For Immediate Release - June 17, 2014

Patrick Administration Officials Join Town Of Natick, Natick Soldier System Center To Break Ground On Kansas Street Improvement Project

$2.5 million project fixes aging infrastructure and supports access to housing and Natick’s military installation

NATICK – Monday, June 16, 2014 – Continuing the Patrick Administration’s commitment to investing in infrastructure improvements to create growth throughout the Commonwealth, MassDevelopment’s Marty Jones and the Massachusetts National Guard’s Major General L. Scott Rice today joined state, local, industry and military officials to break ground on a $2.5 million project to support the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center and Town of Natick.

 

“By working with our local communities to identify opportunities to support growth and spur regional development we are strengthening our communities where residents can live, work, and play,” said Housing and Economic Secretary Greg Bialecki. “I look forward to our ongoing partnerships with these communities and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote continued growth in every region in the Commonwealth.”

 

“The rejuvenation of Kansas Street serves as a microcosm of the relationship between infrastructure and our military services that predates the birth of our nation and permeates our history,” said Jones. “Today, we celebrate a milestone event to help an invaluable resource that empowers, equips, and feeds warfighters who defend our freedoms.”

 

The $1.5 million MassWorks grant follows $1 million in capital funding from the Patrick Administration for Natick.  The funding will create infrastructure improvements for the Natick Soldier Systems Center, and will also improve the traffic flow along one of Natick’s major road, Route 27, to allow the road to better accommodate current and future traffic volumes and improve connections to nearby Route 9 and the Massachusetts Turnpike.  The project creates 30 construction jobs and also includes building a 10-foot-wide walkway and making signal and sidewalk improvements.

 

The infrastructure improvements will also support the Paper Board Redevelopment Project at the nearby 40R Smart Growth District.  The project, by Mill Creek Residential, is now under construction and will lead to the creation of 150 housing units.  The Natick project exemplifies the Patrick Administration’s commitment to making strategic investments – including in the state’s high-tech defense industry – that will support housing production, long-term growth and job-retention opportunities.

 

The Natick Soldier Systems Center is the only active duty research installation in New England and one of only two in the country.  The Natick Soldier Systems Center works to provide U.S. soldiers with the best equipment in the world, serving as the Army’s one-stop soldier-support organization responsible for researching, developing, fielding and managing food, clothing, shelters, airdrop systems and soldier support items. A 2012 report by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute showed that the Natick Soldier Systems Center has 14,504 direct or indirect jobs and an annual economic impact to the Massachusetts economy of $4.41 billion.

 

“The Kansas Street project has been in the works for a couple years and it is through great partnerships that we break ground this morning,” said Brigadier General William Cole, Senior Commander of the Natick Soldier Systems Center.  “This project will benefit the more than 1,600 workers at the Natick Soldier Systems Center and the residents along Kansas Street.”

 

This project is part of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force's continued work to support the needs of the military base and Natick. Since the Task Force was established in 2012, Task Force leadership and staff have met multiple times with base and town officials to provide governmental expertise and technical assistance in identifying ways to strengthen energy efficiency, master planning on and around the base, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and workforce development, veterans’ services and military family support including housing, and mission enhancements.  To learn more about the Task Force, please visit: www.mass.gov/governor/militarytaskforce.

 

“This project and other joint initiatives between the Town of Natick, the Commonwealth and the Natick Soldiers’ Systems Center serve to strengthen our partnerships and spark creative ideas for further collaboration,” said Natick Town Administrator Martha White.  “We all benefit when we work together.”

 

“The Massachusetts National Guard and the United States Army at Natick Labs have had a long and very productive relationship. The recent construction of the National Guard Natick Readiness Center at Speen Street and the Commonwealth and Natick's investment in the Kansas Street project to support the installation is an example of our commitment and investment in our communities,” said Major General Rice.  “Natick is a proud American hometown community that has supported the military and a place that we in the National Guard consider our home too.”

 

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), and is a consolidation of six capital budget programs that were combined by the Patrick Administration in 2011 and codified by law as a single MassWorks Program in the Jobs Bill signed by the Governor in August 2012.  The MassWorks Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking funding to support housing, economic development and job creation. In total, the past three grant rounds of the MassWorks Infrastructure Program have assisted more than 100 projects with more than $180 million in infrastructure improvement projects in all areas of the Commonwealth.

 

“This project exemplifies the comprehensive approach of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force - working with the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to work with MassDOT, the Natick Soldier Systems Center, and the Town of Natick to make a real difference,” said Paul Matthews, Executive Director of the 495/MetroWest Partnership. “These infrastructure improvements are not only needed by Natick Soldier Systems Center, but address real needs on a critical access to downtown Natick.  Everyone involved, particularly the town officials who worked so hard on the MassWorks application, should be commended for this collaborative approach that has brought real results.”

 

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