For Immediate Release - June 13, 2008

Governor Patrick Announces $1.25 Million Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion Grant

City of Peabody North River Canal Widening and Flood Mitigation Project Will Receive Funds to Boost the Local Economy

PEABODY - Friday, June 13, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced the City of Peabody will receive a $1.25 million Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion (MORE) jobs grant to widen the North River Canal and mitigate the severe flooding problem in Peabody Square and downtown Peabody have experienced, leading to the creation of over 150 new jobs.

"The grants support partnerships between local municipalities and private investors to create new jobs," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I am proud our administration can partner with cities and towns in this way to help both the state and local economies flourish."

The announcement comes after Governor Patrick laid out his economic stimulus plan to create a culture of opportunity focused on restrained spending with immediate and long-term investments, while preparing for the impacts of a softening national economy. The MORE Jobs Program is another tool to help the administration stimulate economy growth across the state.

The North River Canal widening project is expected to mitigate the severe flooding problems that Peabody Square and Downtown Peabody experience. The flooding and perception of flooding has decreased property value, hurt business and led to stagnant growth in the City's downtown. In mitigating the flooding problem, the downtown area will experience a renaissance of business growth and investment, creating more than 150 new jobs.

"Today's announcement by the Governor reflects our shared commitment to addressing Peabody's on-going flooding problems. I am pleased to have worked with my colleagues in Congress over the past several years to have secured significant federal funds on several occasions for this important project, including, most recently, the federal grant for conducting a feasibility study so work can be completed in conjunction with the state and local funds. I also will continue to work with the state and the city to encourage FEMA to accept Peabody's grant application for additional assistance. I applaud the Governor's announcement and believe it further evidences the strong federal, state and local partnership that exists to help the residents and business owners in Peabody deal with this critical issue," said Congressman John F. Tierney.

"Today, I am proud to say that Governor Deval Patrick has kept his commitment to the citizens of Peabody to help protect their lives and their livelihoods from disastrous flooding events in the heart of our community," said Peabody Mayor, Michael J. Bonfanti. "This MORE grant will go a long was towards creating the kind of exciting business development activities that will surely help Peabody maintain momentum as we work to achieve our economic and civic potential as a community."

"I'm grateful the Governor has recognized how long the economic development of Downtown Peabody has been effected by the continuous flooding of our city and has assured us that we have his full support," said Rep. Joyce Spiliotis.

"I want to thank Governor Patrick and his administration for taking the time to understand the great economic hardships our City has endured due to flooding," said Senator Frederick E. Berry. "This grant funding will strengthen the City's effort to revitalize our downtown and attract sustainable business relationships."

"Today's announcement represents Governor Patrick's continued commitment to address the flooding problems in downtown Peabody and therefore improve the economic conditions of our downtown business community," said Rep. Theodore Speliotis.