CPA Vote by Council Brings New Measure Closer to Reality

By Seth Daniel

The Chelsea City Council voted unanimously on Monday to accept the proposed structure for the new Community Preservation Act (CPA) committee.

The 11-0 vote was a celebration for many on the Council after the measure got onto the ballot this year and was overwhelmingly approved by Chelsea voters on the November ballot.

The first step in setting up the new process, which collects an extra fee from property taxpayers in order to eventually invest in affordable housing, historic preservation and open space, is to set up a committee that will make funding decisions.

Those decisions will ultimately have to be affirmed by the City Council.

The Committee, as proposed, will have nine members.

Of those, by law, five have to be from each of the following City agencies:  Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Historical Commission, Chelsea Housing Authority, and the Recreation/Open Space Department.

The remaining four seats will be appointed by the City Council and residents can self-nominate or be nominated for those seats.

“It’s an exciting time watching this go forward and I encourage residents who want to serve to submit their applications to the City Manager beginning next year,” said Councillor Roy Avellaneda.

Councillor Matt Frank said that even though the law requires 10 percent each to be spent on the three main categories of open space, historic preservation and affordable housing, he hopes the committee would choose to divide up the money each year in a 30-30-30 split.

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said the Committee would be formed next Spring and would begin meeting in the summer.

Collections for the CPA will begin in January and taxpayers will notice a new fee on their bills in January. The fees will be doubled this year for January and April in order to make up for the missed bills in the 1st and 2nd Quarters of this fiscal year.

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