Reading to receive $593,266 for local road and bridge projects

BOSTON – Reading is slated to receive $593,266 in Chapter 90 road and bridge funding in Fiscal Year 2025 under proposed legislation that authorizes $375 million in state bond money to assist cities and towns with the repair and maintenance of their local transportation infrastructure.

Approved by the House of Representatives on April 3 with the support of House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) and State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), House Bill 4529 provides for the distribution of $200 million in statewide Chapter 90 funding, along with $25 million in road assistance targeted specifically for rural communities. The bill also authorizes another $150 million in spending to support six state grant programs cities and towns can access for help with local transportation-related projects.

“The Chapter 90 program is an important state-municipal partnership that provides a vital revenue source to help cities and towns maintain local roads and bridges,” said Representative Jones. “With this funding, communities like Reading can address their transportation infrastructure needs and priorities on an annual basis. This bill also provides funding for several municipal grant programs that offer additional resources to assist our cities and towns in carrying out critical transportation-related initiatives.”

“This significant investment in our community’s transportation needs is vitally important to ensure safe and dependable roads and sidewalks in our community,” said Representative Haggerty. “I’m proud to support and help secure this critical funding measure, which will equip our community with the necessary resources to tackle local road paving and sidewalk improvement projects.”

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program provides funding to cities and towns on a reimbursable basis, with communities required to pay for the work up-front before being compensated by the state. The distribution of the funding is based on a formula that considers the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%), and employment (20.83%).

House Bill 4529 also allocates $25 million for the rural roads program to assist rural communities with the construction and reconstruction of municipal ways. Launched in 2023, the program defines rural communities as having a population of less than 10,000 and a population density that is under 500 people per square mile. The distribution of funds under this program is based on a weighted formula that considers a municipality’s local road mileage (20%), population (20%), and its status as a rural community (60%).

Jones and Haggerty noted that House Bill 4529 also allocates $150 million in funding to six transportation-related state grant programs that are available to cities and towns, with $25 million each provided for the:

  • Municipal Pavement Program, which focuses on the improvement of municipally owned state numbered routes;
  • Municipal Small Bridge Program, which provides funding to municipalities for the replacement, preservation, and rehabilitation of non-federally aided bridges and approaches;
  • Complete Streets Program, which supports the implementation of safe and accessible transit options for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists of all ages and abilities;
  • Municipal Bus Enhancement Program, which can be used for bus shelters, bus lanes, and signal prioritization to enhance mass transit by bus;
  • Mass Transit Access Grant Program, which can be used for enhancements that increase access to mass transit and commuter rail stations; and
  • Municipal/RTA EV Grant Program, which provides grants to municipalities and regional transit authorities for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging equipment.

House Bill 4529 now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

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Woburn to Receive over $1.2 Million for Local Roadway Paving Projects

BOSTON – Wednesday, April 3, 2024 – The City of Woburn will receive $1,256,310.83 in Chapter 90 state for local roadway paving and sidewalk upgrades through a $375 million bill recently approved by the House of Representatives with the support of State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn).

“This significant investment in our community’s transportation needs is crucial for keeping our roads safe and reliable in our community,” said Representative Haggerty. “I’m proud to support and help secure this critical funding that will provide our community with the necessary resources to tackle local road and sidewalk improvement projects.”

The bill includes $200 million for the state’s Chapter 90 program, which provides municipalities with a funding source for transportation-related improvements, including road and bridge repairs, as well as $175 million for specific programs. The bill also appropriates $25 million for the rural roads program established in last year’s Chapter 90 legislation, which provides funding to rural communities in addition to the standard Chapter 90 distribution.

Established in 1973, the Chapter 90 program allocates funding annually to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, utilizing a formula that calculates the weighted average of a community’s local road mileage (58.33%), population (20.83%) and employment (20.83%). Funding is provided on a reimbursable basis, with cities and towns required to finish the work in advance before being compensated by the state for eligible costs.

