GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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July 25, 2013

Mayoral meeting spurs road, aid talk

Mayors, aides and other officials from across the state gathered in Cruiseport Gloucester yesterday for the Massachusetts Mayors Association, a division of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Although part of the meeting focused around the public safety issues and the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing, officials also talked about the ongoing issue to secure the entire $300 million that was initially allocated in Chapter 90 funding to aid local road repair.

Only $150 million of the initial $300 million requested for Chapter 90 funds to repair roads has been released, And the Massachusetts Municipal Association backed a resolution asking for the $100 million increase during their annual meeting in January.

Securing the full amount of funding remains a priority, with officials “putting their shoulder” behind the issue as talks with Patrick’s Administration and Transportation Secretary Richard Davey remain ongoing, said Joseph Sullivan, Braintree Mayor and president of the Massachusetts Mayor Association.

“We are not getting the respect we are hoping for,” he said after the meeting, at Cruiseport hosted by Mayor Carolyn Kirk and other city officials.

Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer remained confident that municipalities would see the money in the end.

“The expectation is we will probably get the funds,” he said.

With Daniel Linskey, Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police Department and Edward Deveau, Watertown’s police chief, a part of the monthly mayoral meeting focused around public safety. Kirk, who welcomed upward of 40 officials from municipalities and companies throughout the state, said the speeches and accounts of the Boston Marathon bombings were enamoring.

“Every single person in the room was spellbound,” she said.

While the local impact of the terrorist attack was minimal for law enforcement, police chief Leonard Campanello took a lot away from the speech, he said.

“It was good to hear from people in the know,” Campanello said, adding the attack drastically changed many aspects of public safety, including suburban policing.

“Unfortunately, the reality is there are fewer and fewer safe havens,” he said.

Others present at the meeting included representatives of First Southwest Company, which offers municipal bonds, the Gilbane Building Company and CDM Smith, a consulting and engineering firm.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.

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