APPLICATION & REVIEW PROCESS (Subject to Change)

Step 1: Pre-Application Workshop

A public meeting will be held to explain the application process, eligibility requirements, and the goals/priorities and evaluation criteria that the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC) will use in determining whether to recommend projects for funding.

Step 2: Determine Project Eligibility

The CPAC requires all applicants to submit a Project Eligibility Determination Form as the first step in the application process. The CPAC will review Project Eligibility Determination Forms and will inform applicants as to whether their proposed project is eligible for CPA funding.

Step 3: Submit Funding Application

Applicants whose projects are deemed eligible for CPA funding will be invited to submit a full application. Application instructions will indicate who the contact person is for submitting applications and communicating during the application process.

Off-Cycle Applications

Under highly extraordinary circumstances, the CPAC may vote to accept applications that require consideration outside of the normal funding cycle. To be considered as an off-cycle application, projects must be considered “high priority” and must be driven by an external deadline such as real estate transaction or matching grant opportunity. Applicants who believe their circumstances call for such unusual action may contact the Community Preservation Coordinator to discuss the possible submission of an off-cycle application.

Step 4: CPAC Evaluation of Applications & Public Comment

  1. Application review. The CPAC will review all project applications and evaluate them against the priorities established through public input gathered in the process of preparing its Community Preservation Plan. The CPAC may request additional information from the applicant during this process and may request that the applicant attend a CPAC meeting in addition to the public comment session to respond to questions in person.
  1. Public comment session. The CPAC will also hold at least one session to gather public feedback on proposed projects. Applicants will be informed of the details of the hearing at least one month in advance and will be required to give a brief presentation to the public on their proposed project and to respond to questions from the CPAC.
  1. Deliberation. After reviewing the applications and receiving input via the public comment session, technical assistance, or other written comments, the CPAC will deliberate in an open meeting to determine whether to recommend each project for funding. The CPAC may recommend:
  1.  A project as proposed by the applicant
  2.  A modified version of the project
  3.  Partial funding or funding for only a portion or phase of the proposed project.

The Committee may recommend to commit funding on condition that projects receive necessary permits and approvals and funds anticipated from other sources. The CPAC also reserves the right to attach conditions to its recommendations, such as conservation or preservation restrictions or public access agreements, and to include any specifications the CPAC deems appropriate to ensure CPA compliance and project performance. All land acquired with CPA funds must be perpetually preserved for the purpose for which it was acquired.

  1. Draft Recommendations. Once the CPAC has decided which projects to recommend for funding, draft recommendations will be submitted to the Mayor for advisory review. Where conditions have been applied to the CPAC recommendations, the Community Preservation Coordinator will also share the funding recommendation of the CPAC with the applicant to ensure that the conditions are acceptable to the applicant. Any substantial changes requested to the funding recommendation will need to be approved by the CPAC.

Step 5:  City Council Approval.

The CPAC will submit its final recommendations to the City Council for approval. Projects must receive approval from the City Council to receive funding from Holyoke’s Community Preservation Act Fund. The Council has the authority to approve a CPAC-recommended project, approve the project at a reduced funding level, or reject the project.

Step 6: Grant Agreement, Disbursement and Monitoring of Funds

The CPA Coordinator will notify grantees of their award and will oversee implementation of the conditions and requirements for the disbursement of funds.

Non-City Organizations

The CPAC, acting through the City, will execute a grant agreement with each non-City organization that is awarded CPA funds (“Grantee”). The grant agreement will govern the use and disbursement of the funds. It will be tailored to each project but will include the Standard CPA Grant Agreement General Conditions. The applicant will need to submit an up-to-date Certificate of Good Standing, 501(c)(3) certification, and proof of insurance as applicable as attachments to the grant agreement. The City’s Community Preservation Coordinator will monitor project progress and compliance and will coordinate disbursement of CPA Funds. The City can establish disbursement guidelines and a phased disbursement system with the Grantee to forward fund project phases with the exception of the final 10% of the project funds, which will be released upon completion of the project.

City Departments

The CPAC will execute a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with each City department that is awarded CPA funds. The MOA will govern Departments’ use of the funds.

 Step 7:  Annual Review

After the completion of each funding round, the CPAC will review the community needs, goals, and priorities, to update the Community Preservation Plan as needed. The Committee will also review the application process, application materials, and the evaluation criteria to determine if the process can be improved. The CPAC will invite input from other boards and committees and City staff, and may hold a public meeting as part of the review.