For Immediate Release - May 08, 2008

Governor Patrick Makes Targeted Investments in South Coast Communities

Identifies Growth District in New Bedford, awards funds for maritime projects and workforce training

FAIRHAVEN-Thursday, May 8, 2008 - Continuing to invest in cities and towns across the Commonwealth, Governor Patrick today visited communities on the South Coast, announcing multiple investments in local infrastructure, funds to train new workers, and areas for rapid business-friendly growth and development.

The Governor announced a series of awards in the communities of Fairhaven, Fall River and New Bedford. Among the awards the Governor announced is $7.3 million for important harbor projects in Fairhaven and New Bedford, through the state's Seaport Advisory Council (SAC).

In Fairhaven, work will soon begin on a fixed pier, floating dock, and boat ramp with nearly $400,000 from the SAC. In addition, the Governor announced that the dredging project in New Bedford harbor will continue on time, thanks to two SAC grants totaling $6.9 million.

"These two projects combined will provide an enormous boost to the marine economies of Fairhaven and New Bedford and their surrounding communities," Governor Patrick said. "The long-term viability of commercial fishing and lobstering in Fairhaven and the increased ability of large commercial ships to move safely through New Bedford Harbor, is very good news for the region and, by extension, the entire Commonwealth."

FAIRHAVEN - The improvements at Hoppy's Landing in Fairhaven will allow commercial fishermen to launch their boats safely, and will give the lobster boats proper access for unloading their catch. The town currently has a lobster fleet of about 8 to 10 boats as well as roughly 50 commercial day fishermen who rely on the ramp to launch their boats.

The Fairhaven project consists of installing a fixed pier 8 feet wide by 80 feet long and a 6-foot-wide by 50-foot-long aluminum ramp with hoist connected to a 16-foot by 40-foot float. The boat ramp is proposed to be 24 feet wide, meeting current safety standards. Work is expected to begin later this month.

Also in Fairhaven, the Governor awarded a $48,750 Workforce Training Fund grant to Nye Lubricants Inc. of Fairhaven. The grant will train 120 employees to improve efficiency and increase production capacity; capture new international clients in the core automotive business, and enter the Aerospace market.

NEW BEDFORD - In New Bedford, the SAC grants will allow the city to complete important dredging projects in the harbor that are critical to the needs of the city and the region. The dredging will support commercial fishing vessels, security vessels, and barges that require deep water. It will increase the ability of cargo ships to use the harbor, thus opening access to the global marketplace for the region's maritime products. The dredging will also benefit tourism at the local and regional levels and provide environmental benefits as well. The project is vital to New Bedford's $1 billion fishing industry- the largest fishing industry of any city in the nation-and will help the city attract new maritime business to the area. The port employs about 3,700 people.

While in New Bedford, Governor Patrick also announced that the Hicks Logan Sawyer area has been identified as a municipal growth district enabling the state to make targeted areas "development ready" and expediting commercial and residential development in the area.

"Growth Districts are hubs of economic growth and housing development across the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. "By identifying districts, such as the Hicks Logan Sawyer region in New Bedford, and focusing our collective resources on making each one development-ready, we are helping to creating the conditions for business growth and community revitalization for years to come."

The Hicks Sawyer District includes four prime redevelopment sites in New Bedford: Fairhaven Mills, Kilburn Mill, Wamsutta Mill and the former site of Revere Copper and Brass. In 2007, the City undertook the Hicks Logan Sawyer District Master Plan and District Improvement Financing Plan and plans to revitalize this 95-acre historic industrial area in downtown New Bedford. Within the growth district, there will be office, commercial, and retail space available, along with 250 new housing units which are currently under construction.

FALL RIVER - In Fall River, the Governor awarded Blount Fine Foods, formerly known as Blount Seafood Corporation, a Workforce Training Fund grant for $157,194 to train 90 of its 106 employees working at the Fall River facility. Blount will utilize this funding to enhance the skills workers in the areas of production, logistics, sales & marketing, administration and managerial.

The Governor has awarded more than $1 million in workforce training funds over the last month to help strengthen businesses and hundreds of employees across the Commonwealth.