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Trust Fund Update
State LAND Grants and CPA
2010 Municipal Relief Bill & CPA
Save the Windows!
Featured CPA Project
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CPA UpdateDecember 2010


It was another banner year for CPA!  In 2009, the program passed the $900 million mark in funds raised for Community Preservation. Through the work of dedicated CPA advocates like you, another 1,200 acres of open space was permanently protected in the past fiscal year, and funding was provided for 473 affordable housing units and almost 300 historic preservation projects.  Read on for the inspiring story on one such project, and all the latest CPA news.

CPA Trust Fund Update

coalition news

DOR Will Not Issue an Early CPA Trust Fund Estimate This Year

Each October, the state's Department of Revenue (DOR) releases an early prediction of the following year's CPA Trust Fund distribution. This year, however, with much volatility in deeds collections, DOR reports that they will not be making an early estimate.  We should see our first look at the October 2011 distribution estimate when DOR issues their annual budgeting memo around March of next year.


Trust Fund Collections Up Over Past Three Months

The recent trend is positive for CPA Trust Fund collections at the Registry of Deeds. Trust Fund Receipts from September to November totaled $7.3 million this year, versus $6.7 million last year -- an increase of $600,000. We will continue to monitor the trust fund revenues and report on the figures in future issues of CPA Update.

CPA Trust Fund Receives Interest Payments
While filing fee revenue is slowly increasing for the CPA Trust Fund, interest earned by the fund has fallen dramatically. Under Section 9b of the CPA law, the interest earned by money in the trust is deposited back into the fund and used as part of the annual matching payments to CPA communities. The interest earned has been substantial s
ince CPA was passed, however, as Trust Fund receipts have declined, interest collected has declined correspondingly. Clink on the link below to see a report showing interest amounts credited to the Trust Fund since 2003.  The report also details the expenses that have been charged to the Trust Fund by DOR to cover administration of the CPA program. 

Click here to see the interest totals and DOR expenses by fiscal year.

State LAND Grant Funds Flow to CPA Communities


Fuller Farm, BarnstableOne of the strongest arguments for CPA is the ability of communities to use their community preservation funds to leverage other funding sources. A prime example of this is the state's LAND grant program, which provides up to $500,000 in matching funds for municipal open space acquisitions. 

The state recently awarded LAND grants to nineteen communities, and seventeen of those grants went to CPA open space projects -- a whopping 89%. In 2009, nine of the twelve communities that were funded through the state's LAND grant program were CPA communities. 

Like the LAND grant, many state and private grant programs require a local match. In these tough fiscal times, many communities may have a hard time mustering up the matching funds, but CPA communities have a head start. 

View a statewide map of the LAND Grant awards, and for more information on the successful grant applications, click here.

Photo of Fuller Farm at Middle Pond courtesy of Town of Barnstable

Good News for Financing CPA Projects!
Bonding Terms are Extended to Match an Asset's Useful Life

State HouseUntil now, communities that wanted to issue bonds for CPA projects like land acquisition and major historic preservation projects could only do so up to a term of 20 years.  Now, they can go longer, perhaps even to 30 years, making some projects more affordable on an annual basis.

In July of 2010, Gov. Patrick signed a major municipal reform bill, "An Act Relative to Municipal Relief" (Ch. 188 of the Acts of 2010). One of the bill's 72 provisions has important relevance to CPA: The law eliminates the fixed statutory terms for borrowing, and replaces them with a term based on the useful life of the asset being financed, not to exceed 30 years.


Last month, the Division of Local Services published a list of asset useful life schedules and maximum borrowing terms for commonly bonded assets. You'll see that there are some significant changes - for instance, the previous statuatory bonding term for a land acquistion project was 20 years -- this is now increased to 30 years.  


You can view and/or download the new asset useful life schedules and maximum borrowing terms, here.
CPA Can Help Save the Windows!

historic windows

Working on historic windows are a popular CPA project, but with CPA funds comes the responsibility to rehabilitate the windows if at all possible, rather than replace them. 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is running a campaign to counter the "replace-it-now epidemic" that is sweeping our country, leaving character-rich older and historic windows doomed for the landfill as building owners seek greater energy efficiency.


There is a better -- and cheaper -- way to do this, and it starts with saving what makes our historic structures special.

Visit to find out what you can do to spread the word - and "stop the pane."  You can also read more in a previous article in CPA Update, "Windows of Opportunity: Repair - Don't Replace - Those Older Wood Windows" (May / June, 2009).

Photo courtesy of Adrian Scott Fine on the PreservationNation blog.


Featured CPA Project: Sandwich Town Hall

Sandwich Town Hall

Featured in the newsletter banner above and the in photo at left is the recently restored Town Hall in Sandwich.  Built in 1834, Sandwich Town Hall is one of the earliest Town Halls in the Commonwealth. Over $3 million in Community Preservation funds aided in the restoration, and the

project is a source of tremendous pride for town residents.


Read on for photos and more information on this project...

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