Gov. Patrick signs multi-million dollar military bond bill

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill authorizing the state to borrow up to $177 million for improvements to the state’s military bases.

The measure approved by lawmakers earlier this month would include $9 million in immediate funding for military and civilian runway upgrades at the Barnes Air National Guard Base and adjacent Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport.

The bill also authorizes nearly $3 million for energy and communications upgrades at Hanscom Air Force Base. An additional $100,000 would allow for the relocation of the National Guard’s Military Museum from Worcester to Concord.

The remaining $165 million authorized in the bill would be for projects in future years at the state’s six military installations.

State officials say the bases provide about 46,500 jobs and generate more than $14 billion in economic activity for Massachusetts.

Below is a statement from Brig. Gen. Vautrain, a Westover wing commander, on Gov. Patrick’s announcement regarding signing the military bond bill:

“Westover Air Reserve Base is an integral part of the Pioneer Valley community. We appreciate the support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and look forward to working with the Governor’s Task Force,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Vautrain, commander of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover. “This bond bill shows the support of the Commonwealth for our mission and their dedication to the successful continuation of our community partnership.”

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