For Immediate Release - April 03, 2014

Patrick Administration Awards $100,000 Gateway Cities Grant to Methuen

BOSTON – Thursday April 3, 2014 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today announced a $100,000 grant to help the City of Methuen develop design and construction documents for field improvements at Ranger Stadium.

The funding is in addition to an earlier Gateway Cities Parks grant of $500,000 to build a new club house at the stadium. This design grant will also produce a detailed budget for the improvements, enabling further conversation about how those funds might be made available. 

“The Patrick Administration remains committed to strengthening communities throughout Massachusetts, especially those in our urban areas,” said Secretary Sullivan. “The restoration of Ranger Stadium will make the area more inviting to residents and visitors for years to come.”

The grant was awarded through the EEA’s Gateway Cities Parks Program. Established in 2009, the program was designed to create parks and enhance recreational facilities in 26 communities, which have been declared Gateway Cities, across the Commonwealth.

“This funding will expedite design for the main athletic field and will provide us with solid figures for construction costs so the Methuen legislative delegation can advocate further for grant opportunities to assist with field construction,” said Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives. “I greatly appreciate Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan’s support and interest in enhancing Methuen’s recreational facilities.” 

“This immediate injection of state funding comes at a critical time and provides a great shot of momentum for the many parents and teachers so dedicated to the completion of this project,” said Representative Linda Dean Campbell.

“I want to thank Secretary Sullivan and his staff for their attentiveness toward Nicholson Stadium and the concerns it has caused among countless Methuen families. Their commitment to secure funding for stadium improvements is crucial and I stand with the rest of the Methuen delegation and community in celebrating this progress,” said Representative Diana DiZoglio.

“The Gateway Cities Parks grant offers a great opportunity to support recreational facilities in the community,” said Representative Frank A. Moran. “I am pleased that Methuen has been awarded a $500,000 grant to help construct a new field house with restrooms, locker rooms, and a concession stand at Methuen’s Ranger Stadium with an additional $100,000 for design.”

“Thank you to Governor Patrick, Secretary Sullivan and our State delegation for supporting this exciting project. With our new high school scheduled to be complete this year, we can now begin to provide the badly needed upgrades to our stadium facilities. This money will allow us to continue to move forward with all phases of the project,” said Mayor Stephen Zanni.

The Gateway City Parks Program is a flexible program, providing municipal officials with a variety of funding options for all phases of park development. There are 26 Massachusetts cities eligible for the program, which targets communities with population greater than 35,000, and median household incomes and educational attainment levels below the state average.

Funding can be used for activities and costs such as brownfield assessment and cleanup, park planning and recreational needs assessments – including the development of open space and recreation plans, activities that were not eligible for state parks funding prior to the Patrick Administration's creation of the Gateway City Parks program. Communities can also use the grants for acquisition, design and construction of parks, greenways, and other recreational facilities.

Since 2009, the Patrick Administration has invested over $46 million in the program. In 2014, the program is funding $9 million worth of park construction projects, providing jobs and enhancing economic vitality and quality of life. In fiscal year 2015, the program will pay for nearly $18 million in park construction in the Gateway Cities.

Since taking office, Governor Patrick has made a historic investment of more than $325 million in land conservation and parks creation. This has been accomplished by focusing on three goals: preserving working farms and forests, protecting large natural landscapes for habitat, and investing in urban parks.

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