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Funding for Stow ‘last mile’ pilot in final state budget

Submitted by the Office of State Rep. Kate Hogan

Rep. Kate Hogan meets with the Stow Board of Selectmen to talk about FY20 budget funding for a pilot stop of the commuter shuttle to the South Acton MBTA station in Stow.

(Boston) Passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Charlie Baker last week, the $43.1 billion Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) Massachusetts budget will provide a jolt of state funding for the Stow last mile transportation pilot, Bolton culvert repairs, and Assabet Watershed conservation through budget amendments sponsored by Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow.

“I am proud that the state’s annual spending bill reflects my commitment to working with our Town Halls as partners on economic development, conservation, and transportation,” said Rep. Kate Hogan. “Our municipal leaders have a long history of putting state dollars to work making our communities greener, healthier, and more accessible. The FY20 budget supports these ongoing collaborations — cultivating a framework for sustainable economic growth that works for all residents.”

Stow Last Mile Transportation Pilot

Making the region’s public transit options more accessible for Stow residents, the FY20 state budget includes Rep. Kate Hogan’s amendment providing $100,000 for commuter and senior transit in Stow and Maynard. This funding will support a pilot stop of the popular South Acton Commuter Shuttle in Stow. The shuttle, currently run by the towns of Maynard and Acton in coordination with CrossTown Connect, has seen its ridership steadily increase since its inception in 2016 and is seen as an important tool in the towns’ efforts to tackle congestion and reduce air pollution. The Stow pilot is anticipated to similarly foster first and last mile connections, helping commuters get to and from the train and providing a solution for Stow residents concerned about parking availability at the busy South Acton station.

Culvert Repair

The state spending plan provides $20,000 for the town of Bolton’s ongoing culvert repair. Municipal leaders explain that efforts to update the aging storm water infrastructure are crucial to the integrity of the roadways and increased resilience to changing weather patterns associated with climate change.

Assabet Watershed Water Quality Monitoring

$27,000 in the state budget will support the O.A.R.S. Water Quality Monitoring Program in the Assabet Watershed, which provides data about the Assabet, Concord, and Sudbury rivers to inform environmental policies and protections.

Community Preservation Act

The Community Preservation Act has had a significant impact on the conservation of natural and historic spaces in Stow. The FY20 budget increases the state’s contribution to the Community Preservation Act for the first time in nearly 20 years, making an additional $36 million available for preservation efforts statewide.

495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission (SECC)

Continuing the work of sustained regional collaboration on inclusive economic growth, Rep. Kate Hogan secured $25,000 for the SECC in the budget. The SECC recently released the most in-depth study of the region’s economy to date, highlighting opportunities and challenges for the area and underlining the link between state investment in infrastructure and sustainable development. This funding will support stakeholders in developing policy based on the report’s recommendations.