For Immediate Release - May 19, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $3.5 Million Refrigeration System for New Bedford State Pier

Year-Round Operations Will Have Immense Economic Impact on South Coast Region

New Bedford – May 19, 2016 – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $3.5 million capital investment from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will be dedicated to the installation of a refrigeration system at the State Pier in New Bedford. This investment underscores the Administration’s dedication to ensuring the State Pier remains a viable component and economic resource to New Bedford’s working waterfront, the region, and the Commonwealth.

“This targeted investment will have positive ramifications for the maritime community in New Bedford and further leverage the Commonwealth’s coastal assets,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “New Bedford’s State Pier provides a vital, and soon-to-be year-round economic link to global shipping routes and worldwide market access.”

This grant will install crucial refrigeration in one of the pier’s warehouses, which will enable international cargo shipping operations year round. This will substantially increase the capacity of the pier. Currently, companies transporting perishable products and produce can only utilize the state pier warehouses in cold months, substantially curtailing the potential of New Bedford’s state pier. Refrigeration will allow for year-round operations at the pier, creating more jobs and diversifying activity.

“This announcement is a direct result of our close collaboration with our municipal and legislative partners,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The economic benefits are clear, and we’re proud to make this important investment in New Bedford’s future.”

“The capital plan for fiscal year 2017 makes many key strategic investments focused on maintaining and modernizing our existing assets and making targeted investments in the future,” said Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Kristen Lepore. “This project fits the strategic goals we set out in developing the capital plan in addition to having a positive economic impact in New Bedford and surrounding area.”

“I am incredibly proud of the work the Baker-Polito Administration conducted in order to make a cold storage facility at the State Pier a reality,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This Administration knows the importance of supporting our regional economies, and this investment into the City’s port will pay dividends to the Commonwealth for years to come.”

“The willingness of the Baker-Polito Administration to roll up its sleeves on this project speaks volumes about its responsible approach to capital spending,” New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.  “This investment is a vital step in the continuing diversification of the Port of New Bedford, and will expand job opportunities for our longshoremen and others.”

“By providing the availability of refrigeration for year-round operations at the State Pier, the Baker-Polito Administration is demonstrating its commitment to not only the City of New Bedford, but also the South Coast, and the Commonwealth as a whole,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “I thank Governor Baker and everyone involved with making a cold storage facility at the State Pier a priority that will benefit us all.”

“This is one piece of our work across the Commonwealth’s state piers,” said Deputy Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Carolyn Kirk. “I look forward to continuing our partnerships with local communities like New Bedford on the important issues facing our state piers and maritime industry.”

This $3.5 million investment by the state reflects the Baker-Polito administration’s commitment to actively partnering with municipalities to execute on local needs and goals.