Slots $ for local aid

This from the State House News Service, via John Nunnari –


MMA CHIEF SEES SLOTS DELIVERING LOCAL AID $$$
[Story Developing] The opening of the state’s first slot parlor in Plainville should provide more than enough money to fund the governor’s proposed increase in unrestricted local aid, Massachusetts Municipal Association Executive Director Geoffrey Beckwith told lawmakers Tuesday. Plainridge Park Casino will generate $86.7 million to $118.5 million, according to Beckwith, who said the funds are required to flow into a local aid account. The slots parlor is set to open June 24. The group representing cities and towns backed Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed $34 million increase in unrestricted local aid at a hearing before the House and Senate Ways and Means committees, which met at Greenfield Community College Tuesday. “The governor’s increase would be a return to the concept of revenue sharing,” said Beckwith, who was more critical of Baker’s proposed minimum $20-per-student increase in local education funding. Baker’s budget would increase local education funding, also known as Chapter 70, by $105.3 million. The funds are sent to cities and towns based on a formula. Beckwith pushed for a $100-per-student minimum increase and said the governor’s proposal is “insufficient.” – Andy Metzger/SHNS

STM says yes and yes again

Both articles passed last night at the Special Town Meeting (STM) by overwhelming majorities, that were with one close to being unanimous, and with the other was unanimous.  The public safety building must still get a majority vote at the regular municipal election next Monday, March 30, to proceed.

The first STM vote, to fund the $700,000 construction costs of a money making solar photovoltaic installation behind the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), was unanimous.  As soon as the town’s new Energy and Facilities Manager, Andrew Seaman, who was presenting on behalf of the Energy Committee, mentioned that the array will be revenue positive starting in its first year, the Moderator jokingly interrupted to call for a fast vote.  The presentation may have continued, but the wisdom of a money making project was clear in the unanimity of the ultimate vote.  The array is projected to save the town $726,509 in electricity charges at the WWTP over 20 years.

Conversations with Energy Committee member Fred Davis after the meeting disclosed that the MEC’s solar consultant is already recommending to the town to proceed as fast as possible with other installations before the state subsidies for solar end in the next couple of years, which will change the economics dramatically.  The roof of the Highway Garage has already been recommended, but the old landfill is also being eyed.  Few old landfills remain without solar arrays, and there is even grant money to support such an installation.  Medfield never properly closed the landfill, so the closure may need to be revisited, but the economics may still make the project attractive.

Vote 2 to fund the almost $19m. construction costs of a new public safety building seemed to find the vast majority of attendees grudgingly, if realistically  accepting of the need for us to pay more in property taxes to allow for the new building.  This observer guesses that perhaps 20-40 people voted against proceeding.  There is no disagreement over the inadequacy of the old facility, and only minor issues verbalized over the size and scope of the new building and the lack of options presented.

Selectmen meet again this evening, to hear from all three of our legislators.

STM tonight – my top 10 reasons

The Special town meeting (STM) takes place this evening at the MHS gym at 7:30 PM to decide upon:

  1. The new public safety building; and
  2. A solar photovoltaic array next to the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Top ten reasons that I favor the new public safety building:

  1. The new public safety building has been designed and vetted by the Building Committee right from the very beginning.
  2. The Building Committee is comprised of a group of extremely knowledgeable,  talented and diligent people.
  3. As a result of my attending many of the Building Committee’s meetings, I have come to trust the judgment of the Building Committee, and to feel secure with what they recommend.
  4. The public safety building has been designed with specific input from both chiefs, to meet both current and future needs of police and fire.
  5. I do not have the expertise to question whether the size and build out of the public safety building is appropriate, but I have faith in those who have vetted the design.
  6. There are extra spaces designed into the public safety building to accommodate future growth, but it is not of such an amount as to me to make the total design questionable, even if one were to disagree with those assumptions about future needs.
  7. The marginal costs of those extra spaces designed into the public safety building is not substantial when compared to the cost of the building without that space.
  8. Alternately, it would be extremely costly to have to add onto the public safety building later if we designed it too small now.
  9. The town has asked the police and fire to work in substandard space for too long.
  10. The police and fire have been exceedingly gracious about accommodating the town need to postpone any consideration of a new facility for them for many years beyond the time when we knew the current facilities needed to be replaced.

