Photo: Announcement of MassWorks Awards at State House on October 10
This week, Massachusetts elected officials joined community leaders to announce over $8.5 million in MassWorks Program Infrastructure awards to 10 rural towns in Massachusetts.
These projects are the first of the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program’s 2017 awards, spurring regional and local roadway improvements in Boxborough, Chester, Colrain, Monroe, Mount Washington, Oakham, Rowe, Southampton, Stockbridge and Warren.
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support housing production, economic development, and job creation.
Governor Charlie Baker called the MassWorks Infrastructure Program “an important resource for cities and towns pursuing projects that drive local job growth and economic development in the Commonwealth’s communities. From safer streets and bridges to vital access to housing and our downtowns, these projects will further connect the residents of Massachusetts’ rural communities to schools, job opportunities and their neighbors.”
The MassWorks Infrastructure Program makes grants to municipalities for public infrastructure projects that generate additional private sector investment. Each year, the MassWorks program allocates 10% of awarded funds to assist municipalities with populations of 7,000 or less in completing roadway safety and transportation improvement projects.
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “These projects will enhance public safety and community access for first responders, school buses, residents and tourists in our rural cities and towns. Governor Baker and I have been proud to increase funding for and support the reauthorization of MassWorks as a vital and flexible program for upgrading infrastructure across the Commonwealth.”
Since 2015, and including this year’s awards, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $274 million to 134 projects in 106 communities throughout the Commonwealth, spurring the development of over 2 million square feet of commercial and retail space, over 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms and commercial/retail space.
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said the MassWorks awards “are highly sought after funds that make targeted investments in shovel-ready projects. Communities receiving these awards have made significant efforts to attract private development and undertake impactful infrastructure projects to create new economic opportunities for residents and small businesses in their region.”
Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan called the MassWorks program “one of the most useful tools we have for supporting economic growth in our cities and towns. The awards announced today will go a long way to improving critical transportation infrastructure in these communities.”
Secretary of Transportation and MassDOT CEO Stephanie Pollack said, “MassDOT is proud to work with the Department of Housing and Economic Development on the MassWorks Infrastructure Program. These grants will renew critical local infrastructure which connects our residents and visitors in rural communities to the education resources, hospitals, and the good and vital services they need.”
Senate President Stan Rosenberg said, “These grants will address longstanding issues in communities across the Commonwealth. I am grateful that these needs have been recognized and that we are starting to address them.”
In August 2016, Governor Baker signed to reauthorize MassWorks and support $500 million of future investment in critical infrastructure, a significant commitment by the Commonwealth. The Baker-Polito Administration has increased MassWorks funding by $35 million over the past two fiscal years.