Applying for CPA Funding

Ideas for CPA-funded projects come from the community, not from the CPC itself. Organizations, town committees, or groups of dedicated volunteers identify a need in the community, develop a vision for a project to meet that need, complete the application process, and, if the project is approved, oversee implementation through project completion.

If you have an idea for a CPA-funded project, you should begin by ensuring your project aligns with one of the four categories allowed by the CPA law (see below). We also encourage you to review the CPC's Community Preservation Plan before you begin preparing your application. We suggest you also review the state-wide list of CPA-funded projects in the Community Preservation Coalition's database of projects to see if similar or comparable projects have been undertaken in other communities and which could serve as models for your application.

If you have an idea for a project and want to preview it with the Committee before starting on the application process, please contact the CPC at The Committee is more than happy to provide assistance and answer questions about the application process.


Project Categories

There are four areas defined by the CPA law that are eligible to receive CPA funds: open space, historic preservation, recreation, and community housing. For 2022-2023, the CPC is accepting applications for projects in all four areas. The Committee encourages groups of volunteers to exercise creativity in these four areas and to propose projects, large or small, that benefit all of our citizens.

Open Space

For the acquisition, creation, or preservation of open space and for the rehabilitation or restoration of open space that is acquired or created with CPA funds.

Historic Preservation

For the acquisition, preservation, rehabilitation, or restoration of historic resources, where historic resources are defined as a building, structure, vessel, real property, document, or artifact that is listed or eligible for listing on the state Register of Historic Places or has been determined by the local Historical Commission to be significant in the history, archeology, architecture or culture of Shutesbury. The CPA prohibits the use of funds to create or build replicas of or replacements for historic resources.


For the acquisition, creation, preservation, rehabilitation, or restoration of land for either active or passive recreational use. The CPA prohibits the use of funds to acquire, create, or preserve land for a stadium, gymnasium, or similar structure.

Community Housing

For the acquisition, creation, preservation, or support of community housing and for the rehabilitation or restoration of community housing that is acquired or created with CPA funds. Community housing is defined as low and moderate income housing for individuals and families, including low or moderate income senior housing.

Quick View of Eligibility

chart for eligibility


The Five Steps of Applying for CPA Funding

1. Determination of Eligibility (DoE)

Applicants must first complete the one-page Determination of Eligibility form. This document briefly summarizes your proposal so the CPC can determine the project’s eligibility and offer guidance.  

Deadline: Submit the DoE form anytime, but no later than December 5th.


2. Application for Funding

If the CPC determines that your proposal is eligible, you must complete the Application for Funding. Examples of past applications are available upon request if you would like an example of how to prepare yours and what to include.

Deadline: The form must be received by January 31.


3. Review Process

Projects are evaluated and prioritized using the Evaluation Criteria described in the Community Preservation Plan.

The CPC reviews all applications at its February meeting. Applicants should attend that meeting to answer any questions the Committee might have about the project. In March, a public hearing is held by law in order to allow the public to comment on or ask questions about any proposed project.

The final vote whether or not to recommend to Town Meeting that the project receiving funding is taken at the CPC’s April meeting. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend that meeting as well in order to address any final questions the Committee might have.

If the CPC votes to recommend the project for funding, it will submit to the Select Board an article to that effect for inclusion in the upcoming Town Meeting warrant. Like all articles involving financial concerns, the Finance Committee will then vote on whether or not to recommend the article's passage to Town Meting.


4. Town Meeting Approval

Each project must be approved by Town Meeting. A simple majority vote by Town Meeting is required to approve the funding for most recommended projects. For bonded projects and eminent domain proceedings, however, the CPA requires a two-thirds majority vote by Town Meeting.


5. Project Implementation

After the funding for a project is approved by Town Meeting, the CPC will issue a grant agreement for the recipient and the Select Board to sign. This agreement is a contract stipulating how the funds will be released and must be used, as well as other details about the grant, including conditions under which the grant may be terminated.

Funds for approved projects and procedures for requesting payment are issued by the Town Administrator and are subject to the satisfaction of any conditions or procedures established by the CPC and Selectboard and agreed to by the recipient in the grant agreement.                


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