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Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates MassWorks Awards to Small Towns in Russell

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates MassWorks Awards to Small Towns in Russell

Part of Community One Stop for Growth Portfolio, MassWorks is Awarding $12,690,000 to 15 Small-Town Road Projects Across the Commonwealth

RUSSELL – Today, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba, and Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega were joined by state and local officials in Russell to celebrate MassWorks Infrastructure Program awards that are supporting small-town road projects in Massachusetts. This year, MassWorks awarded $12,690,000 to 15 projects in small towns for key roadway safety improvements based on criteria that reserves grant funding for this type of community (also known as STRAP). Among the awards, the Town of Russell received a $1 million grant to fund infrastructure improvements to General Knox Road to eliminate sharp curves and improve safety.

“Since taking office, our administration has been proud to award over $77 million in MassWorks awards to these small-town road projects,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This funding is advancing important roadway safety improvements that will make our communities better places to live, to work and to visit.”

“For our small towns, these MassWorks awards represent big investments towards improving safety and stimulating economic growth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “By creating the streamlined Community One Stop for Growth application portal, we’ve enhanced the ability for our smaller communities to access MassWorks and other state economic development grant programs.”

“MassWorks has been a key state resource for helping cities and towns address public infrastructure needs to support safety improvements, housing production, and private development,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “This year we’re awarding $100 million in MassWorks grants across the Commonwealth, with more than $12.6 million dedicated to small-town road projects.”

“The launch of the Community One Stop for Growth application portal has resulted in a major increase in state investment to our small and rural towns over the past two years,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba. “The collaborative review process ensures we can be intentional about allocating funding across 12 state programs – including MassWorks – to communities of all sizes, all across the Commonwealth.”

"Investments in rural infrastructure are investments in regional equity,” said Representative Smitty Pignatelli. “I've seen firsthand how the MassWorks Infrastructure Program (STRAP) Grants have helped our communities complete critical projects that will have an impact for generations to come. Thanks to Secretary Kennealy and the Baker Administration, Monterey, Otis, Russell, and Sheffield can begin working on important projects that will strengthen the town's infrastructure and allow for major development opportunities moving forward."

MassWorks, one of the state’s largest competitive grant programs, offers cities and towns flexible capital funding to support and accelerate housing production and job growth. This year, the administration is awarding 63 grants from the infrastructure program – the largest number of awards in a single round since the program’s inception in 2011 – totaling $100 million to 60 communities. Among this year’s MassWorks’ projects, 39 are reactivating underutilized sites, 31 are supporting transit-oriented developments, and 30 have a mixed-use component. Additionally, 17 communities are receiving their first ever MassWorks award.

Including this year’s round, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded 391 MassWorks grants to 197 communities, investing over $709 million in public infrastructure projects throughout the state. These grants have directly supported the creation of over 26,000 new housing units and tens of thousands of construction and new permanent jobs, while also leveraging approximately $17 billion in private investment. This includes 92 MassWorks grants dedicated to 66 small towns for road improvement projects, for a total of over $77 million.

The program is part of Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal that provides a streamlined, collaborative review process of 12 state grant programs that fund economic development projects related to community capacity building, planning and zoning, site preparation, building construction, and infrastructure. Altogether, this round of the One Stop is awarding more than $143 million in grant awards to support 337 local economic development projects in 169 communities. The full list of grants can be found here.

Through this round of the One Stop, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development received 523 applications from 207 communities representing every region of the Commonwealth. Of the 337 applications awarded, 31% are located in a rural or small town; 32% are located in a Gateway City; and 43% are located in a Housing Choice Community. This investment is expected to directly support the creation of 6,950 new housing units across the Commonwealth, including 5,068 new market-rate units and 1,882 new affordable units.

MassWorks Awards for Small-Town Road Projects:
  • Town of Ashburnham – $1 million
    This grant will fund Main Street improvements such as accessible concrete sidewalks and granite curbs on both sides of Upper Main Street from the main entrance of Cushing Academy to Pleasant and Lawrence Street.
  • Town of Avon – $1 million
    This grant will support the STRAP project with improvements to undermined/failing culverts on both Rock Street and Gill Street, the reconstruction of 2,325 feet of road, and the installation of sidewalks on Gill Street. The town will also be replacing the water line on Rock Street.
  • Town of Charlemont – $500,000
    This grant will fund infrastructure improvements to the town’s bridge to better connect downtown Charlemont and neighboring towns.
  • Town of Cheshire – $633,000
    This grant will fund the resurfacing of 2.5 miles of Route 116 and the replacement of 9,120 feet of failing guardrail. This route is critical as it is a main emergency evacuation route for Adams and Cheshire residents.        
  • Town of Clarksburg – $1 million
    This grant will fund infrastructure improvements including the replacement of drainage culverts and the implementation of traffic calming measures to enhance the safety of travelers.  
  • Town of Colrain – $1 million
    This grant will fund the rehabilitation of Greenfield Road, a heavily trafficked road running south from Route 112 in the Colrain Village Center to the Town of Shelburne where it intersects Route 2.
  • Town of Cummington – $882,000
    This grant will support necessary improvements to replace existing deformed and undersized infrastructure for the Stage Road Culvert.
  • Town of Hawley – $800,000
    This grant will fund the preparation of bidding documents and costs associated with the construction and replacement of a failing, undersized culvert on State Route 8A with a Massachusetts Stream Crossings Standards compliant structure.
  • Town of Hinsdale – $1 million
    This grant will fund the Schnopp Roads Restoration Project to repair substantial drainage issues, and the resurfacing of the road to allow Hinsdale to complete a full depth reclamation or cold in-place recycle within the same roadway footprint.
  • Town of Leyden – $225,000
    This grant will fund infrastructure improvements, including the removal of the existing Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) wearing surface and membrane, chip and patch of the deck as needed, the addition of new membrane and 2 1/2-inch HMA wearing surface, and the rehabilitation of the deck joints.
  • Town of Monterey – $1 million
    This grant will be used to address significant accessibility and safety issues for approximately two miles of road that connect through Beartown Mountain State Forest to the Towns of Lee and Great Barrington.
  • Town of Otis – $650,000
    This grant will be used for the construction of a composite arch bridge to replace two failing steel culverts. Project upgrades will include erosion/sediment control, earthwork, road reconstruction, guardrail improvements, channel improvements, and vegetation restoration.
  • Town of Russell – $1 million
    This grant will fund infrastructure improvements to General Knox Road to eliminate sharp curves and make safer roads for the motoring public.
  • Town of Sheffield – $1 million
    This grant will fund improvements to Weatogue Road, an important access route for agricultural activities and cross border mutual aid.
  • Town of Warwick – $1 million
    This grant will be used for the installation of new guard rails in 10 locations deemed deficient to increase road safety.

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