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Braintree officials take next steps with approximately $18 million from state budget

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 30, 2012 03:23 PM

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Braintree will distribute some $4.8 million to renovate Doherty Gym, create more space for the town's compost site, and buy software programs as the town begins to reap money from the recently approved state budget.

The town also received another $13.5 million for the schools, however that money has yet to be allocated.

Both figures are an increase from funding the town received last year. The town will receive a $1.39 million increase for the schools compared to the FY12 budget, and a $349,954 increase on the town side.

According to Peter Morin, chief of staff and operations for the town, the town funding will be used mostly to supplement current efforts.

“Predominately it's one-time [expenditures], to purchase items or something like that, but its also for ongoing efforts,” Morin said. “We can do a little bit more in our parks and for our equipment needs and things like that. It’s nothing we would have a concern about being sustainable in the future.”

The funding will not be used to restore any services or positions lost in recent years due to budget cuts, however a portion of the funding will be saved and put into reserves, Morin said.

Although the town has yet to allocate school money, Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg hinted that some of the school’s funds might go to reoccurring expenses, including the restoration of the housemaster position, which is currently unfilled.

Regardless of where the funding goes, however, Braintree officials are pleased with the increases.

“I think we were pleasantly surprised and appreciative of the extra work that our legislators did to secure additional funding,” Kurzberg said.

In addition to the school and local aid funding, the town will also receive $50,000 from the state budget to renovate the East Braintree Fire Station.

A new ladder truck, purchased with funding from this year’s budget and with mitigation funding from an environmental lawsuit, will be housed at the location when it arrives later this year.

“The mayor will be going over to look at the fire station with the chief this week, and we will be looking at [when to start construction] at that point,” Morin said.

Because it takes nine months to a year to order a ladder truck, the renovation of the existing facility will be complete long before the truck arrives, Morin said.

Morin said the additional funding was largely the result of the town’s state representation, which pushed for additional money.

In a release, state representatives said they were excited for their success.

"“This will be the first time we have been able to house a ladder truck in East Braintree in over ten years, which will increase the safety of all residents and businesses in the area,” State Rep. Mark Cusack said.

“The residents of East Braintree are better served with a ladder truck housed at their neighborhood fire station,” State Senator John Keenan said. “I am pleased we are able to provide this funding so that work may begin immediately to improve the East Braintree fire station.”

East Braintree Fire Station opened in 1941, and is the second oldest station in Braintree. This funding will allow the station to house a ladder truck, two engines, and equipment to address an oil spill in the Fore River.

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