What with all the talk about stimulus money, the sad facts are that financial resources are drying up. Government institutions that made commitments to underwrite projects are reneging their commitments. So many non-profits after filling their budgets with grants from commercial and private sources are finding both largely drying up. Even the fundraiser efforts are tough since so many out there have little money to contribute. It’s causing local governments and local organizations to see red.
Yet, there is one program that is keeping things a float. The Community Preservation Act. Municipalities are tapping into it, private institutions are able to proceed and projects that may take several years are having new life breathed into them.
I heard from a representative from the Essex National Heritage Organization speak last night that if it wasn’t for those communities that had sought after and obtained CPA programs, the entire region would be in dire circumstances. He pointed to West Newbury and Newburyport as success stories. He should! The Essex Heritage Area has had its budget slashed to the bone, too.
It made me feel very good that Newburyport citizens (certainly not City Hall) had the vision and the courage to pass CPA in our community. It has resulted in us being the envy of the area and we only are at 2% surcharge not the 3% that we should be at. Even with the Commonwealth determined to slash the matching funds, this program is still a ray of hope for our community in affordable housing, historic preservation, open space and recreational assets.
It makes me very proud of our city and much appreciative to Citizens for Environmental Balance for bringing it before the voters!