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Did anyone else hear that this state is getting $41 million in federal money? If so, will that be used to get the 77th going?
 

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I heard it's $31 million and it's going to municipalities. DHS Sec. Ridge was in Boston yesterday to make an announcement.
-Eric
 

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Here are the details. It looks as though the state will get $5 million (see the bold faced paragraphs).
-Eric

Ridge delivers anti-terror funds

By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff, 6/5/2003

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge toured Boston Harbor and Logan International Airport yesterday, the same day that the federal agency delivered another $31 million to Massachusetts to be shared with cash-strapped cities and towns in need of money to fund anti-terrorism efforts.

The funds, which were approved in April, are in addition to $11.7 million in federal money awarded to Massachusetts in March, and $16.7 million allocated to the city of Boston last month.

The state's cities and towns have until next Thursday at noon to apply to the state for a share of the federal money, the bulk of which has been earmarked for equipment, training, and planning for those who would be the ''first responders'' in the event of an attack, state officials said.

Some of the money will be used as reimbursement for police overtime spent protecting a handful of sites that were viewed as potential targets during the Iraq war.

''At the end of the day, America will be as strong as its cities and its regions and its states,'' said Ridge, who arrived at Piers Park in East Boston yesterday afternoon on a high-tech Boston police patrol boat, which was bought with homeland security money given to the city last year.

Governor Mitt Romney and Mayor Thomas M. Menino spent the morning meeting with Ridge to talk about local security needs, then cruised around Boston Harbor with the secretary aboard the Intercept Night Cat 27.

''Boston is not secure unless its harbor is secure,'' said Menino, noting that the city has relied on federal funds to bolster its protection of the city's port. ''Now the people of Boston can rest a little easier knowing that from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the John Hancock Tower, our city is safer than ever before.''

Ridge, who took a turn at the wheel of the boat, was shown the ''high points'' and security concerns of the harbor, according to Boston police Sergeant Robert Guiney, the Boston harbormaster.

Ridge, the mayor, and the governor cruised alongside a liquefied natural gas tanker docked near the harbor, traveled into the Charlestown Navy Yard, and passed by the federal courthouse.

Ridge said he would rely on the states to put a plan in place that assures the federal money reaches cities and towns that most need it to protect against terrorism.

Of the $31 million delivered to the state yesterday, $4.1 million will be used to reimburse the state, cities, and towns for overtime spent during the war with Iraq protecting a handful of sites designated as ''critical infrastructure'' -- locations that would cause massive casualties or significant damage to the economy if attacked.

Of the remaining money, $5 million will go to the state and $21.9 million will be available to cities and towns through a competitive bidding process, according to state officials. Another $8 million from the grant given to the state earlier will also be available to cities and towns.


Edward A. Flynn, the state's secretary of public safety, said, ''We're looking to concentrate this money where it's most needed. We're not trying to spread it thinly throughout the Commonwealth.''

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who wasn't at yesterday's press conference but has been pushing Congress to set aside more money for Massachusetts to fight terrorism, released a statement saying, ''Cities and towns across the state badly need this funding as they struggle to meet the growing demands of homeland security in very difficult fiscal circumstances.''

He added, ''This funding is critical because our local police, fire, and EMTs are the first line in our defense against domestic terrorism and we must do more to help them keep us safe.''

This story ran on page B8 of the Boston Globe on 6/5/2003.
© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.
 
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