Common Questions

Where can I go to get assistance with an application?

People who are interested in submitting an application are invited to attend a regular CPC meeting held on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7 pm in the Town Hall. Additionally, there is a great deal of assistance on our town web site as well as on the Community Preservation Coalition web site.

What are the attributes of a strong application?

The Committee looks for the following characteristics as it reviews the application:

  • Does the applicant follow the directions?
  • Does the applicant address both the general criteria and the specific criteria thoroughly?
  • Are there letters of support from people who will use the project? From relevant people in town government? From organizations that are providing a cash match or an in kind match?
  • Is there a cost share that demonstrates support for the project?

What kinds of projects are eligible for community preservation funding?

Projects in the areas of open space, historic preservation, outdoor recreation, and community housing are eligible. The Community Preservation Coalition web site has a good description of the kinds of projects that will be supported.

Is there a minimum number of letters of support?

No, but each application should have the number relevant to that proposal. Applicants should contact town officials or boards that are involved with the project. They should document any cash or in-kind match. They should seek letters from people who may use the services.

Is there a minimum cash match?

No, but the Committee seeks projects that have strong community support demonstrated by a willingness to raise part of the cost of the project. Projects that use CPA funds to leverage grants from state or federal sources are often valued more than those which demand that CPA funds pay 100 % of the cost.

Will my project require a deed restriction in order to qualify for CPA funds?

Applicants are urged to consult the state web site on this topic. Also applicants should consult the Committee Chair, Jim Natle, about specific requirements in Belchertown.

Why must I submit pictures of my project?

The CPC is interested in having an updated web site featuring local projects. Specific examples of successful projects help applicants prepare successful applications.

What happens after I submit my application?

Applications for the annual Town Meeting in May are due by the second Friday in November of the preceding year at 5 p.m. At that meeting, a committee member will be assigned to your application. That person will contact you if the Committee needs further information or wishes you to attend a meeting to discuss your project in more detail.

Items for the Town warrant are due usually at the end of March so that normally the committee will make its recommendations to Town Meeting on projects on the second Tuesday in March. After that, successful applicants may be asked to attend a public meeting or appear on the local television station to publicize their project. They should also be present at town meeting prepared to defend their project if there are questions from the floor. Final decisions on the use of CPA funds are made at Town Meeting. Projects may begin after July 1st if the appropriate restrictions are in place.