North to receive additional funds for road, sidewalk improvements

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North Attleborough Town Hall
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Gov. Marua Healey’s administration has awarded the town $398,000, which will be used for road improvements and sidewalk rehabilitation.

The Healey administration announced on Dec. 16 that $100 million  would be distributed to all Massachusetts municipalities for local infrastructure projects. This money comes from revenue generated by the Fair Share Amendment—a law that imposes a 4% surtax on annual incomes above $1 million. The Fair Share Amendment became law after 52 percent of voters approved the measure during the 2022 midterm election.

“This funding is particularly impactful because we are empowering cities and towns to decide how to use it to address their unique needs,” Healey said. “We are grateful to the Legislature for making this funding available and look forward to seeing how the municipalities will use it to strengthen their communities.”

North Attleborough Director of Public Works Mark Hollowell said the money provided by the Healey administration would help in the rehabilitation of sidewalks and repairs to Mt. Hope Street.

“We will try to get some road work done,” Hollowell said. “With the additional $398,000, you could get two miles of road paved. That would be the equivalent of creating a new sidewalk from the beginning of Route 1A all the way down to Town Hall on one side of S. Washington Street.”

The need for improvement to roads and sidewalks has been on the minds of residents and town officials for several years. Supporters of new sidewalk infrastructure argue that those who are older and have physical disabilities are at risk of injury because of the many gaps in sidewalks and unpaved surfaces.

Carolanne Clements Haddigan, a resident of Lindsey Street, said sidewalks are essential to keep pedestrians and children safe from oncoming traffic. Haddigan said she sees vehicles speeding on Lindsey Street and worries for the safety of residents and pedestrians.

“There are many walkers, runners and speeding cars all the time.’ Haddigan said. “They put stop signs on dead-end side streets and some other side streets, but not all. No one has slowed down since.”

Both Hollowell and Town Manager Michael Borg have asked state Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough) and state Sen. Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro) to call on House and Senate leadership as well as the Healey Administration to increase funding for Chapter 90, arguing the current formula does not keep pace with rising costs for asphalt and other tools. Hollowell said he is pleased with the additional $398,000 in funding but said more would help expedite current and upcoming infrastructure projects.

“Asphalt was $65 a ton in 2012 and now it’s doubled that amount,” Hollowell said. “Meanwhile, the legislature has been putting $200 million for Chapter 90 since then and it hasn’t changed. It’s great they increased it this year, but it has to be permanent.”