The YES CPA Committee pushed back this vote for two years due to COVID.
9 other communities went ahead and passed CPA in 2020
We have lost state matching funds for the two years we did not join. In fact, for the 20 years we have not joined CPA we are have lost state matching funds.
Is the current inflation a good reason to vote no? With a crunch on budgets, the areas that CPA protects will be even more vulnerable during hard times: less money for saving buildings, less for affordable housing, etc.
Is CPA a forced distortion of our town budget?
The annual town budget is about $160 million dollars.
CPA would add about $2 million more, of which 20-40% would be state matching funds.
So CPA would add a small portion to the budget, NOT A TOTAL REALIGNMENT OF PRIORITIES. And that money is for specific, protected budget areas.
Some of the CPA spending for recreation could actually take the place of normal capital spending, so that portion would not increase spending, and comes with a partial state match.
Will CPA force Burlington to spend too much on HISTORIC PRESERVATION?
Is it reasonable to increase spending from $10,600 to $220,000 per year?
WE ARE ALREADY SPENDING way more than $10,600 on historic neeeds: we spent $250,000 to make the historic museum accessible, which could have been CPA funds with a state match.
Our Police station, the former Union School, is a major historic building that MIGHT be saved, but CPA funds would be critical to saving it. Creating a showpiece of history in our town center, to compliment the Grandview Tavern, would depend on CPA passage.
Upkeep on Grandview, improvements to the 1666 Wyman House and preservation of other historic properties will depend on CPA funds.
Don't we already have plenty of AFFORDABLE HOUSING without CPA?
We have lots of housing that fits a certain legal definition of affordable: 80% of the normal rental rates. Truly affordable housing is 30% of a household income, and there is very very little of that kind of affordable housing. And there are long waiting lists.
Why do we need CPA? Why can't we just fund the projects we care about?
CPA was started because critical services like schools, fire, police, and DPW force items that seem less critical out of budgets.
We can fund these projects, but it will take a long time and at 100% of our dollars. With the CPA, these types of projects can be completed quicker and with a state match that will stretch our dollars and will take less of our funds because of the state match.
We already have people on the waiting list for affordable housing.
We have lost historical buildings due to lack of funds, such a the Reverend Simonds house.