Senator Eldridge files local budget amendments to help veterans, combat food insecurity, increase transportation options, and improve recreational facilities for people with disabilities in the Middlesex and Worcester district

Boston (MA) – State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) has filed earmark amendments to the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee’s FY20 budget proposal that would make targeted investments in the Middlesex and Worcester District. Eldridge’s amendments would make the War Memorial Building in the Town of Shirley ADA compliant, improve facilities at Miracle Field in the Town of Acton, help the Town of Ayer increase parking at the Ayer commuter rail station, and help a food pantry in the Town of Westborough buy air conditioners for their aging facilities.

“The state budget gives every elected official the opportunity to invest in projects that will have a direct, meaningful impact in the communities we serve,” Eldridge said. “The amendments I file are informed by my constituents, and local non-profits and town officials, with a special focus on helping the most vulnerable populations in my district. Over the past few years, the most pressing issues have been battling food insecurity and increasing public transportation options across the district. I look forward to discussing the merits of these amendments with my colleagues, and secure this critical funding.”

Eldridge has filed the following local amendments:

Amendment 112 would appropriate $50,000 for the design and engineering of an elevator in the War Memorial building in the town of Shirley to bring it in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The War Memorial Building is home to Shirley’s War Memorial Trustees and the local American Legion post and is used for meetings and events.

Amendment 113 would appropriate $50,000 for the purchase and installation of commercial grade air conditioning units at the Forbes community building in the town of Westborough. This municipal building houses the Westborough Food Pantry which provides food to over 130 Westborough families and helps to feed an average of 900 people a month. The building also hosts Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and has been used for Boy Scout meetings and events for more than 50 years.

Amendment 795 would appropriate $150,000 for facility improvements at Miracle Field in the town of Acton. The town of Acton is one of two communities in the state to offer a Miracle Field, a completely accessible baseball diamond with dugouts and bleachers. Miracle Field welcomes disabled athletes and their families from more than 80 surrounding communities. Athletes ranging in age from 5 years old to young adults play at this specialized ballpark. All athletes regardless of limitations are invited to play ball. Construction of the Miracle Field in Acton was completed in 2012, and immediately became a fixture in the regional sports community. Developing the Miracle Field in Acton was a highly successful cooperative effort between the Miracle League of Massachusetts, the town of Acton, private citizens, and area businesses. Miracle Field has become an enormous regional asset, only limited by the lack of appropriate restroom facilities necessary for athletes with disabilities. The second phase of the Miracle Field project, is to build a snack bar and a family restroom designed specifically to accommodate athletes with special needs.

Amendment 1123 would appropriate $250,000 to the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) for further improvements to the Depot Square portion of the Ayer rail trail commuter parking project. This funding will go towards completing the last section of an important transportation infrastructure project in the Town of Ayer – Rail Trail/Commuter Parking Project. The project consists of 3 phases: a new parking deck providing 180 parking spaces for commuters and rail trail enthusiasts, which just began construction; improvements to the Main Street crossing; and improvements to Depot Square. The Improvements made to Depot Square, in downtown Ayer, will enhance the commuter experience for all those boarding in Ayer, which has the second highest ridership on the entire Fitchburg line. The $5 million dollar project makes much needed infrastructure improvements in the Town of Ayer, which also benefit surrounding communities. The completion of this project, will further enhance Ayer’s ability to continue transit-oriented development in the downtown, including supporting small businesses.

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