MMA on pothole $

This alert from the Mass. Municipal Assoc. –


 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

BAKER ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE CITIES AND TOWNS WITH $30 MILLION FOR POTHOLE AND WINTER RECOVERY EFFORTS

$30 MILLION IN ONE-TIME AID TO BE AVAILABLE AND ALLOCATED THROUGH CHAPTER 90 FORMULA

The Baker Administration announced today that it has established a “Winter Recovery Assistance Program” that will provide cities and towns with $30 million in funding this spring to repair potholes and other damage to roads, bridges and signs caused by the punishing winter.

“This winter’s record-setting snowfall has left our cities and towns with a major maintenance deficit that needs to be addressed immediately,” Lt. Governor Polito said in a statement on Thursday. “This program provides municipalities with additional resources to accelerate those repairs and make our roadways safer for everyone.”

The $30 million for cities and towns will be allocated to municipalities using the Chapter 90 formula. The program will allow municipalities to seek reimbursement on expenditures related to potholes, pavement cracking, surface defects, paving projects, guardrails, storm drains, line striping, and repair or replacement of damaged signs.

MassDOT officials have outlined the following details: 1) the program will be implemented this month, with all qualifying work completed by June 30, 2015; 2) the department will issue one-time contracts with municipalities allowing them to draw down their share of the $30 million for the specific purpose of road and facility repairs; 3) these contracts will include a “use it or lose it” clause to ensure that funds are spent and projects are completed by June 30; and 4) all work invoices must be provided to MassDOT by July 31, 2015 and MassDOT will reimburse cities and towns as invoices are received.

Cities and towns will be receiving official notification and information on this program within the next several days.  Click here to view the WRAP apportionment list and rules and regulations, which detail how the $30 million will be apportioned to each city and town.

This year’s harsh winter has damaged local roads, generated countless potholes and placed a huge burden on local taxpayers as municipal leaders work to shore up their crumbling roadways. Communities will put these funds to immediate use rebuilding and repairing roads, equipment and facilities in every corner of Massachusetts, which will save money, help our economy and improve public safety.

This is very good news for cities and towns, and the MMA applauds Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito, Secretary Pollack and MassDOT for this important program!

State gives town $59,369 to repair potholes

This today in the newsletter from the Division of Local Services (DLS) of DOR –  Medfield to get $59,369.00 –


$30M in Pothole Repair Reimbursement Allocated for Cities and Towns Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito

The Baker-Polito Administration has launched the Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP), a $30 million targeted effort to assist cities and towns with repairs to roads and bridges under municipal jurisdiction.

“Since day one, we promised to partner with our cities and towns to provide them with the support needed to keep local infrastructure in reliable shape,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “After an unprecedented winter of heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures, this additional support will allow municipalities to patch up potholes and address local repairs as needed.”

“This winter’s record-setting snowfall has left our cities and towns with a major maintenance deficit that needs to be addressed immediately,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This program gives our cities and towns additional resources to accelerate those repairs and make our roadways safer for everyone.”

The $30 million has been allocated from the existing FY2015 bond authorization for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). While the WRAP is a distinct effort separate from the Chapter 90 program, to ensure equity, the funds will be distributed to cities and towns based on the Chapter 90 formula.

The Chapter 90 formula determines the apportionment of funding for municipal roads and bridges based on a weighted average of a city or town’s population, employment, and total mileage of roads. To view how the $30 million is apportioned to each city or town using the formula, click here.

Under the WRAP, cities and towns can seek reimbursement from MassDOT on expenditures related to patching potholes, pavement cracking, surface defects, paving projects, repair or replacement of damaged signs, guardrail, storm drains and line striping.

In order to accelerate local repairs, the WRAP requires all work on municipal infrastructure to be completed by June 30th, 2015, and for all work invoices to be provided to MassDOT by July 31st, 2015. MassDOT will reimburse cities and towns as invoices are received.

Capital budgets

Capital Budget requests and recommendations –

Requests and recommendations for this year

Requests for next five years

 

 

BoS on 3/23 & 24

Board of Selectmen
Monday, March 23, 2015, 6:30PM

AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
6:30PM Preparation for Special Town Meeting
7:30PM Special Town Meeting


Board of Selectmen
Tuesday March 24, 2015@ 7:00 PM

AGENDA (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Appointment: Representative Garlick
Representative Dooley
Senator Timilty