Thursday, July 3, 2008

Naughton's Wekepeke earmark in final budget

Thanks to Representative Hank Naughton, Senator Steven Brewer and anyone who lobbied on its behalf, Naughton's $250,000 proposal to help with dam repairs and other upkeep at the Wekepeke survived the conference committee and will be headed to the governor's desk.

The only remaining hurdle is the governor's line item veto. Unless Governor Patrick strikes the line from the final budget and the legislature sustains his veto, the Department of Conservation and Recreation will have the money to spend. Here's the earmark (page 53 of the budget):
...provided further, that not less than $250,000 shall be expended for the purpose of aquatic management for the Wekepeke Reservoir in the town of Sterling
In the last two weeks, Clinton has agreed to the Conservation Restriction on the property and the state has come through with money to help maintain the property. After a lot of discussion and even a few hurt feelings, the Wekepeke land remains free from commercialization and a public resource for the communities of Sterling and Clinton.

Previous coverage of the Wekepeke:
June 19: Write the state house to support the Wekepeke
June 19: Clinton signs Wekepeke restriction. Now what?
May 2: Naughton secures funds for the Wekepeke
April 29: Might the Wekepeke restriction have teeth after all?
April 25: What would Sterling accept at the Wekepeke?
April 11: What does the Wekepeke Restriction actually say?
April 11: Clinton does the right thing
April 9: Sterling should offer to buy Wekepeke at Nestle's price
April 6: Sterling selectmen to oppose Wekepeke plan, but to what extent?
April 4: Vermont looking to restrict Wekepeke-style projects
March 27: This can't be helpful
March 25: Tough decision ahead for Clinton
March 21: Nestle's proposal could change everything
March 21: Nestle nominated for "Corporate Hall of Shame"
March 19: Sterling Selectmen disappoint at Wekepeke forum
March 16: Sterling should oppose Nestle...the right way

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