State Sen. Barry Finegold met with the Andover Tri-Board, selectmen, finance and school, and discussed the status of the state budget and what Andover should expect in terms of financial assistance from the commonwealth.
First off, Finegold said that the town must be conservative with its state revenue estimates, as the town of Andover does every year regardless, because the information coming down from the top about the state budget is not likely to be accurate.
“I would not rely on what the governor says in his budget,” said Finegold.
Finegold said that he expects the general local aid that goes to Andover each year from the state will remain as it was in fiscal 2013.
Finegold said that the town can expect a two to three percent increase in Chapter 70 school funding, which equals roughly $200,000 to $300,000.
“My hope that if extra money comes in that money goes towards education,” said Finegold.
Finegold said that he will also be pushing for more commuter rail cars on the Haverhill-Reading line and feels that investing in the state’s public transportation system in general is crucial as we move into the 21st century.
“If we want Boston to be a world class city, we need a high-speed public transportation,” said Finegold.
Finegold also mentioned the discussions surrounding the casino plans and said that the state will figure out where the gaming revenue will go as soon as some gaming revenue comes in. Cities and towns, in general, are hoping for local aid that’s 17.5 percent of a particular city or town’s budget.