The City Council approved 11-0 the recommended lineup of CPA projects and the amounts designated for each of them.
You can see each project, the amount recommended and the conditions on each appropriation here.
I stress the conditions because one of the roles the Community Preservation Committee serves is the careful monitoring of the projects after they are given the money.
Hey, this is the citizens of Newburyport’s tax money! I still am incensed when an applicant gets upset when they find out they have to put a preservation restriction on their property as if to say, "Can’t I just take the money and run?" We as a community voted for this because we knew it was going directly back into the community’s infrastructure*. Such monies need to count every time.
Unfortunately, so many are used to seeing their taxes bundled together and scurried off to Boston and Washington, they don’t realize that we have the ability and the responsibility to make sure this money is spent responsibly on the local level. The city councilors need to be informed when tax money gets mis-spent as well as informing the CPC.
The CPC is a citizen’s committee with members who have their own jobs to go to. They don’t have the resources to wage a full investigation into all the projects funded. If a shortcoming is noticed, we all need to take the time to bring it to their attention.
Let’s keep an eye on the projects, past and present, from now on.