For a Good Cause

The Community Preservation Act has been a fact of Island life for a relatively short period of time — it was only three years ago that all six towns had finally signed on to participate in the benefits of the state legislation, which matches a three per cent property tax surcharge with state money. This year the match has dropped below one hundred per cent, so suddenly the funds are even more precious. Community Preservation Act money may be used for open space, historic preservation and affordable housing.

Applying for Community Preservation Act money has become extremely popular, and the backers of many worthwhile projects are lined up for money in every town again this year. But with funds running a little shorter than the past two years and interest in the funds running higher than ever, there simply won’t be enough money for every project. In Oak Bluffs, for example, the community preservation committee received requests totaling more than two million dollars but has only about seven hundred thousand dollars to hand out in the form of recommended grants.

The committees that review these applications put in many hours of work for no pay. It is an example of community service at its best, and applicants who are not successful must practice the art of forbearance.

There is always next year.