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For Immediate Release: July 27, 2022
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION AWARDS
$3.3 MILLION GRANT TO THE TOWN OF DOUGLAS
Infrastructure project will enable hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment,
create hundreds of jobs, anchor Town’s revenue outlook
(Douglas Municipal Center) The Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, today announced a round of grant funding for infrastructure projects that includes $3.3 million in funding for the Town of Douglas.
The federal money will allow the Town to extend sewer service from its current end point on Gilboa Street to a large warehouse development on Lackey Dam Road in Uxbridge. The project will also create a sewer service connection for a planned warehouse between Gilboa and Northeast Main Streets in Douglas. The Town will also upgrade an old pump station to handle all the additional flows.
The scope of work funded by the grant also includes the upgrade of water mains from Main Street to Northeast Main, and all along Northeast Main to the Town border with Uxbridge. Existing businesses and residences in this area will benefit from significant improvements in service levels and reliability resulting from “loop” connections the warehouse developers will complete across their property.
“I want to thank our federal delegation and EDA representatives for working so well with our Town staff to craft a strong application for this competitive grant,” said Douglas Selectboard Chair Kevin Morse, who continued, “We don’t have a consulting team or cast of thousands to pull together so much material. We have just four people, with only one on task full time, to collect data, file reports, write narratives, gather letters of support and attend all the meetings necessary to compete for these funds. Our regional EDA rep, Deb Beavin, staff from Congressman McGovern’s office, Jeannie Hebert from the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, Senator Ryan Fattman and Representative Joe McKenna, all pitched in with valuable guidance as we have gone forward, and to everyone who has helped, we are very grateful.”
He continued, “Without this EDA grant, we would not be able to complete the project. Congratulations to our Economic Development Project Facilitator Bob Minarik, who is seeing the reward for his persistence and diligence, System Manager Bob Sullivan, who has worked very hard on the details of this project, Town Administrator Matt Wojcik and Community Development Director Matt Benoit for their contributions to and oversight of the application process.”
Selectmen Fitzpatrick, Bonin and Davis also noted the involvement of the Douglas Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Water Commissioners, as well as the Town leadership in Sutton and Uxbridge, as key to making the tri-town project successful.
“We are proud of the way everyone cooperated to see that this project is a good fit for our communities. Elected and appointed boards made orderly progress through the permitting process. Federal, state and local leaders demonstrated through this initiative that all levels of government can work together for a common goal.”
Town Administrator Matt Wojcik said, “We now have an overarching economic development initiative in place that includes this EDA project, a nearly complete water main extension and upgrade effort that was funded by the Baker Administration’s MassWorks program, and other infrastructure work currently in the application phase, that together represent a total of $ 8.6 million in infrastructure improvements. These utility and roadway efforts will leverage over $206 million in private sector investment, create about 750 new jobs, and give the Town badly needed diversity and stability in its tax base.”
Of the $ 8.6 million in infrastructure improvements, $ 3.3 million has been funded by MassWorks, the EDA grant provides $ 3.3 million, private developers have contributed $ 1.7 million, and the Town has provided about $300,000 in engineering costs. There are no tax increment financing or other municipal incentives involved in this project. All work, including the completion of the buildings, is expected to be done within the next two years.
For Further Information: Matthew Wojcik 508-476-4000 ext. 201