Prior to Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, the board met in Executive Session to discuss the potential acquisition of nearly 8 acres of land from St. Dorothy’s Church.
According to Town Manager Jeff Hull, the town is pursuing the potential opportunity because the land may help the town with “certain needs,” although he did not want to share plans for the land just yet.
He noted that the town would need to post a declaration to the State Secretary’s Central Register stating that the town feels the property is unique enough that it does not need to go through a formal bid process for purchase.
Next steps would include reaching a purchase and sales agreement with the archdiocese and bringing the potential purchase to Town Meeting.
Hull also confirmed that the church approached the town with the proposal for purchase.
Chapter 90 Funding
During the meeting Hull reiterated to the board correspondence that was sent from Geoffrey Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) to Governor Patrick requesting that his administration release the entire $300 million in local Chapter 90 funds for Fiscal Year 2104 that was voted in by legislature earlier this year. On July 30, 2013, Richard Davey, secretary and CEO of Massachusetts Department of Transportation, sent a letter to Selectman Louis Cimaglia informing him that the transportation finance bill does not provide enough revenue to fund the full $300 million as originally intended.
Wilmington’s FY14 allotment was adjusted to $758,465.
Beckwith’s letter noted that 90 percent of the roadways in Massachusetts are city- or town-owned, and he argued that the additional $100 million is affordable.
“With a half billion in new tax dollars secured in the transportation finance package, Chapter 90 funding can easily increase to the $300 million level as intended by legislature,” Beckwith wrote.
Beckwith argued that towns and cities need the funding to improve quality and safety of roads, create jobs, and protect local taxpayers.