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Senate Passes Bond Bill Supporting Environmental and Energy Projects in MetroWest

July 11, 2014
Ashland State Park, a terrific example of MetroWest natural resources.

Ashland State Park, a terrific example of MetroWest natural resources.

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a bill providing for the preservation and improvement of land, parks and clean energy in the MetroWest region and the Commonwealth, Senator Karen Spilka announced.

“Well-maintained, accessible recreational trails and open space have a significant impact on quality of life in MetroWest and across the state,” said Senator Spilka. “These projects will encourage people to get outdoors, be active and create connections with the community while enjoying the beautiful natural resources our region has to offer.”

This legislation authorizes a $1.9 billion, 4-year capital plan, including funding for energy and environmental infrastructure, water and air quality protection, innovative green projects, recreational trails and other initiatives to preserve and protect natural resources and encourage energy efficiency.

Senator Spilka successfully advocated for funding for the following projects to preserve and improve recreational trails and access to open space in MetroWest:

  • $5,000,000 for the preservation of and improvements to the Birch Road well field in Framingham
  • $1,200,000 for the planning, acquisition, design and construction of an extension of the Upper Charles Trail in Holliston
  • $1,500,000 for the planning, acquisition, design and construction of an extension of the Upper Charles Trail from Milford into Hopkinton
  • $4,000,000 for the planning, acquisition, design and construction of multi-use recreational trails in Ashland
  • $1,000,000 to acquire and increase public access to open space in Medway, including the construction of improvements and facilities that increase the accessibility of walking trails and outdoor programming for children with special needs
  • $2,000,000 to create a network of recreational trails on aqueducts owned by the MWRA and located in Central Massachusetts and MetroWest
  • $1,500,000 for the design and construction of improvements to the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) where it crosses Prospect Street in Franklin

Spilka also worked to include funding in the bill for a Massachusetts Water Technology Innovation Trust Fund, which will be administered by the Clean Energy Technology Center, to promote water innovation in the Commonwealth.

The Senate and House will now produce a compromise bill for final passage and consideration of the Governor.

 

8/1/2014 UPDATE: The Legislature passed a compromise version of the Environmental Bond Bill, including the above funding for MetroWest projects, as well as the following:

  • $500,000 for invasive aquatic plant species eradication at Lake Cochituate State Park in Natick
  • $100,000 for the Natick Trails Committee to develop and maintain walking trails
  • $1,000,000 for repairs and improvements to the Lake Maspenock dam owned by the town of Hopkinton

 

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