Gov. Deval Patrick visited Newburyport an Amesbury yesterday morning to lend his support to mayors Thatcher Kezer and Donna Holaday, fellow Democrats who are each facing tough challenges in this coming Tuesday’s city elections.
Patrick visited both communities, and while in Amesbury, Patrick announced that the city would be awarded a $1.5 million grant through the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program, which will allow the city to complete the Lower Millyard redevelopment project.
Kezer said the money from the grant will be used to realign Water Street so that it runs through the spot where the soon-to-be-demolished Department of Public Works building currently stands. It will also be used to create additional parking in the area, and bring the same type of sidewalks and lighting that currently exist downtown into the Lower Millyard down to the bridge.
“This is the final piece of the whole Lower Millyard public investment,” Kezer said. “So with this money in place, we are funded and moving forward on all the components that we’ve laid out.”
In 2011, Amesbury was awarded a $1.2 million MassWorks grant for the Lower Millyard and the reconstruction of Elm Street. That project will be completed within the next few weeks, and over the summer the grant was expanded by $200,000 to help cover some of the brownfield cleanup efforts within the Lower Millyard as well.
“Growth requires investment, and investments like these to support housing and business development will help catalyze growth in Amesbury and beyond,” Patrick said. “If we want to expand opportunity in our commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.”
Patrick and Kezer made the announcement in the Lower Millyard to a crowd of about 100 supporters, many of whom carried “I am Pro Amesbury” signs. Several city councilors and department heads, along with many business owners, came out to greet Patrick as well.