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Your Tewksbury Today

State Reps Earmark State IT Bond Bill Funding for Local Emergency Services

State House

Following many days of preparation, the House of Representatives sent forward a key bond bill looking to improve Information Technology investments for state and local governments across the state. Targeted issues of the bill include improving constituent services from state entities, assisting localities with improving IT security, and $40 million in potential funding for public schools to assist in online learning.

Locally, Tewksbury and Wilmington received individual earmarks. If the bonds are released by the Governor, state assistance to Tewksbury would include up to $250,000 for the purchase of a new ambulance and $150,000 for a new rescue vehicle, replacing current fleet vehicles at the end of their lifespan. Wilmington would receive $150,000 for communication upgrades to their current emergency radio and telecommunications network, and $18,000 to implement onboard computers for fire equipment. These computers would allow first responders to communicate important information between units easier, coordinating responding units and forwarding vital information to crews before they even arrive on scene.

"I felt this is a very important opportunity to support our local first responders again," said Representative Robertson. "If Governor Baker and Treasurer Goldberg eventually choose to authorize the release of these funds, and they have done well as our state's executive branch financial stewards, these are additional funds that we may pursue to provide additional state assistance to our communities. We'll help alleviate the costs to town residents while improving both local and regional emergency response, and shifts the financial cost off the town to take advantage of our state's strong bond rating."

"I'm proud to have worked with my House colleague, Rep. Robertson, on amendments that are aimed at bringing significant funding to Tewksbury to support emergency services," said Rep. Tram Nguyen. "As we face an unprecedented public health crisis, I will continue to advocate for our community and help those who are affected by this terrible virus."

Other language in the bill supported targeted funds to provide municipal grants for safety equipment for first responders, financial assistance to hospitals and community health centers to counter future COVID outbreaks, and grants to help municipalities implement disability-access compliance at local facilities. The bill now heads to the Senate for debate and passage.
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