PEPPERELL — Rep. Margaret Scarsdale and Sen. Ed Kennedy secured a total of $360,000 in earmarks for projects in Pepperell and Dunstable in this year’s fiscal 2024 state budget, signed into law last week by Gov. Maura Healey.
“Partnerships are the key to success, and I thank Sen. Kennedy for his steadfast leadership and support as we worked to secure these earmarks,” said Scarsdale, D-Pepperell. All of these projects address urgent needs in our communities, and thanks to collaboration with town leaders, we were able to prioritize effectively to secure money for them. Working together, working smartly, and working hard is how you get the job done.”
Dunstable receives $250,000 for repairs to the Joint Grass Brook culvert. This significant earmark comes from Kennedy, D-Lowell, who successfully advocated for its inclusion in the final budget.
“I am proud to have collaborated with Rep. Scarsdale on securing these important local earmarks in response to the needs of the communities we represent,” said Kennedy. The $250,000 included for the Joint Grass Brook Culvert project in Dunstable will provide crucial state aid for transportation infrastructure improvements in the town.”
Dunstable will receive $50,000 for a new fire chief command vehicle. The vehicle will allow the fire chief to coordinate more effectively with first responders, get to emergencies quicker, and carry back-up safety equipment.
“We appreciate the ongoing support, advocacy, and hard work of Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Scarsdale on behalf of the Dunstable community,” said Dunstable Town Administrator Jason Silva. “This funding allows us to renovate the Joint Grass Brook culvert, addressing a critical infrastructure need and facilitating the replacement of the fire chief’s command vehicle, strengthening our public safety response. Without this funding made possible by Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Scarsdale, the Town would not be able to advance these projects.”
In Pepperell, Scarsdale successfully earmarked $25,000 for the Albert Harris Senior Center to upgrade its kitchen and appliances. The Senior Center serves thousands of meals to seniors every year and the kitchen is in desperate need of repairs, as well as many new appliances. This money will enable the center to continue providing this critical service to the community.
“We are so very thankful to Rep. Scarsdale and Sen. Kennedy for advocating for these funds for the Albert Harris Senior Center,” said Nändi Munson, director of the center. “We can now update our sorely-outdated kitchen equipment, allowing us to enhance and grow our meal program. This service helps meet the vital, basic needs of nutrition and socialization, and these funds will make a huge impact in the lives of Pepperell seniors.”
Over the last few years, access to affordable housing has become an outsized issue within the commonwealth, and the1st Middlesex District is no exception. Kennedy therefore set aside $35,000 for an affordable housing study in Pepperell.
“This $35,000 earmark for the Pepperell Affordable Housing Study will help the town create a strategy for achieving its affordable housing goals over the next few years,” said Kennedy.
Healey signed the budget into law on Aug. 9, and town earmarks will be available for the entirety of the fiscal year for their designated projects.