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Posted on: December 10, 2021

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $3 Million MassWorks Award for Douglas

DOUGLAS – Thursday, December 9, 2021 – Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito was joined by state and local officials to announce a $3 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program award to the town of Douglas.  The grant will support water and sewer upgrades for the system that serves the towns of Douglas, Sutton, and Uxbridge.  The upgrades are critical to the advancement of two warehouse developments that will be constructed as a result of $147 million in private investment and are expected to support the creation of approximately 800 new jobs.  Also today, Lt. Governor Polito announced a $314,850 award from the Site Readiness Program to support preliminary design and engineering of additional water and sewer system upgrades in Douglas.  The design and engineering are expected to support future efforts to activate development opportunities for approximately 300 acres of undeveloped land that is zoned for industrial uses.
The two programs are included in the Community One Stop for Growth platform, a single application portal and collaborative review process of grant programs launched in January 2021 that make targeted investments based on a development continuum.
 “We are pleased to partner with Douglas on critical infrastructure upgrades that will help support planned projects and future opportunities for development,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “As a result of these two awards through MassWorks and the Site Readiness Program, Douglas can accelerate progress toward their economic development goals.”
 “I want to congratulate Douglas for the success through the One Stop program and commend the town for setting the example of how the One Stop can support a community’s efforts to pursue local development opportunities that attract significant private investment and create jobs,” said Lt. Governor Polito.  “Through these awards, Douglas can continue along the path of economic growth while also planning for future opportunities for economic development.”
 Douglas’s MassWorks award will fund the first phase of a more than $12-million public improvement program aimed at expanding utility infrastructure along the Route 146 corridor and catalyzing regional growth for Douglas, Sutton, and Uxbridge. Specific improvements include installing or upsizing approximately 9,300 linear feet of water mains, 6,000 linear feet of sewer force mains, and a sewer pump station.
 The Douglas project taps into nearly $4 million in local and private funds and will expand water and sewer capacity in support of new commercial development in all three communities.  In the short term, the expanded capacity will unlock two warehouse developments, while also unlocking future development opportunities on at least two additional sites in Douglas. Collectively, the two warehouses will result in 1.74 million square feet of new industrial space, generate $147 million in private investment, and create an estimated 800 permanent jobs.
 Douglas’s $314,850 Site Readiness Program award will fund the completion of preliminary design and engineering of future water and sewer system upgrades along Davis and Monroe Streets. These upgrades would be a direct extension of the town’s MassWorks project and will serve approximately 300 acres of undeveloped industrially zoned land along both sides of Davis Street. Continued development in this corridor has the potential to create many permanent jobs for the Douglas-Uxbridge-Sutton area.
MassWorks is a competitive program that offers cities and towns flexible capital funding to support and accelerate housing production and job growth and is the largest program in Community One Stop for Growth.
 With the addition of this year’s round, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded 326 MassWorks grants to 181 communities and has invested over $608 million in public infrastructure projects throughout the Commonwealth. These grants have directly supported the creation of 21,000 new housing units and tens of thousands of new construction and permanent jobs, while also leveraging over $13 billion in private investment.
 Including MassWorks grants, the Community One Stop for Growth program awarded $88 million for 196 projects in 122 communities across the Commonwealth in its first year.  Of the 196 projects awarded, nearly one-third were located in a rural or small town, half were located in a Housing Choice Community, and one-third were located in a Gateway City.
 “We created the One Stop to offer access to a wide variety of programs through a single, streamlined process that ensures that valuable funds can be directed more effectively, to more communities, in less time,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.  “The One Stop gives communities and other partners the opportunity to work collaboratively with us, to pursue multiple projects simultaneously and to meet their economic development goals. Douglas has demonstrated how applicants can be creative with grant funding to maximize the impact of state investments in transformative projects.  While the first year of the One Stop has shown tremendous promise, the demand for our programs demonstrates that we can do more.”
 "The town of Douglas and its private partners have invested over three years of time and effort into research, negotiations and local government implementation to move these projects from dreamy concepts to the point where engineers can draw plans and site development crews can start work,” said Town Administrator Matthew Wojcik.  “Without the financing received from MassWorks via the OneStop, however, we would be hard pressed to build the necessary infrastructure on our own and make these new jobs and buildings a reality.  We are grateful to the Commonwealth for the resources provided to push this economic development initiative to fruition."

“Once again, we are seeing that the Commonwealth recognizes the economic strength, resilience, and opportunity in the Blackstone valley region," said Senator Ryan Fattman. "This grant will improve vital infrastructure capacity that will pave the way for significant business development in this area. I’m grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for recognizing the promising future ahead for our region.”
 "I am excited to see the State's commitment to support this infrastructure project that will allow for smart development along the Route 146 corridor,” said Representative Joseph D. McKenna. “Many have worked hard in Douglas, Sutton, and Uxbridge to bring this proposal forward and it represents a tremendous collaboration from municipal, to state, to private commitment; with federal support hopefully soon to follow. I look forward to the opportunities this project will unlock."
 “This is a tremendous influx of infrastructure funding for this section of the Route 146 corridor,” said Representative Michael J. Soter. “The collaboration amongst the three towns, the state Legislature, and the Baker-Polito Administration is something to be proud of. The opportunities in this area are boundless and I'm eager to see the development of commercial, residential, and mixed-use projects.”  

The full list of this year’s MassWorks grant recipients can be found here.

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