NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

February 7, 2014

Supporting growth in Amesbury

Viewpoint
Greg Bialecki

---- — The Patrick Administration has consistently championed the notion that we must invest our state dollars in ways that will support growth and opportunity not only today but also for generations to come. By partnering with cities and towns, we continue to invest in infrastructure, supporting job creation, economic development and new housing in every region of the Commonwealth.

Governor Patrick and I have worked closely with municipalities to provide a range of tools to create jobs and revitalize communities by creating neighborhoods where people can live, work and play. This work includes Governor Patrick’s ambitious goal of 10,000 new multi-family housing starts per year, so that families can afford to live in and grow in Massachusetts. It includes strategic investments in industries with high growth potential so that Massachusetts residents can access high-quality jobs. And, it includes a partnership with local and regional governments so that we can plan for growth, and achieve it.

In 2010, the Patrick administration consolidated a variety of economic development and infrastructure programs to create the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, an important resource that helps our communities improve local infrastructure to attract new jobs and spur local development. Building on the success of the 68 projects in the first two rounds, we recently announced that 33 communities will receive grant funding totaling over $79 million, after receiving 108 applications for more than $263 million in infrastructure requests. Over 80 percent of this year’s funding will support mixed-use development and will help create approximately 2,500 new housing units for our residents.

The most significant impact of the MassWorks Program is not the asphalt that will be laid or the sewer pipe that will be run. Through this program, we have witnessed major projects across the state experience significant progress, creating immediate construction jobs, leveraging private investment and spurring regional development and job creation.

MassWorks prioritizes projects in Gateway Cities and, in keeping with Governor Patrick’s commitment to be a strong partner to local government, funding is prioritized for communities that have planned ahead for new mixed-use multi-family housing and commercial growth.

The 2013 MassWorks round made $1,642,434 in investments in Amesbury, including funding for the Lower Millyard Water Street Improvement Project.

We remain committed to working with local communities, employers and residents to help identify opportunities to support growth and spur regional development. And we will continue partnering with municipalities across the state and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote growth in every region of the commonwealth.

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Greg Bialecki is the Housing and Economic Development secretary of Massachusetts.