Governor Patrick Signs Stoneham Home Rule Petitions, with Senator Lewis’ Support

State Senator Jason Lewis is pleased to announce that two home rule petitions for the Town of Stoneham have been signed by Governor Deval Patrick.

The first home rule petition, previously passed by Stoneham Town Meeting last November, will enable the Town to collect any unspent funds from the collection of annual trash fees and deposit them into a separate account.  Currently, at the end of each fiscal year, unused trash fee funds revert back to the municipal general fund.  This bill will allow the Town to specifically focus the use of collected trash fees on the collection or disposal of waste, or offer a reimbursement to the citizens for unused monies.  This bill ensures that the residents of Stoneham are treated fairly, and that the monies collected for trash fees are used for that purpose, or otherwise appropriately reimbursed.

The second home rule petition will allow the Town of Stoneham to place proceeds from the licensing of portions of the former Railroad Right of Way into a special account.  This bill will allow for funds collected to be used for maintenance and capital improvements for the Tri-Community Bikeway and Greenway that will be constructed on this property.  The Tri-Community Bikeway, when completed, will provide bicyclists and pedestrians with a seven mile path that will run from Wedgemere Station in Winchester to Recreation Park in Stoneham.  The path will follow existing roads as well as using off-street areas, and will make use of abandoned railroad corridors and existing pathways.  It will connect residential, commercial, recreational and civic areas, including numerous town buildings, commuter rail stations, shops, restaurants and schools.

“I’m pleased to have been able to work closely with local officials, my colleagues in the Legislature, and the Governor’s office to lead these important home rule petitions for Stoneham to passage,” said Senator Lewis.  “I’m also very happy to work with advocates from the Tri-Community Bikeway/Greenway Committee, as the Bikeway will provide our communities with significant and lasting benefits, including new recreational opportunities, an environmentally friendly means of transportation, and new economic development.”