This legislation authorizes $150 million in programs that will support various transportation-related projects. This includes $25 million for each of the following:

=> Municipal Pavement Program, which focuses on the improvement of municipally owned state numbered routes;

=> Municipal Small Bridge Program, which provides financial support to cities and towns for small bridge replacement, preservation, and rehabilitation projects;

=> Complete Streets Funding Program, which provides technical assistance and construction funding to municipalities for streets that provide safe and accessible options for all travel modes such as walking, biking, transit, and vehicles;

=> Municipal Bus Enhancement Program, which provides grant funding to towns to build out infrastructure related to mass transit by bus, such as bus shelters, curb reconfiguration, bus lanes, and signal prioritization;

=> Mass Transit Access Grant Program, which provides grants to municipalities for design and construction for improvements to access commuter rail stations or other mass transit stations, such as parking lots, drop-off and pick-up zones, bike storage infrastructure, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and

=> Municipal/RTA EV Grant Program, which provides grants to Regional Transit Authorities and municipalities for the purchase of electric vehicles and related charging equipment.

Having passed the House of Representatives 155-0, the bill now goes to the Senate for their consideration.

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Representative Haggerty attends Mystic Valley Elder Services Annual Legislative Breakfast

 

Representative Haggerty along with state legislators and MVES executive members

 

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) joined fellow legislators, mayors, and community members at the Mystic Valley Elder Services’ (MVES) annual Legislative Breakfast. The event focused on the organization’s budget needs, legislative priorities and the vital services provided to older adults.

“Mystic Valley Elder Services plays such an important role in supporting our community’s seniors and their families,” said Representative Haggerty. “It was invaluable to hear directly from MVES leadership, staff and consumers about the incredible work they do, and the continued funding needed to meet the growing demand for services like home care, hospice support and residential assistance.”

During the breakfast, MVES Transitional Care and Nursing Director Lisa Jimenez, RN, shared a presentation highlighting the array of services offered, including hospice care, and invited consumer Patricia Bainton to speak about how MVES has positively impacted her life by providing diabetes and nutrition support.

Lisa Gurgone, Chief Executive Officer of MVES, emphasized budget priorities for the upcoming fiscal year to adequately fund critical programs that support older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers.

MVES is one of the Aging Services Access Points (ASAP) in Massachusetts that receives funding through the Elder Supportive Housing initiative to work in partnership with local housing authorities to embed Resident Service Coordinators within housing sites. Brian Snell, former Reading resident, serves as MVES board chair.

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Temporary Changes to Lowell Commuter Rail Schedule Take Effect March 25

BOSTON – The MBTA and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the operating partner for the MBTA Commuter Rail, have announced a temporary schedule change on the Lowell Line.  Eight mid-day trains will temporarily be eliminated to accommodate several important construction projects taking place on the line. The change will take effect at the beginning of service on March 25 and conclude in May.

The temporary schedule adjustment will allow for replacement of rail ties, as well as facilitate ongoing construction work on Winchester Center station, the Fiber Resiliency Project, and the High Line Bridge work.

  • The following inbound trains will not operate: 314, 318, 322, and 326.
  • The following outbound trains are also suspended: 311, 315, 319, and 323.

Peak inbound and outbound service will not be affected. An updated full schedule can be found at www.mbta.com/schedules/commuter-rail.

Passengers can stay connected with Commuter Rail by calling customer service at 617-222-3200, following @MBTA_CR on X or signing up for T-Alerts at www.mbta.com/alerts.

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Representative Haggerty pleased to meet with METCO Students at Reading Memorial High School

READINGRepresentative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) was happy to meet with METCO students at Reading Memorial High School for an informal discussion about the METCO program’s impact on students educationally and personally. The conversation also covered potential improvements that could be made to the program, whether it be through funding allocations or access to other types of resources. Along with the students, Reading High School METCO Director Kurtis Martin was also in attendance. Pictured are (l-r), Students Jamir Celestine, Zidane Lopes-Oliveira, Andrea Hall, Semaje Peete, and Representative Haggerty.

