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Mendon and Upton See Big CPA Matches from State

Mendon's Community Preservation Committee (CPC) received some great news recently when it was announced the town received a dollar for dollar, or 100 percent match, from the state totaling $240,143.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently released the Community Preservation Trust Fund distribution amounts for each Community Preservation Act (CPA) municipality taking part in the program.

According to a press release, all CPA communities received a 52.23 percent match from round one of the Trust Fund, which represents a two-fold increase from last year's 26.83 percent first round match. The increase is largely due to an additional $25 million that was deposited into the CPA Trust Fund from the state's Fiscal Year 2013 budget surplus. However, those communities, which adopted the full three percent local property tax surcharge, such as Mendon and Upton, received additional revenue from rounds two and three. "There is a big advantage to being at the 3 percent level," said Mendon CPC Chair Anne Mazar.

Mendon collected $240,143 from its three percent surcharge from residents and the state has matched that 100 percent with an additional $125,415 from the first round plus an additional $89,781 from the second round and $24,947 for the third round.

According to Mazar, some of the possible projects Mendon's CPC might have on the horizon could be fixing the tennis courts and the basketball courts at Memorial Field, purchasing a property on Providence St. for a combination of sports fields, open space, and affordable housing for seniors, and required ADA compliant improvements to recreational and historic areas in town.

Equally happy is Upton's CPC who members learned they received a 98.30 percent match from the state. Through its three percent surcharge, Upton collected $318,118 from its residents. As a result of the 98.30 percent match, Upton will receive an additional $312,711 from the state; $166,138 from the first round, then an additional $89,781 and $56,792 from the second and third rounds, respectively.

"Everyone was really surprised," said Upton CPC Chair Rena Richards. "I knew it was going to higher than last year but I did not anticipate it to be that high."

Richards said right now the town's CPC has not confirmed any specific uses for the new funding. However, in the spring, public hearings may be held for possible recreation projects.

This year's CPA distributions are the highest matches since 2008. In addition to the added surplus to the state's budget, another factor for the increases is the collections for the Trust Fund, which come from the Registry of Deeds recording fees, have increased due to the improvement in the real estate market. In addition, the shift in the distribution date from October to November allowed the Department of Revenue to include one additional month of revenue from the Registry of Deeds fees. Past distributions included 12 months, but for this year only, the DOR included 13 months in the distribution amounts.




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