$750,000 for Prison Mitigation in Final FY2017 State Budget

Boston – Representative John H. Rogers (D- Norwood), Senator James E. Timilty (D-Walpole), Representatives Louis L. Kafka (D-Stoughton), Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), and Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) are pleased to announce that the Massachusetts House and Senate have passed the final FY2017 State Budget, which includes $750,000 for the Town of Walpole as host of MCI Cedar Junction. Walpole’s Legislative delegation was able to maintain this vital funding despite a revenue shortfall in this year’s budget.

Walpole is the only town to receive a specified amount in the budget to help cover the costs of hosting a prison facility. This funding which recognizes the burden that hosting Cedar Junction places on the Town of Walpole was initiated by Rep. Rogers in FY04.

In recent years mitigation money has been utilized to offset the cost of municipal buildings in town. $1.6 Million has been allocated for the new Walpole Police Station; and $800,000 from FY16 Prison Mitigation will be allocated toward the new Fire Station, once it is transferred from free cash at the next Fall Town Meeting. This current allocation of funds from the House, if passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, will be available next year to defer from the cost of additional projects in the Facilities Construction Account.

Representative Rogers observed “Once again, the taxpayers of Walpole will receive exclusive budgetary treatment because of the total team effort from our state delegation. This vital funding will go a long way in offsetting costs of municipal needs that otherwise would go unfunded due to the burdens of Cedar Junction. I am especially proud that Walpole’s team delivered this year, in the face of a significant budget shortfall.”

Senator Timilty remarked, “The Walpole Delegation prioritized this funding in the Commonwealth’s FY17 operating budget. I am proud the bipartisan co-operation with my colleagues in the House resulted in monies allocated in the coming fiscal year to help the Town of Walpole meet critical public safety and infrastructure needs.”

“Having these mitigation funds assist in offsetting the costs of the new public safety buildings is entirely fitting, based on the services they’ve provided to the Commonwealth and the Department of Corrections,” said Representative Kafka. “I’m pleased that we were again able to work well as a delegation to preserve this program for another fiscal year.”

Rep. McMurtry said, “I am pleased to, once again, team with my colleagues in our effort to deliver critical funding as a deserving gesture of compensation to the citizens of Walpole as host community to the Commonwealth’s criminal justice system”

Rep. Dooley remarked that he was “so pleased that we were able to get these monies for the people of Norfolk and Walpole. Our communities give so much in support of the Commonwealth and it is great that the legislature voted unanimously to show their appreciation for our hosting these facilities.”

In addition to the $750,000 specifically for the Town of Walpole, there is also an additional amount that will be made available to all towns that host prison facilities. Walpole will receive its proportional share of this money as well.

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