Barry Finegold has been a relentless advocate for Andover residents as their State Senator. He’s especially shared residents’ commitment to education by fighting for increased funding in the legislature.
The town of Andover received its highest allocation of education money ever from the state budget for fiscal year 2013. The chapter 70 education funding allotment for Andover is $7,950,343, which is more than a $1 million increase, or 14.5 percent, over last year’s funding. Dollar for dollar, this is one of the largest increases of chapter 70 funding in one year Andover has ever seen. This drastic increase was unexpected; the Andover School Committee based their budget on numbers proposed by the House of Representatives, which was $600,000 less than the Senate and final budget allocations.
Barry also came out early in support of the new youth center in Andover. He worked with members of the Board of Selectmen to promote the project, stating that the youth center would benefit many in the community, including youth and senior populations and was a good long-term investment for Andover. Additionally, as a State Representative in 2008, he secured over $150,000 for the continuation and improvement of Andover Youth Services, to make sure this valuable resource is available for many generations of Andover kids to come.
A former Andover High football player himself, Finegold helped deliver $75,000 for the improvement and maintenance of the Eugene Lovely Field at Andover High School; a great benefit to the student athletes in the Andover community.
Barry also helped obtain funding for the Wood Hill Middle School and High Plain Elementary School in Andover, ensuring that Andover’s young students have the space they need to learn.
Finegold helped the town repair its sidewalks in the downtown area by requesting an earmark for $85,000 for sidewalk repairs in the state’s Supplemental Budget in 2008.
Barry has worked to save the town money through promoting the use of green energy. In 2012, six town buildings in Andover received energy efficiency upgrades thanks to a new state grant for Green Communities. The town will get $220,599 to make improvements and upgrades that will save Andover an estimated $163,000 annually.
In 1999, Barry won the Kennedy School Fenn Award for Political Leadership for his leadership in bringing together legislators and officials from New Hampshire and Massachusetts to address the traffic problems on I-93. His efforts led to the opening of the breakdown lane during rush hours, which greatly reduced congestion during peak commuting times, leading to easier commutes and faster access to the business in our communities. The breakdown lane is only the beginning – Barry is focused on working to bring a new I-93 interchange to better serve our local businesses in Andover, Tewksbury and beyond. He has been continually working with the federal delegation, the governor’s office, the Department of Transportation and community leaders to bring attention and funding to the interchange project, which will bring thousands of dollars of tax revenue and jobs to the town of Andover.
When neighbors living along I-93 called on Senator Finegold to help get funding for a noise barrier, Finegold relentlessly pushed for dollars from the state until the Department of Transportation finally apportioned funds for a sound barrier in 2011. The noise barrier is being constructed along a 1.1-mile stretch of I-93 northbound starting from Exit 42 at Dascomb Road.
Barry has also been working hard to halt the removal of a very important piece of technology from the Shawsheen River. This piece of technology, stream gauge 01100627 on Balmoral Street in Andover, is pivotal in detecting floods in the area and also in determining whether the river is safe for recreational use. If removed, the town would have a difficult time detecting rising water levels, endangering the homes and businesses around the Shawsheen.
After a number of major storms, Barry Finegold worked on behalf of Andover, Dracut, Lawrence and Tewksbury with the state and federal delegation to push for reimbursement for storm clean up to help defray some of the costs to residents and businesses. Barry also stood up to the utility companies, calling for faster and more efficient responses. Finegold brought together company officials from National Grid and town representatives to open a dialogue in order to help resolve these issues. In 2012, during an overhaul of the regulations on utility storm response, Barry was able to secure an amendment to the bill that prioritizes senior citizens during a power outage.
Barry has also been a strong advocate for individuals in Andover, including the DiStefano family. John and Cindy DiStefano and their two sons had the unthinkable happen when their home of twenty years was severely flooded due to several blocked drainage culverts following an extreme rainstorm. Their property and most of their belongings were destroyed, and they were forced to evacuate their home as it was condemned. The insurance company denied their claims. Not knowing what else to do they turned to Barry for help. Barry fought their insurance company to have the decision reversed. In the end, their home was restored and most of their belongings were replaced.