Money will fund substance abuse, community garden, and pedestrian safety initiatives
BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), and Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) have secured $120,000 in funding earmarks for the Town of Reading as part of the state budget process.
The funding was included in the $48.1 billion Fiscal Year 2022 state budget that was enacted by the House and Senate on July 9 and is now before Governor Charlie Baker for his review. The budget represents a compromise spending plan that reconciles the differences between earlier versions of the budget approved by the House in April and the Senate in May.
Four local initiatives are funded in the budget for Reading, including:
- $10,000 to support substance abuse and addiction awareness and education efforts at the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support, which operates out of the Reading Police Department and offers programs and services to the community related to substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion;
- $50,000 for improvements and the re-design of the Upper Haven Street (CVS) Municipal Parking Lot to include more pedestrian-friendly features;
- $50,000 for pedestrian access improvements at the Eastern Gateway, with a focus on the intersection at the entrance to Market Basket; and
- $10,000 for the construction of a Reading Community Garden
“This state funding assistance will enable Reading officials to carry out several priority initiatives designed to promote economic development, public health, and public safety throughout the community,” said Representative Jones. “The State House delegation advocated for these four projects on Reading’s behalf, and I’m pleased we were able to work together to ensure that they were all retained in the final budget.”
“This budget and these funds support several targeted municipal projects by providing important funding for pedestrian and traffic flow improvements that continue to be a major concern for residents and community leaders,” said Representative Haggerty. “Additionally, these funds will help support the town’s commitment to battling substance abuse and providing a healthy, safe lifestyle for all its residents. I would like to thank Leader Jones and Senator Lewis for their continued partnership in advocating for these important resources.”
“This budget represents an essential step forward as our Commonwealth looks ahead to recovering from the pandemic and rebuilding a strong and equitable economy for Massachusetts families, businesses, and communities,” said Senator Lewis, Assistant Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education. “I’m especially proud that this budget invests substantially in Massachusetts K-12 public schools and in early education and child care, which form a key pillar of economic opportunity for millions of working parents and families across the state.”
Governor Baker has until July 19 to review the budget and issue any vetoes.