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Town Meeting advances East Milton Square parking project

MILTON — After a surprise announcement that state money is on the way, Town Meeting voters on Monday decided to advance the East Milton Square parking project.

The announcement was made by state Senator Brian A. Joyce, a Milton Democrat, who told the meeting, “I’ve just confirmed with [Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard A.] Davey about 6 o’clock tonight that the state will deliver to the town in the next 50 days or so the $300,000 necessary to move this project forward.”

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Town Meeting then had to recess to determine how that new information would affect the motion on the floor.

Selectmen had asked Town Meeting Members to add $300,000 to a capital improvements bonding article, requiring a two-thirds vote, for an engineering study for the East Milton Square improvements. The improvements include more parking and creating more green space.

The town has access to a $1 million federal grant for the project, but can use that money only for construction, not for design.

Joyce said Davey would confirm with his office within the next few days that the money will be coming to the town.

On Tuesday, a MassDOT spokesperson told a Globe reporter that the East Milton project will receive $300,000 from the department’s capital budget as soon as the money is needed.

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Even with Joyce’s announcement, selectmen still asked voters to approve the extra $300,000 for capital improvements. However, the money would not be borrowed if the state money comes through.

The amendment passed in a voice vote with a few negative votes, but the final article was passed unanimously.

Dave Eisenstadter can be reached at eisen.globe­@gmail.com.
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