Markey, Legislature Supporting Dartmouth Aid and Critical Infrastructure Projects
Local Aid, Causeway Bridge and Boat Ramp Among Recent Successes
(BOSTON) – The Massachusetts Legislature recently agreed on a comprehensive local aid package for upcoming fiscal year 2015 that will provide for significant increases in critical funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns. State Representative Christopher M. Markey (D- Dartmouth) applauded the move made possible by a Joint Resolution reached by the House and Senate. “It is something that I and my colleagues have been working toward for some time,” said Markey. “We can’t afford to shortchange our cities and towns.”
The funding package includes $9,326,041 for Dartmouth in Chapter 70 funding which provides state aid to public elementary and secondary schools, and establishes a minimum spending requirement for each school district and a minimum requirement for each municipality's share of school costs. Also included for the Town of Dartmouth is $2,243,106 for Unrestricted General Government Aid, drawn from lottery and other revenues. All told, the Commonwealth is reinvesting more than $4 billion in Chapter 70 funding statewide, in addition to over $945 million in Unrestricted General Government Aid.
For local officials, including Select Board Members Lara Stone and Michael Watson, the news of increased state aid was cause for celebration. “We are thrilled with the local aid package. The timing this year gives us the planning we need. Thanks to our legislative contingent for fighting for this region,” said Stone. Watson, who currently serves as Vice Chair of the Select Board, echoed that sentiment. “The deep cuts to the unrestricted local aid account for municipalities in the last recession continue to pose challenges in local government. The Legislature’s willingness to increase unrestricted local aid for the third year in a row is a sign of their commitment to putting resources back in the hands of local municipalities,” he said.
Markey, who represents the 9th Bristol District which includes all of Dartmouth and portions of New Bedford, pointed to other benefits to Dartmouth, including bonding through a recent transportation bill that, when acquired, will fund repairs to the Padanaram Causeway Bridge and to language added to the Environmental Bond Bill that will fund critical repairs to the Arthur F. Dias Boat Landing at Apponagansett Point. “The proper functioning of the Landing and the Bridge is so important both to the local economy and for the quality of life and safety of the citizens of Dartmouth,” said Markey. “It’s another example of the government of the Commonwealth working for the people here.”