For Immediate Release - April 23, 2009

GOVERNOR PATRICK AWARDS $3.56 MILLION TO BOOST LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Funding to Spur Infrastructure Improvements in Lawrence, Fitchburg, Hopkinton, and Lowell

LAWRENCE - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today awarded four Community Development Action Grants (CDAG) totaling $3.56 million to Lawrence, Fitchburg, Hopkinton, and Lowell. The communities will receive funding for public infrastructure projects that promise to generate significant economic activity in each community. Taken together, the grants will create more than 490 new local jobs and 160 affordable housing units.

Created as part of the Patrick Administration's 2008 Housing Bond Bill, the CDAG program provides funding for publicly-owned or managed projects that improve the overall economic condition of a city or town. CDAG grants are designed to support workforce and affordable housing needs across a range of incomes, create or retain long-term employment opportunities, and leverage significant private investment.

"Now more than ever we must use every resource at our disposal to encourage economic growth and create jobs across Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "These CDAG grants are smart investments that promise to help lift up the communities hardest hit by the downturn and secure our common economic future."

In Lawrence, $1 million in CDAG funds will be used to construct a 55 foot wide, two-lane bridge over the North Canal at Union Crossing, connecting Canal and Island Streets. The bridge will feature pedestrian walkways on both sides. Located in one of the Patrick Administration's Growth Districts, the project will support $27.4 million in public-private investment and create 60 new units of affordable housing. It will also produce 80 to 100 new jobs in the first two years, including maintenance and security positions, software engineers, business entrepreneurs, and non-profit staff.

In Hopkinton, $1 million in CDAG funds will build approximately 2,800 LF of new sewer line and connections along Elm Street to eliminate existing capacity problems and allow for residential and business growth, including the Lonza Biologics Inc. expansion. The project will bring the following direct benefits to the community: $110 million in private investment, a 12-unit affordable rental housing project proposed for downtown and 278 new management, professional, technical, skilled, and entry level jobs over the next two years.

In Lowell, $1 million in CDAG funds will support the construction of approximately 800 LF of new sidewalks with historic lighting on the North Side of Jackson Street along the frontage of the new American Heritage Foundation project. The grant will also be used to build approximately 740 LF of landscaped canal side walkway, sidewalks, new on-street parking, and historic lighting and resurface approximately 200 LF of sidewalks along the south side of Jackson Street. Lowell stands to benefit from the CDAG award in the following ways: $17 million in private investment, 65 new affordable housing units, and 120 new construction jobs and three full-time positions in property management/maintenance.

In Fitchburg, $566,000 in CDAG funds will be used for the installation of a truck entrance off of Boulder Drive into the publicly-owned Putnam Place complex. The project also includes the construction of two loading docks to provide access for 70+ foot trucks. The project has already or will attract $12.4 million in private investment, create 23 new units of affordable housing, generate up to 16 FTE positions within two years, and retain 85 existing jobs. The Patrick Administration previously awarded this project a $1.56 million MORE grant to install a new turbine engine testing facility.

Investments in local infrastructure projects are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

 

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge, and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband and, technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.


To learn more, go to www.mass.gov/recovery or www.mass.gov/hed/economic/eohed/pro/infrastructure/massworks/.

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