The state Senate recently passed a bill that directs federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to assist the ongoing recovery from the impact of the pandemic in Massachusetts. As part of that spending package, state Sen. Patrick O’Connor, of Weymouth, filed for and secured an amendment to award $250,000 to Hull for immediate emergency improvements and repairs to the Nantasket Beach boardwalk area.
In that same package is an amendment, also filed by O’Connor, to award $25,000 to the Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce to support the Hull-O Trolley program. The senator was previously able to secure $20,000 in the fiscal 2018 budget to kick off a pilot trolley program.
Commenting on the funding for the boardwalk area, O’Connor, whose district includes Hull, said: “Recently I had the opportunity to bring representatives from DCR [state Department of Conservation and Recreation] down to Hull to demonstrate the state of disrepair many of our local facilities are in. Having had many conversations with residents about this topic, I know just how critical the situation is.
“While I remain hopeful that DCR will give this area the attention it deserves, I know that we also can’t wait, and it’s why I decided to file the amendment for $250,000 to provide more immediate relief.”
O’Connor added that he will be keeping the community informed on the status of the work and will partner with the town and state to ensure that the funds are delivered as soon as possible.
“The boardwalk is enjoyed by several hundred thousand visitors annually, and the funds to repair and upgrade the boardwalk will help to keep this treasured pathway in good shape for many years to come,” said Town Manager Philip Lemnios, in acknowledging O’Connor’s efforts.
The Hull-O Trolley was launched three years ago as a way to entice locals and visitors to experience all that the peninsula has to offer. The trolley is free and wheelchair accessible, holds up to 28 people, and includes stops at the Pemberton Point MBTA ferry station, Nantasket Beach, Fort Revere, the Hull Lifesaving Museum, and the Kenberma shopping area.
“We are thrilled at the opportunity to offer the Hull-O Trolley service once again to the residents and visitors of Hull for the summer of 2022,” said Adrian Muir, president of the Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce. “The trolley service has been sorely missed, and we are grateful to Senator O’Connor and many others that have made this grant possible helping to promote tourism in Hull.”
“Hull just has so much to offer, and the trolley has allowed visitors the opportunity to really explore all that the town an incredible community,” said O’Connor. “It’s great to see that the program has been such a success, and riding the trolley every summer is something that I look forward to each year. As Hull and the South Shore recover from the impacts of the pandemic, programs like this will be vital to setting ourselves up for success.”
With both the House and Senate having passed their own versions of ARPA spending plans, the two bills must now be reconciled before heading to the governor’s desk.