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Reading Public Schools awarded $15,000 DESE grant

BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading), State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn), and State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) joined with Superintendent Thomas Milaschewski to announce that the Reading Public Schools has been awarded a $15,000 Evaluate and Select High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) Network Support Targeted Grant through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

Reading was one of 23 school districts eligible to receive funding in the latest round of grants, and one of 14 to be awarded funding. Grant awards ranged from $13,500 to $15,000, with a total of $208,500 in grants presented by DESE.

Dr. Sarah Hardy, Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Teaching, will be overseeing the implementation of this grant for the Reading Public Schools, with the money earmarked for the schools’ science curriculum.

“Our district is thrilled to receive the Evaluate and Select High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) Network Support Grant,” said Dr. Hardy. “The grant funds will be used by Reading Public Schools’ Secondary Science Curriculum Council for our work in evaluating and selecting high-quality core science curricular materials, aligning to our commitment to utilize exceptional, standards-aligned, and culturally responsive curricular resources. In addition, this grant will enable professional development opportunities that empower STEM teachers to skillfully use high-quality instructional materials to orchestrate dynamic student learning experiences. In short, this funding will play a critical role in ensuring equitable access and excellence for every student across our science classrooms.”

“Congratulations to the Reading Public Schools for securing this grant award,” said Representative Jones. “By providing students with improved science instructional materials and opening up more professional development opportunities for teachers, this funding will further enhance the overall learning experience for all of Reading’s students.”

“The securing of this grant award by Reading Public Schools is great news for both students and educators,” said Representative Haggerty. “Not only will it provide our science classrooms with high-quality instructional materials, but it will also equip our teachers with valuable professional development. Funding opportunities like these help elevate the quality of education for all Reading students.”

“Utilizing high-quality and culturally responsive course curricula is a key component of offering an exceptional education,” said Senator Lewis. “I am thrilled that Reading Public Schools will be receiving this funding to evaluate and select core science curricular materials to continue providing a top-notch education for their students.”

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Representative Haggerty pleased Woburn Fire Department awarded over $2,400 State Grant

BOSTON – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) joined with the Healey-Driscoll Administration to announce that the Woburn Fire Department has been awarded a $2,435.75 for the purchase of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) to be placed in emergency response vehicles. More than $165,000 in grant funding has been awarded to 80 Massachusetts municipalities, public colleges and universities, and nonprofits to purchase Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) for emergency response vehicles. This program will help increase access to this lifesaving equipment during medical emergencies when every second matters.

“By placing AEDs in emergency response vehicles, we are providing our first responders immediate access to this lifesaving equipment when time can be so crucial,” said Representative Haggerty. “I’m pleased that the Woburn Fire Department is among the grant recipients, ensuring they have these essential devices readily available when rapid response is critical. This statewide funding will help communities across the Commonwealth improve their emergency response and represents an investment in our communities public safety.”

An AED is a lifesaving device employed during a sudden cardiac arrest, a condition characterized by an unexpected cessation of heart function, irrespective of whether the individual has been diagnosed with heart disease or not. This device possesses the capability to analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if deemed necessary, administer an electrical shock, known as defibrillation, to aid in restoring an effective heart rhythm.

The funds were awarded through a competitive application process conducted by the Office of Grants and Research (OGR), a state agency that is part of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). The FY24 AED Grant Program was open to all Massachusetts municipalities – with priority given to those with populations of 20,000 or less – as well as public colleges, universities, and nonprofits with emergency response vehicles.

Eligible applicants were invited to apply for funding of up to $2,500 to purchase one AED for an emergency response vehicle that is either not currently equipped with an AED or requires a replacement device. A total of $165,084.70 will be distributed to 58 municipalities, 13 public colleges and universities, and nine nonprofits serving communities across Massachusetts.

