favor of the ballot measure, Mayor Curtatone said, “Somerville has been for many years now a leader in sustainability and preservation, in understanding the value of affordable housing and expanding our reach in creating the most dynamic and open recreation spaces.” The mayor went on to point out that “we have so much more as a community that we desire to achieve and need to accomplish if we’re going to reach the vision we see for our future.”
Curtatone further said that because of the recent modifications to the CPA, its adoption by Somerville looks more attractive than ever, particularly because monies can now be utilized for renovations as well as for new developments.
Voters will have their say on the matter on November 6.