- Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.5 Million MassWorks Infrastructure Award in Easton
Ryan Boehm, Deputy Director of Communication
EASTON — Today, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy joined Easton Town Administrator Connor Read and other local leaders to announce a MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant worth $1.5 million to the Town of Easton. The project will fund Phase 2 of the Five Corners Sewer Project, which will unlock the $20-million redevelopment of the 12-acre vacant former Belcher iron foundry site.
Phase I of the Five Corners project extended the sewer main from the town of Mansfield to a section of Easton’s Five Corners District. Phase 2 will bring sewer to the rest of the district and will make available 165,000 gallons of wastewater treatment per day, serving more than 300 commercial and residential properties and unlocking the redevelopment of a 12-acre historic foundry site and abutting 10-acre parcel into 63 units of mixed duplex and single-family homes. The public sewer improvements will also support Avalon Communities’ $14-million expansion of an existing 40B Local Initiative Project, creating 44 units of mixed-income, multi-family housing, bringing the town’s subsidized housing inventory to 10 percent.
“MassWorks is a valuable program that maximizes return on investment for capital funding, delivering vital infrastructure repairs that improve public safety while stimulating local and private development, job growth and housing production,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We will continue to collaborate closely with local leaders to identify opportunities and target public resources toward the growth and wellbeing of communities across the Commonwealth.”
“As former municipal leaders, Governor Baker and I know firsthand the value of flexible grant programs like MassWorks, which help communities make targeted enhancements and provide opportunities for economic development,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s award will accelerate local housing and commercial growth to better prepare Easton for the future.”
“This administration recognizes the importance of reliable, modern infrastructure to the safety and success of communities of all sizes,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are proud of the improvements to public safety, thousands of new jobs and housing units, and millions of square feet of new commercial space that the MassWorks program has delivered for residents, and we look forward to continuing to leverage every tool at our disposal to ensure all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts continue to thrive.”
The town’s Five Corners District has been identified as a Tier 1 Needs Area in the town’s Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP), and a priority development district in the town’s Master Plan. Easton has committed more than $11.5 million in District Improvement Financing (DIF) funds, a Housing Choice Capital Grant, and a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan in support of this public infrastructure project.
“Easton is thrilled to once again work with the Baker-Polito Administration to advance the Five Corners Sewer Project, our largest ever infrastructure project. Working with the state's MassWorks team, our business partners, and the residents of Furnace Village, this project will drive mixed residential and commercial development bringing tens of millions in private investment to the area, reducing betterment costs for our property owners, and permanently improving sewer, water, and transportation infrastructure in a critical economic development corridor,” said Easton Town Administrator Connor Read.
“I would like to thank Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary Michael Kennealy for their ardent support of local housing projects. This Massworks Infrastructure grant will help finance the Town of Easton’s Five Corner’s Sewer project, expanding access to many commercial and residential properties in the area. It is reassuring to work with an administration that is dedicated to uplifting our local communities,” said Senator Michael Brady.
“The Town of Easton has worked tirelessly to revitalize its Five Corners District,” said Senator Walter F. Timilty. “Moreover, the citizens of Easton deserve the very best in terms of infrastructure improvements, housing initiatives, and the resulting economic prosperity that is a corollary of these outstanding socioeconomic advances. With this $1.5 million MassWorks grant, Easton will be able to take the crucial first steps in expanding its public sewer system, which in turn, will stimulate essential housing and commercial development throughout the community. I would like to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Secretary Michael Kennealy for the success of the MassWorks program, which continues to promote economic growth across the Commonwealth.”
“My company will be constructing 57 single-family residential units on the old Belcher Foundry site and abutting parcel. The availability of sewer drove the decision to acquire the second parcel and nearly double the number of units to be built. This housing will meet a need in Easton for smaller homes sought by downsizers and young professionals and families,” said Rick Lincoln, Manager/Member at Coneco Building LLC.
"The awarding of the Massworks grant is a game changer for businesses, homeowners and residents of our area. It will free up much needed capital that will directly benefit housing, the environment, infrastructure and the economic health of not just the Five Corners Sewer District but the entire Town of Eaton and the State of Massachusetts," said Neil Levine, founding member of the Furnace Village Neighborhood Collaborative and owner of Maguire's Bar and Grill.
Through the 2019 MassWorks round, the Baker-Polito Administration will award more than $72 million in MassWorks awards to a diverse mix of 36 projects in 35 communities across the Commonwealth, including nine Gateway Cities and eight communities that will receive MassWorks funding for the first time. The awards will unlock a total of $2.3 billion in private investment and 4,635 new full-time jobs, along with more than 3,100 new housing units, 1,167 of which are affordable, building on the Administration’s efforts to tackle the ongoing housing shortage through complementary programs like historic funding for affordable housing and the proposed Housing Choice legislation. The transformative projects funded by the 2019 awards were selected from 92 applications, totaling $223 million in requests.
Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $383 million in MassWorks grants to support 183 shovel-ready projects in 128 communities. MassWorks funding has made possible the addition and preservation of more than 2 million square feet of commercial/retail space, 29,000 jobs, and 11,000 housing units, while leveraging about $6.9 billion in private investment.
Governor Baker signed economic development legislation in August 2018 that included substantial new funding for municipalities, including another $250 million for MassWorks awards. The legislation built on the Baker-Polito Administration’s work to partner with communities to catalyze economic development and create new opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth, including the 2016 Job Creation and Workforce Development act, which authorized $1 billion to support economic development efforts across the state, including a $500 million authorization for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, enhanced tools and the introduction of new strategies for job-readiness efforts.
Learn more about MassWorks here.