Find out how to apply for community preservation funds at a public forum on Thursday

Above: The South Union Playground was built using CPA funds

Each year voters at Town Meeting decide how to allocate a couple hundred thousand dollars collected through the Community Preservation Act. A good chunk of the money goes to pay the Chestnut Hill bond, but there’s still plenty left over. In the past CPA money has gone toward things like the South Union Playground, volleyball courts at Neary School, and affordable housing projects.

Town Meeting 2014 may seem like a long way off — and it is — but the process of determining which CPA funding proposals will be put before voters next year begins this week. A public forum hosted by the town’s Community Preservation Committee on Thursday will explain to residents how to apply for a piece of the CPA pie.

The CPA allows the town to collect a property tax surcharge that, along with some matching funds from the state, is used for open space preservation, creation of community housing, preservation of historic buildings and landscapes, and creation of recreation opportunities. The state used to match dollar-for-dollar money collected by the town, but the percent matched has decreased over the past several years and is now closer to 26%.

Anyone with an idea that abides by CPA program guidelines can submit an application for funding.

At the public forum on Thursday night, CPC members will explain the process for applying for CPA funds for fiscal year 2015. Town Meeting ultimately decides how CPA money gets spent, but the CPC makes recommendations to voters.

The meeting starts at 7:00 pm at Cordaville Hall (Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Road). The deadline for CPA applications is June 15.

You can learn more about the history of the CPA in Southborough on the CPC website (southborocommunitypreservation.org).

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