By Matt Mallio
Posted Oct 6, 2017
With the state Senate overriding Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget cuts, money earmarked for the restoration of a Boxborough landmark may be in the pipeline.
State Sen. Karen Spilka, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, who represents the 2nd Middlesex and Norfolk district, said Baker’s cuts eliminated $50,000 for the restoration of the Wetherbee/Steele Farm in Boxborough, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Spilka said the restoration is an important project in a state that takes its history seriously.
The 30-7 roll-call vote to override was passed Wednesday, Oct. 4. Baker’s cuts included the $50,000, which was to fund the restoration of the historic landmark. It was not the only earmark cut proposed by the governor. According state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, the governor’s budget targeted “every single earmark that any legislator had secured.”
“I was very happy to vote to override Governor Baker’s veto,” Eldridge said. He said the next challenge is to negotiate with the administration to release the funds to Boxborough.
Eldridge said he had “secured” the $50,000 during last spring’s senatorial budget. The town of Boxborough and the Boxborough Historical Society want the building fixed up. The building, Eldirdge said, had been acquired by the town in 1994, and had since suffered water and roofing damage.
The budget cuts in Baker’s budget were initially driven by lower-than-expected revenues, Eldridge said, but how he was confident they had the funding to move forward on some earmarks.
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