HUDSON — The Select Board received an update from state Rep. Kate Hogan (D-Stow) and Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Marlborough) about the funding Hudson would get from the state as well as legislation about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Speaking during the board’s May 15 meeting, Hogan said there is a comprehensive bill before the House of Representatives about PFAS, which are human-made chemicals used in consumer products that do not easily break down and get into the soil or water, according to the Food and Drug Administration website.
Hogan, who co-chaired the PFAS Interagency Task Force, said the bill considers how to handle PFAS in terms of its removal and remediation.
Select Board Chair Scott Duplisea emphasized the widespread impact of PFAs and asked the details of the cleanup aspect.
According to Hogan, it’s the beginning of looking at the issue. She said she is staying in touch with their federal partners in the legislature.
“We need to both remove it, and we need to remediate,” Hogan said.
The idea is to get money into communities like Hudson and respond creatively to handling the PFAs issue. The question, she said, was how to bring money back to towns and handle the cost of the response. The proposed bill would build the foundation for that purpose, Hogan said.
“We have some ways of looking at grants,” she said.
Funding from the federal level often can exceed the state funding, Duplisea said. He said that more money can come from the federal side to deal with town water and wells from private residences.
He added, “I think that’s really important from my standpoint … helping those people also.”
Fire Chief Bryan Johannes said he heard about a PFAs program and contacted the Department of Environmental Protection to hire a contractor who will come to Hudson to take the firefighting foam that contains PFAs. They would also need to turbo rinse the tanks holding the foam, which is a plan in development.
He added, “We’ve got over 740 gallons of AFFF foam in the Hudson Fire Department.”
Eldridge said Gov. Maura Healy’s budget will go through soon after the House of Representatives and Senate have reviewed and proposed their budgets. And, there is some good news for Hudson and other communities.
He added, “Looks like the Chapter 70 [education] aid will be the same for all three proposals.”
According to Eldridge, there is a greater need for educational aid in suburban communities. The unrestricted local aid is “looking very strong for Hudson” with a Senate proposal for $2.38 million for Hudson, based on the distribution formula. He said there are also proposals to increase towns’ circuit breaker funds.
Eldridge is the lead in the Senate on direct local technical assistance, which are monies a town planner would use for projects.
Eldridge noted the investments Hudson has made in its downtown.
“Obviously, we are very proud of Hudson and all the recognition Hudson has gotten with the downtown and town in general,” said Eldridge.
In the House budget, Hogan said Hudson will do well with a 5.9% funding increase, and there will be compromise between the bodies to get the budget done.
There will be a bill for universal school meals in which “everyone is on board.”
Hogan noted she was able to secure earmarks like $50,000 for Hudson for the Metrowest Regional Transit Authority services.
She said that $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds were secured for Hudson for projects like the insulation of the heating pumps at the Hudson Public Library and improvements to the senior center.