LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY CELEBRATES COMPLETION OF PITTSFIELD MASSWORKS PROJECT
PITTSFIELD – Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray today celebrated the completion of the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project in Pittsfield, which represents the second phase of the city’s Streetscape Master Plan. The first and second phases of the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project were funded by $1.2 million in MassWorks funding, $3.32 Million in Federal Highway Funding secured by Congressman John Olver and administered by MassDOT and an additional $100,000 made available by the city of Pittsfield.
The Patrick-Murray Administration’s MassWorks Infrastructure Program supports local economic development initiatives, housing and job creation by providing the infrastructure to support these important initiatives.
“Our Administration continues to partner with cities and towns to invest in local infrastructure improvements,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “By working with the City of Pittsfield through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and also partnering with local, state and federal agencies, we are paving the way for future opportunities that will advance economic development in Pittsfield’s downtown business district and support regional economic growth.”
The City of Pittsfield was awarded a $1.2 million in 2009 for the second phase of the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project through the Public Words Economic Development Program (PWED), which is now managed by the state’s MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program. The project will help improve connectivity along the sidewalks and roadway to the Intermodal Transportation Center and enhance the downtown business district, which was identified as a Growth District by the State in 2008. The third phase of the project is now under design and the city is in the process of securing funding. When complete, the multiphase project will represent over $11 million in local, state and federal funding and will facilitate the revitalization of the city’s downtown corridor.
“The MassWorks program is an integral part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to improving our infrastructure, creating jobs and spurring economic development in every corner of Massachusetts,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “This program matches the objectives of our long-term economic development plan, which includes empowering our local and regional economies.”
In addition to the Streetscape Project, the Patrick-Murray Administration has continued its support and commitment to enhancing Pittsfield’s downtown as part of the 2011 MassWorks Infrastructure Program award round. The City of Pittsfield was a recipient of a $3.6 million MassWorks Grant for the Restoration of the McKay Street Parking Garage. The MassWorks grant leverages an additional $3.5 million in funding committed by the city to complete the $7.1 million restoration of the McKay Street Parking Garage. The shovel-ready project will improve the viability of the downtown by restoring the 1,000-space parking garage that supports the surrounding businesses, cultural venues, shops, a movie theater and housing.
“Downtown Pittsfield is in the process of being transformed by the Downtown Streetscape Improvement Project, and everyone is delighted by the results,” said Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi. “These kinds of transformations are not possible without the generous support of state and federal agencies, which understand that vibrant downtowns attract people and businesses that breathe new life into an entire city.”
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (HED), held its first competitive grant round in September 2011, consolidating 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.
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 representing every region of the state. In total, HED awarded $63.5 million in grants to 42 communities throughout Massachusetts for public infrastructure projects that will begin this spring and summer. The second annual MassWorks Infrastructure Program application round will be accepting applications from August 27 through September 10, 2012.
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.