Tuesday, May 7, 2013
East Milton Square project design money approved with help from Sen. Joyce

The East Milton Square parking project is a go, following a surprise announcement from state Senator Brian A. Joyce and a Town Meeting vote Monday.

Joyce, a Milton Democrat, announced to Town Meeting voters and town officials that he had found money for the East Milton Square project.

“I’ve just confirmed with [Massachusetts Department of Transportation Chief Executive Officer 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,” Joyce told Town Meeting, which 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 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 it 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 confirmed that the East Milton project will receive $300,000 from the department's capital budget as soon as it's needed.

While Joyce said the money would be coming from the state, selectmen still asked voters to approve the extra $300,000 to add to the capital improvements article. Selectmen voted that the money would not be borrowed if Joyce’s state money came through.

Warrant Committee Chairman Jean Wilson asked selectmen to consider her committee’s recommendations throughout the design phase.

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

Milton’s Town Meeting will reconvene Tuesday at 7:30 at the Milton High School auditorium.