For Immediate Release - August 09, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION BREAKS GROUND ON $1.2 MILLION SPRINGFIELD MASSWORKS PROJECT

SPRINGFIELD – Wednesday, August 8, 2012 – The Patrick-Murray Administration’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki today joined state and local officials to break ground on the South End Streetscape Improvement Project, which was supported by a $1.2 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant.

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 Timothy Murray. “By working with the City of Springfield through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program and partnering with local and state agencies, we are paving the way for future opportunities that will advance economic development and improve safety in Springfield.”

The City of Springfield was awarded $1.2 million in funding through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program in November 2011 for the South End Streetscape Improvement Project. The project site, known as the Dwight Street Extension, is located within a sub-district of Springfield's South End neighborhood known as "the Hollywood District.” The infrastructure project will improve the physical roadway condition, traffic circulation and on-street parking. The upgrades accommodate pedestrian activities and improve safety in the area.

“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 Secretary Bialecki. “This program matches the objectives of our long-term economic development plan, which includes empowering our local and regional economies.”

The South End Neighborhood Streetscape Improvements are part of a larger South End neighborhood revitalization project to improve the quality of life and housing choices for the neighborhood’s residents. The infrastructure project will support a future, phased rehabilitation of 23 historic buildings resulting in 316 new affordable rental units, representing $66 million in investment.

“I am excited to see this project in the South End,” said Senator James T. Welch.  “These improvements are just the beginning of an effort to revitalize and reinvigorate this historic neighborhood.”   

“Thanks to the support of the Patrick-Murray Administration, Secretary Bialecki and access to the MassWorks program, the city of Springfield is taking another step forward on its path to economic stability,” said Senator Gale Candaras. “The South End Neighborhood Streetscape Improvements will help improve safety for pedestrians, provide space for on-street parking, and ensure excellent roadway conditions and traffic circulation – all of which are key to attracting businesses to the South End.”

"This is another great opportunity to help rebuild and stimulate growth in Springfield,” said State Representative Brian Ashe. “The Patrick-Murray administration has remained focused about our region to make sure that there is growth, with construction and jobs."

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the Patrick-Murray Administration to the City of Springfield,” stated Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.  “I’m pleased to join with Secretary Bialecki this afternoon to announce the infrastructure improvements to Dwight Street Extension which are part of a larger South End neighborhood revitalization project.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program, which is overseen by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, 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 began this spring and summer. The annual MassWorks Infrastructure Program application round will be accepting applications from Aug. 27 through Sept. 10.

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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