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Community Preservation Committee
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 Last updated:
 7-03-2016

 

The Georgetown Community Preservation Committee is pleased to announce that all of the Project Suggestions that were presented to the voters at the Annual Town Meeting of May 2, 2016 were approved. 
 

A Public Informational Hearing for this year's projects was held on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall 3rd Floor Meeting Room 
(Click to see the Presentation that was shown)

The Project Suggestions that were approved are:

Housing Authority ADA Ramp
A.H. Trust Block Grant
Peabody Library Portrait Restoration
South Byfield Cemetery Flagpole and Monument
Brocklebank Restoration
First Congregational Church Doors
Senior Center Perley Rehabilitation
Bond Costs
Rock Pond Milfoil
East Main St Rec Facility Completion costs
American Legion Park Docks
Camp Denison Road Paving
OSRP Goals

The CPC would like to thank all that attended the Annual Town Meeting on Monday May 2nd. 
 
 



 

About us:

    The Community Preservation Act was signed by Governor Cellucci and Lieutenant Governor Swift on September 14, 2000. Robert Durand, Secretary of Environmental Affairs, originally sponsored the legislation when he was a State Senator. Mr. Durand championed the law's enactment. The Community Preservation Act provides new funding sources which can be used to address three core community concerns:

Acquisition and preservation of open space 
Creation and support of community housing 
Acquisition and preservation of historic buildings and landscapes
    Over the years, the residents of Georgetown have many times expressed a desire to preserve the small-town character of their community. From the earliest efforts at drafting a master plan in the 1960s to the current Master Plan, the goals of preserving open space, protecting the town’s historical heritage, and providing recreational areas, while at the same time retaining the small town atmosphere of Georgetown, have been repeatedly affirmed.  However, meeting the more pressing needs of our schools, roads, and public safety have always made it difficult for the town to fund such long-term programs. 

    Therefore, it is not surprising that Georgetown was among the first group of towns in the Commonwealth to adopt the Community Preservation Act after it was enacted by the state legislature in the fall of 2000. The act makes it possible for many communities across the state such as Georgetown to fund long-range proposals aimed at preserving the unique character of their communities.  The revenues generated by the property tax surcharge, as well as the matching funds from the state, will make it possible for the town to look to the future and to plan accordingly. 

    In 2001 Georgetown voted to enact a bylaw that established the Community Preservation Committee and voted at the subsequent election to fund the CPA with a 3% surcharge on real estate tax (exempting the first $100,000 of home value). The Georgetown CPC held its first meeting in March of 2002.

    The committee is made up of a diverse group within the town and is charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to the town each year for projects which will meet the stated goals of the Community Preservation Act of preserving or creating open space, providing affordable housing, and protecting our historical resouces while at the same time maximizing the return to the community for the dollars spent.  In order to do this, the board meets with town officials and interested citizens to identify and evaluate proposals, which can be reasonably implemented under the guidelines of the Community Preservation Act. 

    The CPC is in all respects identical to other appointed town boards, they are chartered to hold public meeting, take minutes and hold public hearings to establish regulations or policies. 

    The committee is responsible for consulting with other town boards and commissions to conduct a study of the community's preservation needs, in regards to community housing, open space and historic preservation. The committee will be responsible for selecting and recommending CPA projects at town meeting. The committee has established criteria and methods for rating projects for funding by the CPA. 

   The committee is also responsible for ensuring that the financial requirements of the CPA are maintained. A minimum of 10% of the annual revenues of the fund must be spent or set aside for each of the three core community concerns. The remaining money can be allocated for any combination of the allowed uses or held in an undesignated account. This gives each community the opportunity to determine its priorities, plan for its future, and have the funds to make those plans happen. 

    The CPC is permitted to appropriate up to 5% of the funds for administration and operational costs, so that the town doesn't have to bear the cost of administering the Act. These funds can be used to hire an administrator, purchase office supplies and cover the cost of professional services that may be needed to properly plan a project.  Any administrative moneys that are not used during that year are returned to the CPA account. 

    The committee holds bimonthly meetings and actively seeks suggestions from the  residents of Georgetown for projects which best meet the ideals and goals of the Community Preservation Act. 

    The funding for the State CPA Trust (the source of the State Match) is generated by deed and lien recording fees at the Registrar of Deeds.  State funds also come from public and private gifts, grants and donations, penalties, costs or interest received from litigation or settlements for violation of Section 15 of the CPA. 

   The CPA funds can be used for community match for state and federal matching programs. For example, with the adoption of the CPA and the completion of the Open Space Plan Georgetown will receive 10 bonus points in its application evaluation in EOEA’s Self-Help and Urban-Help funding programs. These programs provide moneys for open space and recreation acquisitions. The town has already received grant funding totaling over $250,000 from EOEEA Self Help Funds. 

    Georgetown voted for a 3% surcharge. This enables us to receive 2 rounds of State matching funds each year and qualifies us for a third round of distributions if the funds are available. The maximum percentage any community can get is 100%. The state  distributes funds in three rounds, all communities that have enacted the CPA are eligible for the first round of funding, those communities that have enacted a 3% surcharge, like Georgetown, are eligible for a second and third round of funding. 

    The Community Preservation Act is a tool for Georgetown to preserve and create open space, preserve historic resources, and further affordable housing goals. The enabling legislation allows everyone to exercise control over local planning decisions.
 

  •      All decisions are local. 
  •      A committee of local people draw up plans for use of the funds. 
  •      These plans are subject to local comment and approval. 
  •      All projects are required to be approved at Town Meeting. 


  The CPC is required by law to make recommendations at town meeting for the appropriation of all CPA funds. All of the moneys allocated to any project have to pass a vote at town meeting. This gives the voters the final say in how the moneys are spent. If the recommendation is declined by the voters, the moneys will stay in the CPA accounts. The moneys, by law, cannot be spent on anything other than projects that are permitted under the Community Preservation Act. 

    Your Community Preservation Committee volunteers are dedicated to helping the citizens of Georgetown fund projects that make Georgetown your community. 

       Further information at: