May 12 2020

Community Preservation Act Warrant Article Postponed

By: Rich Hosford

An expected Town Meeting warrant article that would have led to a ballot question this November has been postponed. 


The citizen committee Vote Yes CPA Burlington that has been supporting the adoption of the Community Preservation Act, said in a letter that the warrant article to add the ballot question to adopt the act has been taken off the upcoming Town Meeting in June. 


“Due to the pandemic, The Town Meeting warrant may only include those items that are critical to keeping the town operating,” the committee said. “In addition, our ability to present our case for CPA in person to various town committees is very limited at this time. Given this it was deemed both a logical and responsible action to postpone.”


If passed by voters, the way the program works is that a surcharge would be added to all real estate tax bills, with a maximum addition of 3 percent. The state then provides a match of a percentage of the town contribution as an incentive to join the program. 


The Community Preservation Act requires municipalities to set aside at least 10 percent of the funds in a reserve account for each of the following categories: Open space/recreation, historic preservation, and community housing. The remaining 70 percent of the funds are undesignated and can be used for any allowable project. Up to five percent of the funds may be used for the administrative expenses.


“The Community Preservation Act has many benefits for enhancing our open spaces, upgrading our recreation areas, providing more affordable housing and preserving our historic resources,” the committee wrote. “These benefits are even more inviting with a state match of monies collected.  Therefore we will resume our campaign to inform and educate the voters about the benefits of the Community Preservation Act as soon as conditions allow.”


Click here to watch a BNEWS In Depth on the Community Preservation Act.


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