CPA Funding Cycle Is Open

Chelsea residents and organizations looking to get a community project off the ground still have time to apply for the spring round of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding.

The CPA was approved by Chelsea voters in 2016, and sets aside a pot of money from a surcharge on property taxes for historic preservation, open space and recreation, and affordable and community housing projects. The deadline to file an eligibility application for a potential project is Feb. 11.

Chelsea Community Preservation Coordinator Oriana Reilly said several recent projects point to the scope and types of projects that the Community Preservation Committee has recommended for approval by the City Council.

“The Marlborough Street Community Garden project received $9,880 to turn an empty lot into a gardening space,” said Reilly. “This supports the goals of the Community Preservation Plan for Chelsea. This is open space and recreation and it’s near housing, so it supports that goal of having housing and parks next to each other.”

Reilly pointed to the $50,000 renovation of the outside of the Walnut Street Synagogue as an example of a historic preservation project, and the funding of a city rental assistance program in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

“You can also do smaller projects,” said Reilly. “We are trying to increase the types of projects that are funded.”

In other communities, Reilly said CPA funds have been used to build a canoe launch and to rehabilitate a skate park.

Reilly said the CPC will review the one-page eligibility applications to decide if projects can move onto the next phase of the funding process.

If anyone has questions about a potential project, Reilly said they can stop by her office at City Hall or email her at [email protected].

The deadline for the full applications is April 14, after which the CPC will review projects before submitting the ones it recommends for funding to the City Council, likely in early summer. There is also a fall funding cycle, Reilly said.

“We want to encourage and invite any member of the community, including youth organizations and community groups who have an idea to contact Oriana, who can help provide guidance on whether the project would be a fit here,” said CPC co-chair Juan Vega.

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