October 16th Information &
Resources Update
Allston Multimodal Project:
Public Information Webinar Tuesday Evening
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will host a Public Information Webinar regarding the proposed Allston Multimodal Project on Tuesday, October 20th, at 6:30 PM. Click here to access the event on Tuesday evening.

MassDOT Public Information Webinar
Allston Multimodal Project
Tuesday, October 20th
6:30 - 8:30 PM

The Allston Viaduct, which carries the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) from the Allston Interchange to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, is nearing the end of its useful lifespan, and must be replaced. This project, with a projected 8-10 year construction schedule, has the potential to significantly impact commuters to the west of Boston, including commuter rail users.

The purpose of Tuesday's webinar is to provide project abutters and commuters with additional information to help inform public input on the choice of a Preferred Alternative from among the three Throat Options. The "throat" is the area of the Charles River waterfront where I-90, Soldiers Field Road, the Grand Junction railway, the Paul Dudley White pedestrian and bicycle path, and two Worcester Mainline commuter rail tracks squeeze through a choke point that is approximately 204 feet wide at its narrowest point.

Click here to view a coalition letter authored by the 495/MetroWest Partnership, along with nine other organizations west of Boston, outlining regional considerations for the project, addressed to Secretary Pollack.
Gov. Baker Proposes New FY21 State Budget

The Baker-Polito Administration has submitted a revised Fiscal Year 2021 state budget recommendation. The $45.5 billion proposal makes substantial investments in economic development, while maintaining core government services. The proposal does not utilize new taxes.

The revised FY21 budget, known as Revised House 2, is built on the revised FY21 $27.592 billion tax revenue forecast. This figure was revised from the consensus revenue agreement announced in January and reflects the budgetary and economic impacts of COVID-19.

The House and Senate must each pass their own version of a state budget; Revised House 2 represents a proposal, and the beginning of a multi-step legislative process. Legislative leaders have signaled their intention to pass a complete FY21 budget in the coming weeks. 

The budget proposes a total of $45.5 billion in gross spending, excluding the Medical Assistance Trust Fund transfer, which reflects approximately 3.8% growth in spending over Fiscal Year 2020. This represents an increase over the original House 2 spending proposal, primarily as the result of increased caseload costs at MassHealth related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revised House 2 authorizes a withdrawal of up to $1.35 billion from the Stabilization Fund, which would be reduced should tax collections or new federal revenue exceed the Administration’s current assumptions. The $1.35 billion withdrawal represents under 3% of the budget. This proposal would leave the fund with a balance of approximately $2.21 billion.

The new proposed budget recommends over $100 million in additional funding for economic recovery and development efforts. This new initiative will be supported by the sales tax acceleration and is intended to assist local communities and small and diverse businesses throughout the Commonwealth as they navigate the COVID-19 economic landscape.
The proposal recommends funding the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) at $25.254 billion, excluding supplemental payments to hospitals, a $1.43 billion (6%) increase over the FY20 budget. This includes $160 million for Chapter 257 human service provider rate increases under a new rate methodology that better reflects the cost of benchmarking direct care and clinical staff wages. 
MEDC to Host "Inside the Industry" Event with Quest Diagnostics;
Job Opportunities Available

On Monday, the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will host a live, online "Inside the Industry" event with Quest Diagnostics, a major clinical laboratory with a substantial presence in the 495/MetroWest region.

The event will take place on Monday, October 19th at 9:30 AM.

Quest Diagnostics is currently hiring for a large number of open positions in the region, as their operations have ramped up in response to the pandemic. The panel event is meant to shed light on the job opportunities that are available, provide insight on Quest's operations, and offer a window into what it is like to work for the company. Viewers will have an opportunity to engage with the panelists and ask questions live during the event. 

Upcoming 495/MetroWest Partnership Events

New PFAS Drinking Water Standard: Presentation and Q&A with MassDEP
Wednesday, October 21st, 8:30 AM via Zoom
  • Kathleen M. Baskin, P.E., Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Water Resources
  • Damon Guterman, Senior Analyst, Drinking Water Program

EPA Presentation and Q&A: Potential New Stormwater Requirement for the Charles River Watershed
Tuesday, October 27th, 8:30 AM via Zoom
  • Ken Moraff, Water Director
  • Newton Tedder, Senior Permit Writer
  • Erin Flannery-Keith, Attorney-Advisor, Office of Regional Counsel 
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you. You may reach me directly via email at jason@495partnership.org.

Jason Palitsch
Executive Director
The 495/MetroWest Partnership