Funding to Help Restore Stoughton's State Theatre Included in Budget Sent to Governor

Massachusetts Lawmakers passed a $34 billion FY14 budget, which includes funding for Stoughton's State Theatre and local aid for Stoughton. The budget awaits Governor Patrick's approval.

An amendment to provide some funding to help restore Stoughton's State Theatre was included in the $34 billion FY14 state budget lawmakers passed on Monday.

The budget now awaits Governor Deval Patrick's approval.

"Representatives [William] Galvin and [Louis] Kafka sponsored an amendment to include $50,000 for the restoration of the State Theatre in Stoughton Center through the Historical Commission. The money will help refurbish the important Stoughton landmark, which will also promote economic development in the area," according to a press release from the offices of Reps. Galvin and Kafka.

Located on Washington Street in Stoughton Center, the State Theatre opened in 1927 and closed as the Stoughton Cinema Pub in 2007. It has been vacant since.

Former Selectman John Stagnone is leading the efforts to restore the Theatre. He and his wife, Roberta, have entered into a long-term 20-year lease of the building, and formed a 501c3 non-profit corporation, Friends of the State Theatre, to help with this renovation process.

Stagnone has said more than $1 million will need to be invested.

The FY14 budget also includes more than $2.7 million ($2,772,599) in unrestricted local aid for Stoughton, "which goes directly to municipalities for infrastructure improvement and repair, public safety and economic development," according to a release from the office of State Senate Brian A. Joyce.

And, the budget boosts funding to Stoughton schools to more than $14 million ($14,304,924).

Lawmakers approved $500 million in new taxes "on tobacco, gas, utilities and certain computer services that businesses purchase," according to the Boston Globe.

This tax hike would amount to an increase of $1 for a pack of cigarettes and 3 cents per gallon for gas, the Globe reports.

An increase in funding for the UMass system will spare students from increased tuition rates, according to a release from the offices of Reps. Galvin and Kafka.

The release also states the budget calls for requiring EBT cards to have photo IDs.

“Despite the fragile economic situation, we were able to fund vital programs and increase funding where it is really needed.  Adding funding to local aid assists our cities and towns and additional money to UMass helps students and families across the State," said Rep. Galvin (D-Canton). 

"I am also very happy with the funding we secured for the State Theatre, which, coupled with the money we received in a bond package for the Stoughton Train Station, will help revitalize Stoughton’s downtown,” Galvin continued. 

Rep. Kafka (D-Stoughton) added, “With the increase in local aid, investment in higher education, and positive steps with EBT reform, this budget is a responsible, thoughtful use of taxpayer dollars."

Sen. Joyce (D-Milton) said, “Investing in both our communities and children is the best way to continue our state’s economic recovery and foster new growth and job creation...Excellent schools, solid public safety, and reliable infrastructure remain important considerations to new businesses looking for a home and help established businesses find the workforce they need to grow.”
DJ July 04, 2013 at 06:48 AM
As much as I support efforts to save the State Theater, State funds and public tax dollars should not be used to subsidize private property restoration. I am not aware that other area historic theaters restorations such as Norwood and Dedham received such public funds.
Joseph Feaster July 05, 2013 at 06:54 PM
Thank you to the Stagnones' efforts to revitalize the Stoughton Theatre, and thank you to Representatives Kafka and Galvin and Senator Joyce for all of their support for the Town of Stoughton! Joseph Feaster
DJ July 06, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Since no additional information was offered, I looked up bill 0526-0100 "For the operation of the Massachusetts historical commission; provided, that no less than $50,000 be expended for the rehabilitation of the State Theatre in the town of Stoughton..$800,000. Possibly someone in the know can comment how and if the $50K will supersede the State Application and review process as the State Theater was not one of the 19 award recipients. ?


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