By: Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, (Methuen)
On Wednesday, the House concluded deliberations for the proposed FY16 with funding allocated for significant projects throughout the Merrimack Valley. In addition to the much toted $400,000.00 funding for the Nicholson Stadium Project the House FY16 Budget also included funding for additional Methuen programs and projects sponsored by the delegation.
The Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, which works closely with the City of Methuen to combat gang violence, improve affordable housing stock, and revitalize the Methuen-Arlington Neighborhood also received $50,000.00 in the House budget.
“Community resources like Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, Inc. serve as important tools and I look forward to watching this organization grow through the enhancement of entrepreneurial opportunities, neighborhood investment and other development activities for the residents of Methuen,” said Representative Frank Moran, the primary sponsor.
“M.A.N. INC. has been an incredibly successful and effective organization. This funding will allow them to continue their work targeting at-risk youth and helping to build this community,” said Representative Linda Campbell.
“The work M.A.N., Inc. does on behalf of the residents of the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood is immensely important and I stand with my colleagues in the Methuen House delegation in celebrating the securing of these funds,” said Representative Diana DiZoglio.
Linda Soucy, the Director of the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood, commented that “these funds are critical as they represent half of our operating budget of $100,000.00. Specifically, these funds are used only for programming. Our entire budget goes directly to the children. I am thankful for the many who volunteer their time and talent to administer these programs.”
Also include was fifty-thousand dollars for the Methuen Rail Trail, a project long considered to be important to revitalizing the Methuen Downtown Area.
“I have been a strong supporter of the Methuen Rail Trail and was highly supportive of funding for the Rail Trail in this and past budgets” said Campbell, “Not only does this provide valuable public space for families, cyclists, and children, but we know that important investments like the rail trail can be very useful for leveraging private investment, especially in downtown areas.”
“I’d like to thank Representative Campbell for taking the lead on this project. This nearly 2.5 mile long trail will bridge our communities and provide unique access and recreational opportunities to residents and visitors,” Moran said. “I look forward to the completion of this project and the accessibility it will provide from the Spicket Greenway to the Granite State Rail Trail system,” said Moran.
“The Methuen Rail Trail is a wonderful and safe community resource, perfect for hiking, cycling, walking and running, and I am truly delighted by the allocation of these funds,” said Representative DiZoglio.
“As Mayor of the City of Methuen it has been a great pleasure to work with our State House Delegation,” said Methuen Mayor Steve Zanni. “They listen to the needs of the community and have delivered the goods, not only for Nicholson Stadium, but also for the Arlington neighborhood and other priorities. I look forward to continuing to work with them on future initiatives.”
The House FY16 Budget also marks the first year since the recession in which the State has not drawn funding from the “Rainy Day Fund” and is consistent with Governor Baker and Speaker DeLeo’s pledge to not raise any taxes or fees.