For Immediate Release - June 19, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING FOR $1.25 MILLION AMESBURY MASSWORKS PROJECT

AMESBURY -- Tuesday, June 19, 2012 – Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki joined state and local officials in Amesbury today to break ground on the Lower Millyard Access Improvements project, which was supported by a $1.25 million MassWorks Infrastructure grant and will help generate private development in the area.

The Patrick-Murray Administration’s MassWorks program supports infrastructure projects by targeting local economic development initiatives and creating jobs.

In the fall of 2011 Amesbury was awarded $1.25 million through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. This grant will complete the Lower Millyard Access Improvements Project, a multiyear, multi-agency program to upgrade and improve of Elm Street. The completed project will mitigate traffic and safety related issues caused by future construction and expansion of facilitates.

As the sole access road to the Lower Millyard area in downtown Amesbury, the project is a critical component to development in the area.

“Our Administration continues to partner with cities and towns as we invest in local infrastructure, create jobs, and support economic growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “By working with the City of Amesbury through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, we are paving the way for future opportunities that will advance economic development in Amesbury and help build a stronger future for the Commonwealth."

“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, the 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.”

The public infrastructure project supported by the MassWorks grant is part of an overall effort to spur private investment and development in Amesbury’s Lower Millyard. MassWorks funds leverage $2.5 million the City previously spent on infrastructure improvements to support development in the Lower Millyard including water line improvements, sewer upgrades and drainage work. Furthermore, the city has also committed $215,000 to fund design costs associated with the MassWorks project.

"I would like to thank Governor Patrick for the grant, and Representative Costello and Senator Baddour for advocating on behalf of the City of Amesbury,” said Amesbury Mayor Thatcher W. Kezer III. “This represents another positive result in recognition of our efforts to revitalize the Lower Millyard.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, held its first competitive grant round in September, 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.

I am extremely grateful that the vision of a revitalized downtown Amesbury will be realized. This funding will provide meaningful opportunities for new businesses growth and much improved pedestrian access,” said State Representative Michael A. Costello. “My office has worked with the new MassWorks team to present a compelling case for the needs of this area, and I think this is a smart investment by the state. I want to thank Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray for making this funding available to our local communities.”

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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