On Monday, the Boston Globe published an editorial about the sorry state of many town halls in Massachusetts, "At Town Hall, shabby isn't chic."
Today, too many town halls are run down and reflect a tarnished view of the public sector.
The editorial recognizes the budgeting challenges faced by municipalities and advocates for adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA).
Many of the 142 cities and towns that adopted the Community Preservation Act since 2001, however, have a fighting chance.
In addition to the projects in Needham and Bridgewater that the editorial mentions, many other communities have also funded town and city hall restoration projects with CPA funds including Ayer, Ashland, Bedford, Braintree, Easthampton, Holliston, Rowley, and Newton. (Source: Community Preservation Coalition, online Project Database, with updates by JM Goldson.)
The town hall projects include preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration: the three eligible uses for historic preservation projects (in addition to acquisition) that are enabled through Section 5(b)(2) of the Community Preservation Act (MGL c.44B).
For more information about CPA eligibility for historic preservation projects, see my article, "Which historic projects qualify for CPA funding?", published in the Community Preservation Coalition's CPA Update in March 2009.