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Representative Haggerty applauds House passage of Legislation to Increase the Commonwealth’s Competitiveness for Federal Funds

BOSTON – Wednesday, February 28, 2024 – State Representative Richard M. Haggerty (D-Woburn) was pleased to join his colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass H.4446, ‘An Act to provide for competitiveness and infrastructure investment in Massachusetts,’ an important piece of legislation that aims to enable the Commonwealth to leverage the interest earned by the Stabilization Fund, which currently stands at a historically high balance of $8.2 billion, to bolster the Commonwealth’s ability to compete for federal funds and pay down debt obligations, such as pensions and other post-employment benefits. Additionally, Massachusetts will be able to more aggressively compete for federal funding made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.

“The legislation enables the Commonwealth to aggressively pursue federal funding that have the potential to improve our infrastructure, invest in cutting edge industries, and create jobs right here in Massachusetts,” said Representative Haggerty. “This gives us a critical advantage when matching federal funds made available through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act.”

The legislation creates the Commonwealth Federal Matching and Debt Reduction Fund, overseen by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F). The fund will consist of the interest earned on the Stabilization Fund in each fiscal year, any money appropriated to the fund, and interest earned on the fund. On a quarterly basis, the Comptroller will transfer interest from the Stabilization Fund to the newly established Commonwealth Federal Matching and Debt Reduction fund, but as a safeguard, no transfer will occur if the balance has decreased over the preceding year, or if it no longer exceeds 10 percent of budgeted revenues.

Administration and Finance office may expend the funds to pay down the Commonwealth’s debt or liabilities including pension obligations, OPEB, capital leases, general or special obligation contract liabilities, or transfer any amount back to the Stabilization Fund. Additionally, A&F may expend up to $750 million from the fund to provide matching funds for federal programs through December 1, 2026:

• Up to $50 million may be used for matching funds for federal programs in the form of grants, loans, and other financial assistance to cities, towns, tribes, and regional organizations; and
• Up to $12 million may be used to provide grants to support municipal, tribal, and regional organizations in planning efforts.

Having passed the House of Representatives 152-0, “An Act to provide for competitiveness and infrastructure investment in Massachusetts” now returns to the Senate for further consideration.

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Representative Haggerty announces March virtual office hours

BOSTON State Representative Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) will be holding virtual office hours on Thursday, March 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Any constituent of Representative Haggerty is welcome to attend the office hours by reaching out to his office to secure Zoom meeting information. The Representative or a member of his staff will be available to meet with the constituents.

“Residents of Reading and Woburn are welcome to attend the virtual office hours if they have any questions or need assistance with legislative or government matters,” said Representative Haggerty. “We are always happy to provide help and serve the community however we can.”

To secure your Zoom meeting information please contact Legislative Aide/District Coordinator, Zack Dhaliwal, at Zack.Dhaliwal@mahouse.gov.

If constituents are unable to attend the virtual office hours, they can contact his office at (617) 722-7709 or email Zack Dhaliwal, at Zack.Dhaliwal@mahouse.gov. Representative Hagerty can also be reached directly at Richard.Haggerty@mahouse.gov.

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Reading Legislators Welcome Reading Memorial High School DECA Club at the State House

BOSTON – On February 12th, Representatives Richard Haggerty (D-Woburn) and Brad Jones (R-North Reading) hosted students from Reading Memorial High School DECA Club at the State House during the DECA Day on the Hill. Representatives Haggerty and Jones met with the students after the DECA event and gave them a brief tour of the House Chamber. The DECA Club assists students in developing skills for future leadership and entrepreneurial careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Students were accompanied by their DECA Advisor Cynthia Dorman. (l-r) Representative Jones, Students Jacqueline Berner, Justin Raimo, Jacklyn Cusolito, Paige Cusolito, Cadence McPherson, Rose Moran, Caitlin DeRosa, DECA Advisor Cynthia Dorman, and Representative Haggerty.

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