Upton to Receive Additional State Aid
By Michelle Sanford Staff Reporter/Columnist · August 22, 2011
Thanks to a Local Aid Reversion Amendment unanimously passed recently by the House of Representatives, State Rep. George Peterson, R. Grafton, announced that Upton would be receiving an additional $32,000 in state aid. Peterson briefly discussed the additional funding during an August 2 Board of Selectmen's meeting.
Reversion funds are unspent portions of the state budget. The passage of the Amendment will distribute unspent funds from Fiscal Year 2011 back to local communities. Due to the economic downturn over the past years, the state has continued to cut aid to towns and cities throughout the Commonwealth. However, as a result of the passage of the Local Aid Reversion Amendment, the additional monies are certainly a positive welcome to struggling communities. The Amendment will allow half of the Commonwealth's reversions, or a maximum of $65 million, to be distributed to municipalities.
According to Town Manager Blythe Robinson, the additional funding was very good news but because of the uncertainty of what direction the town's budget is heading in, there's a neutral outlook to the extra monies among town officials.
Selectmen Chair Robert Fleming said the new funds will likely be placed into the town's general fund as free cash. "More than likely we will let it sit un-appropriated, which will add to next year's available funds," he said. At a future town meeting, residents can then determine to apply it to any expenses or purchases.
Funding is expected to be received no later than October 31.
In other news that evening, the Upton Men's Club received approval from the Board for a beautification project that will add flowers to the island located at the corner of Prospect St. and Route 140. According to Upton Men's Club Member Michael Howard, Highway Supervisor John Johnson is in favor of the project.
Howard requested $1,040 for the project for 75 plants, 10 yards of mulch, five yards of loam, and lime. Howard asked that the money be taken out of the Knowlton Risten Fund. Part of the $1,040 will also include monies needed to complete a mulching project in front of the senior housing area on Hartford Ave. North.
While the Upton's Men's Club will provide all labor associated with the beautification project, Howard asked that logistical support be provided to ensure the safety of the workers while the project is underway.