SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 29, 2012

Beverly gets to work on CPA

BY PAUL LEIGHTON
STAFF WRITER

---- — BEVERLY — The city is taking its first steps toward implementing the Community Preservation Act, the new law that was approved by voters in the Nov. 6 election.

The city plans to form a temporary ad hoc group to help draft the CPA ordinance and to seek “broad public input” on the scope and composition of the Community Preservation Committee, the permanent committee that will help administer the law.

The temporary working group will consist of nine members, three each appointed by the City Council, the mayor and Community Preservation Beverly, the citizens group that supported the ballot question.

Anyone interested in serving on the working group or the permanent committee may contact Mayor Bill Scanlon or city councilors.

The Community Preservation Act imposes a 1 percent surcharge on property taxes to raise money that must be spent on open space, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreation. Projects will be recommended by the Community Preservation Committee and approved by the City Council.

The committee will be made up of representatives from five city boards and commissions, plus up to four additional citizens.

Community Preservation Beverly said the goal is to establish the working group by mid-December and to adopt the ordinance and form the permanent committee by the end of March.

Collection of the 1 percent surcharge will begin with property tax bills for fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1, 2013.

The original proponents’ group, Community Preservation Beverly, will be dissolved by the end of 2012, as required by state law for all ballot question committees. The new working group will also be dissolved once the permanent Beverly Community Preservation Committee is established.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.