A trip to a 130-year-old dam in Gloucester has become the latest backdrop for Governor Charlie Baker to push his $ 2.9 billion plan to immediately invest more than half of the state’s remaining dollar relief relief.
“We’re saying here in Massachusetts that climate change is real. We say we believe we can not wait to do something about it. We say it over and over and over again, ‘the Republican governor said Wednesday along Haskell Dam.
Baker said the legislature has been stimulating its efforts to create a revolving fund for three years to continually invest in the state’s crumbling seawalls, divers and more.
The governor said the legislature was slowing down its last attempt to invest $ 1.1 billion in environmental and marine infrastructure – part of its larger plan to immediately raise $ 2.9 billion from the $ 4.8 billion in the U.S. To invest U.S. rescue plan law.
“Over the past two months, our state has experienced two major heat waves and a record amount of rainfall, which has created significant challenges for our communities,” Baker said.
The Baker administration on Wednesday announced more than $ 17.3 million in grants to address the dams, coastal infrastructure and embankments in the state, which according to Kathleen Theoharides, Minister of Energy and Environmental Affairs, are only a fraction of the need is.
“The governor and lieutenant governor have a plan that would invest nearly a billion dollars in federal recovery funds in this game-changing, one-time opportunity to improve our environment, improve public health, and invest in our communities,” Theoharides said.
Lawmakers have indicated they are in no hurry to hand out the funds, noting that hearings will take place during the fall.
The budget watchdogs adopted the legislators’ approach last week during the first of six legislative hearings on spending.
During a hearing this week, Baker administration officials again touched on the need for swift action and raised alarm over an impending and potentially devastating deadline as increased unemployment benefits to those affected by the pandemic on Labor Day weekend decay.
The awards presented this week by the EEA Dam and Seawall Program support the admissions and construction projects in Acton, Ashfield, Braintree, Brockton, Chicopee, Dracut, Dudley, Essex, Gardner, Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Leominster , Marshfield, New Bedford, Northborough, Oxford, Peabody, Quincy, Salem, Saugus, Somerset, Stow, Springfield, Wareham, Weymouth, the Wildlands Trust (Kingston) and Worcester.
The 32 new grants bring the total program funding to $ 95 million in grants and loans to address deficiencies in dams, seawalls and shores since the program began in 2013.