New Bedford Community Preservation Committee selects projects for recommended funding

Projects in all six wards of the City selected

New Bedford, Massachusetts– The City of New Bedford’s Community Preservation Committee (CPC) has selected a total of 17 projects for funding out of the 24 proposals submitted under their second annual selection process.

Projects in all six wards of New Bedford were selected for FY 2019 funding, in three categories that Community Preservation Act funds can be applied to: historic preservation, recreation/open space, and community housing.

Under historic preservation, the CPC selected:

• 29 Seventh Street rehabilitation
• New Bedford Art Museum gallery expansion
• New Bedford Fire Museum rehabilitation
• Gilbert Russell House rehabilitation assessment
• First Baptist Community Theatre rehabilitation
• Fort Taber terreplein study
• James Arnold Mansion landscape survey
• Mariners’ Home Rehabilitation
• Rural Cemetery gravestone conservation
• Strand Theatre restoration as Cape Verdean Cultural Center
• New Bedford Whaling Museum Bourne & Wood Building rehabilitation
• Zeiterion Theatre marquee project
• Butler Flats Lighthouse rehabilitation

Under recreation, the CPC Selected the following projects:

• Sgt. Sean Gannon Memorial Playground
• Southcoast Greenway feasibility study
• Hazelwood Park renovation master plan completion

Under community housing, the CPC selected:

• Capitol Theatre restoration for community housing

The projects approved for FY 19 total $1,547,875 in community preservation funding; the projects were selected by the Community Preservation Committee and will go before the City Council for appropriation.

About the Community Preservation Act in Massachusetts
The Community Preservation Act (CPA) is a Massachusetts state law (MGL Ch. 44B) designed to help Massachusetts towns and cities plan for sustainable growth and provide funds to achieve their community preservation goals. CPA allows participating cities and towns to adopt a real estate tax surcharge of up to 3% to raise funds and create a local dedicated fund for preserving open space and historic resources and expanding community housing and outdoor recreational activities. The CPA stipulates that decisions regarding the allocation of CPA funds in cities and towns that adopt the initiative are to be made by a local community preservation committee (CPC) whose task is to receive and review applications and to make recommendations to the City Council, which in turn makes the final allocations.

In addition to the community tax surcharge, the state provides matching funds that are not less than 5% and not more than 100% of the funds raised by the community. The actual percentage varies from year-to-year dependent on the health of the state’s Community Preservation Trust Fund, which is funded by a surcharge on Registry of Deeds transactions.

About the Community Preservation Act in New Bedford
New Bedford voters adopted the CPA program through a ballot question in November 2014. New Bedford elected to fund the CPA account through a 1.5% surcharge on annual tax assessments and established a Community Preservation Committee in 2016. The city began collecting surcharge revenue on the 2016 tax bills and will continue collection on a quarterly basis. There are two surcharge exemptions available:

• The first $100,000 of taxable value of residential and commercial properties.
• Residential property owned and occupied by any person who qualifies for low income housing or low to moderate income senior housing.

For further information on the CPA program and the FY19 projects, visit: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/planning/community-preservation/.