For Immediate Release - December 16, 2011

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $3 MILLION INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT FOR TAUNTON

TAUNTON - Friday, December 16, 2011 - Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined state and local officials in Taunton to announce a $3.1 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to help support the redevelopment of the former Paul A. Dever State School Campus and expansion of the Myles Standish Industrial Park (MSIP). Construction on the infrastructure improvement project will begin in the spring of 2012 and will create approximately 145 construction jobs.

"Our Administration continues to work with cities and towns across the state, including Gateway Cities like Taunton, to invest in needed infrastructure and to support regional economic growth," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “By working with the City of Taunton through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, we are paving the way for future development opportunities that will spur economic activity and attract new businesses to the community.”

The MassWorks grant, which was funded through the supplemental budget and the general MassWorks round, will be used to create access roadways, utilities and storm water systems for prime industrial, developable land at the former Dever School located in the MSIP. In November 2011, the Patrick-Murray Administration announced 42 MassWorks Infrastructure grants totaling $63 million.

This infrastructure project will kick off the first phase of a total 220-acre redevelopment project of the former Dever School core campus, which will expand the MSIP and create a Life Sciences Center. A Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Waiver Permit has been issued allowing up to 250,000 square feet of initial development. An estimated $1.8 million in annual tax revenues and 2,400 jobs are expected to be generated from this development’s full build-out.

“The Patrick-Murray Administration has been committed to creating jobs and spurring economic development in every corner of the Commonwealth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “The MassWorks Infrastructure program is consistent with that goal and the outstanding response to our first grant round in September demonstrates that the objectives of the consolidation are working.”

The Myles Standish Industrial Park hosts 99 companies that employ 6,700 area residents. The Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) identified the expansion potential of MSIP as critical to reach its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) goal of promoting the expansion of quality industrial land in the region. In addition, the project has been listed as a Priority Development Area in the South Coast Rail Land Use Corridor Plan and is consistent with the plan’s goals of channeling new jobs to the area by providing prime industrial land for new and expanding industrial users. The proposed redevelopment of Paul A. Dever State School site is an important job creation mechanism for a city that has suffered higher-than-average unemployment over the last three years.

“I am so pleased this MassWorks infrastructure grant has been made available to the redevelopment project of the former Paul A. Dever School,” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco. “With these funds, this project will create much needed jobs and will be crucial in assisting this location in becoming a productive site once again. I have worked with Secretary Bialecki’s office and the Patrick-Murray Administration in the pursuit of these funds and I am pleased that they have decided to invest in the future of Taunton and the southeast region. These funds will create jobs and that’s what this is all about.”

"I am very pleased that this grant will allow for infrastructure improvement to the former Dever School campus,” said Representative Shaunna O’Connell. “This is a major step forward in the expansion of the Myles Standish Industrial Park. Private sector job growth and getting people back to work are a top priority for me."

"I am very pleased that Taunton has been awarded this grant and that it will bring more economic development to the area," said Representative Keiko Orrall. "We are fortunate that the state is able to provide this at an important time in our economic recovery."

MassDevelopment has partnered with the Taunton Development Corporation (TDC) to form a nonprofit development corporation to undertake this project. The site is state surplus property. Legislation has authorized the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) to sell the land to the TDC as described within Chapter 395 of the Acts 2002 and Chapter 419 of the Acts of 2008. The new nonprofit development entity is scheduled to execute the Land Disposition Agreement with DCAM on December 22, 2011. 

”MassDevelopment is pleased to team up with Taunton and the Commonwealth to oversee infrastructure improvements at the former Dever School,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “With our experience transforming the Northampton state hospital into Village Hill Northampton, we look forward to the challenges and work ahead.”   

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and held its first competitive grant round in September, consolidated six capital budget programs to give communities a single entry point and one set of requirements for state public infrastructure grants. The consolidation aimed to improve efficiencies and streamline the decision-making process, increase access for municipalities of all sizes and enhance state-regional-local partnerships around economic development and housing production. To meet these objectives, the program launched an e-application and hosted 12 online tutorials to assist municipalities with the application process. During the first grant round, 158 applications requesting more than $400 million in infrastructure grants were received from cities and towns of all sizes and all regions of the Commonwealth.

To learn more about the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and how it is supporting job growth and long term, sustainable economic development, please visit: www.mass.gov/eohed/infrastructure.

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