By Elizabeth Hacala
The Bedford Community Preservation Committee (CPC) meeting on January 22 opened with news of a better than expected Community Preservation Act (CPA) match from the state for FY14. The Bedford CPC had projected the state would match local funds at 27 cents on the dollar. Thanks in part to a stronger than expected economy, the match for the most recent funding cycle was actually over 50% of locally raised CPA funds.
The Committee will be holding a Public Hearing on February 11 at 7:30 pm in the Town Hall to receive input from residents. Among the projects the committee will be voting on are:
- A request to fund HVAC work in the historic part of the Police Station building.
- Preservation of the historic pump house building which is still actively used in our water system.
- Window replacement at the Old Town Hall.
- Improvements to the entrance to Springs Brook Park.
The public is invited to attend the hearing and provide input on any of the projects under consideration. During that meeting the committee will vote on which projects should be recommended for approval at the Annual Town Meeting in March.
In 2001 the Town of Bedford passed the Community Preservation Act. This allowed the town to charge a 3% surcharge on property tax collections and to use those funds to support projects primarily in historic preservation, open space and affordable housing. Funds raised by Bedford are matched by the state from specifically designated trust fund[s]. For the first several years Bedford received a 100% match from the state. As the program grew in popularity and the economy slowed, the match dropped to a low of just under 28% in 2013. Although hopeful that the trend of higher than expected matches will continue, the committee is continuing to project a 27% match in the future for budget and planning purposes.