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Raising scratch for plowing funds

Bill urges new $2 lottery ticket

A new $2 scratch ticket, has been proposed to help fund community snow removal funds. File photo. (click for larger version)
January 10, 2010
Scratch ticket proceeds could soon find their way to a different kind of winner — local public works departments.

Additional money would help local DPW agencies that have faced long duration weekend snowstorms that cost more money. How evenly more money would doled out has two area DPW officials concerned.

State Rep. John Binienda, D-Worcester, filed legislation late last month to create a new $2 scratch ticket, with which proceeds going to communities' snow and ice removal budgets. The House Clerk's office currently has the bill and will eventually refer it to a committee for discussion, according to the representative.

The proposed ticket could generate funds for especially bigger more damaging storms. The fastest selling $2 scratch ticket generated $47.8 million last fiscal year, much more than the $35.2 million 140 towns spent on snow removal last year, according to Binienda's office.

The ticket revenues, which Binienda said could be up to $50 million annually, would be deposited into the "Snow Bank Lottery Fund, which the bill would create. From there, communities could apply for funding.

He also said the bill would funnel the money through the state comptroller's office, which he said would "take the politics out of it."

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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