$150K for oil cleanup trumps Patrick veto; Funding approved for spill in Holden.

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Byline: Jean Laquidara Hill

HOLDEN - In spite of a veto by Gov. Deval L. Patrick, the Wachusett Regional School District will receive $150,000 in state funding to cover this year's cost of cleaning an emergency oil spill at Jefferson School.

The Jefferson School houses district administration offices and the Early Childhood Center. About 9,000 gallons of heating oil leaked from an underground storage tank in January, leaving the district with a cleanup task expected to last as long as 10 years and cost up to $2 million.

The $150,000 in emergency funds were included in the fiscal 2008 state budget by state Rep. Lewis G. Evangelidis, R-Holden; state Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester; and state Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, in June. Mr. Patrick vetoed the expenditure in July.

The legislators voted to override the governor's veto this week, with the House of Representatives voting Tuesday to grant the emergency funds to the district, and the Senate voting yesterday to restore the $150,000 to the state budget.

"I am proud of the fact that I was able to earmark this money specifically to help the district for this environmental cleanup. Even though it was vetoed by the governor, the Legislature unanimously overrode it," Mr. Evangelidis said yesterday.

He said that although the funds are earmarked for an oil cleanup, they will actually protect students from losing teachers or textbooks. If the funds were not provided for...

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