CPA in Hamilton
CPA in Hamilton
The citizens of Hamilton voted to adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on May 12, 2005. This program creates a 2% surcharge on real estate taxes for all residences and businesses, with exemptions for the first $100,000 of residential property value and property owned and occupied by any person who qualifies for low income housing or low or moderate income senior housing. This surcharge is then matched by a state fund.
At the Annual Town Meeting on May 2, 2005, voters approved a Town Bylaw creating the nine member Hamilton Community Preservation Committee (CPC). Made up of nine residents with a range of expertise across the project areas, the CPC is charged with studying the Town’s needs, possibilities and resources with respect to the community preservation purposes and making recommendations to Town Meeting with respect to the allocation and expenditure of CPA funds.
The CPA has appropriated approximately $12 million to 86 different projects across all four project categories. Since 2006, the CPA has funded much-needed renovations to historic Town Hall and other historic buildings in Hamilton, the creation of new community housing, enhancements to popular recreational areas, and more.
The CPC reviews project applications twice a year. The CPC actively seeks suggestions and proposals from residents of Hamilton, Town boards and local organizations for projects which will best serve the goals of community preservation and the needs and interests of the town. Please see the Guidelines for Project Submission, which provide additional details on the application process.
Hamilton CPA By-Law
Section 1 – Establishment, Membership, Terms
There is hereby established a Community Preservation Committee, consisting of nine (9) voting members pursuant to G.L. c. 44B, the Community Preservation Act. The Committee shall act pursuant to G.L. c. 44B, § 5. The composition of the committee, the method of selecting its members, and each member’s length of term is as follows:
One member of the Conservation Commission as designated by the Conservation Commission for a term of three years.
One member of the Historical Commission as designated by the Historical Commission for an initial term of one year and thereafter for a term of three years.
One member of the Planning Board as designated by the Planning Board for a term of three years.
One member of the Board of Selectmen, acting in its capacity as the Board of Park Commissioners, as designated by the Board of Selectmen for an initial term of one year and thereafter for a term of three years.
One member of the Housing Authority as designated by the Housing Authority for an initial term of one year and thereafter for a term of three years.
Four citizens at large to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen for initial terms of two years and thereafter each for a term of three years.
Any member who serves as a representative of an appointing committee who ceases during his or her term to be a member of the appointing committee shall also cease to be a member of the Community Preservation Committee. Any member may be removed with or without cause by the appointing committee. Any vacancy during the pendency of a term shall be filled by the appointing committee for the remainder of the term. Members may be eligible for reappointment.
Should any of the Commissions, Boards, or Committees who have appointment authority under this by-law chapter be no longer in existence for any reason, the appointment authority for that Commission, Board, or Committee shall devolve upon the persons acting in the capacity of or performing the duties of the former Commission, Board or Committee. If there are no such persons acting in the capacity of or performing the duties of any such Commission, Board, or Committee, then the appointment shall be the responsibility of the Board of Selectmen.
All initial appointments shall be made within twenty days of the effective date of this by-law. Thereafter, all vacancies, whether at the end of a member’s term or otherwise, shall be filled within twenty days of the creation of the vacancy.
Section 2 – Duties
1. The Committee shall study the needs, possibilities and resources of the town regarding community preservation. The Committee shall consult with existing municipal boards, including but not limited to the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission, the Planning Board, the Board of Selectmen in its capacity as the Board of Park Commissioners, the Housing Authority and the Open Space Committee, or persons acting in those capacities or performing like duties, in conducting such studies. As part of its study, the Committee shall hold one or more public informational hearings on the needs, possibilities and resources of the town regarding community preservation, notice of which shall be posted publicly and published for each of two weeks preceding a hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the town.
2. The Committee shall make recommendations to the town meeting for the:
3. The Committee may include in its recommendation to the town meeting a recommendation to set aside for later spending funds for specific purposes that are consistent with community preservation but for which sufficient revenues are not then available in the Community Preservation Fund to accomplish that specific purpose or to set aside for later spending funds for general purposes that are consistent with community preservation. Recommendations for the expenditure of funds shall include the Committee’s anticipated administrative and operating expenses.