Cape, Vineyard to get $53 million for projects

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The Senate Bond Bill has earmarked money for the Dukes County jail. - File photo

The Senate approved $53 million for critical infrastructure projects for Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, according to a press release.

The bill, spearheaded by Sen. Julian Cyr, is now headed to Gov. Charlie Baker for signature.

Included in the bill is $1.75 million for improvements to the Dukes County Jail and House of Corrections.

Dukes County Sheriff Robert Ogden said the money will be a big help in improving the building, including fire safety and survival, external secondary egresses, HVAC air quality, lighting, plumbing, and electrical. “Our needs are many, and the monies earmarked for the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office will begin the process of righting the ship; we have a long way to go, and continued funding will be necessary,” Sheriff Ogden wrote to The Times in an email.

“Senator Cyr’s advocacy in the state Senate and locally has raised badly needed revenue and awareness of the unique public safety services the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office provides to the Island community,” Sheriff Ogden wrote, noting the jail, E911 communications, and civil process. “I am proud to say he kept his promise to me after his tour of our decaying facilities last year and fought for initial funding. I am sure I will be able to count on him for continued advocacy and funding for the vital services the Sheriff’s Office provides to Martha’s Vineyard.”

Other projects that will be funded include $150,000 to connect a municipal water main to a parcel on Highland Road in Truro, $1.6 million to fund improvements to the Hyannis National Guard Armory, $2 million to extend the Cape Cod Rail Trail to Wellfleet Center and lengthen the Provincetown bike trail, $6.5 million to construct a new building for the Barnstable Government and Cape Cod Commission, and $41 million for the construction of a science building at Cape Cod Community College.

“I want to thank the conference committee members for preserving these important regional investments. We worked hard to ensure there was geographic equity and fairness for the many pivotal needs of my district,” Senator Cyr said in the release. “Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard will receive critical funding needed to invest in infrastructure projects that will help with tourism, public safety, economic development, and education. It’s a good result for our region, and my office will continue this success by working with each recipient to make sure their funding is received in a timely manner.”