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Baker-Polito Administration announces $2.5 Million MassWorks Award for Fall River, $100,000 for Viva Fall River

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FALL RIVER – Thursday, November 18, 2021 – Today, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy were joined by state and local officials to announce a $2.5 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to Fall River to fund key sewer and water system upgrades. Also today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the latest round of Urban Agenda Grant Program awards, which total $2.5 million to support 30 projects in 26 communities. Among the Urban Agenda recipients, Fall River-based Bristol County Chamber Foundation received a $100,000 award for Viva Fall River, a program that seeks to activate vacant storefronts, attract new businesses, and increase downtown pedestrian traffic.

The Urban Agenda Grant Program is designed to support community development that is grounded in collaboration and focused on economic opportunities with local significance. Both MassWorks and the Urban Agenda Grant Program 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 excited to partner with Fall River to support upgrades to public infrastructure that will leverage a $20 million private investment, and result in construction of a new cold storage facility,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Combined with the Urban Agenda award to the Bristol County Foundation, made through the One Stop, Fall River can continue to pursue its plans to increase economic activity, create more jobs, and enhance the vibrancy of the city’s downtown.”

“This MassWorks award opens the door to key improvements that are necessary for Fall River to advance its plans for continued economic growth,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “As Fall River shows us, in just its first year, the One Stop program has made it possible for communities to access multiple funding programs at once that puts the economic and community development goals for more cities and towns within reach.”

Fall River’s MassWorks award will fund the replacement of the Wilson Road Sewer Pump Station, which has exceeded its useful life, and construction of a new drinking water pump station. The Wilson Road facility serves the Fall River Industrial Park and these upgrades would improve capacity and resiliency. The work would also support a planned $20 million private investment by Hutchens Holding III LLC (IceCube Cold Storage & Logistics) to construct a 200,000 square foot, best-in-class cold storage facility to serve an unmet need in Massachusetts.

Fall River’s award is part of this year’s round of MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grants announced recently and is included among 56 grants – the largest number of awards in a single year in six years – totaling $66.5 million to 50 communities. Among this year’s MassWorks projects, 29 are reactivating underutilized sites, 27 are supporting transit-oriented developments and 29 have a mixed-use component. Additionally, 14 communities are receiving their first ever MassWorks award.

Including 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.

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. Including MassWorks grants, the Community One Stop awarded $88 million to 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 the opportunity to work collaboratively with us, to pursue multiple projects simultaneously and to meet their economic development goals. Fall River has demonstrated how communities can be creative with grant funding to maximize the impact of their investments in public infrastructure. While the first year of the One Stop has shown tremendous promise, the demand for our programs demonstrates that we can do more.”

“Fall River’s industrial spirit has always been a core part of our identity and our economy,” said Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan. “The MassWorks Grant will pave the way for expansion in our Industrial Park by allowing us to make much needed infrastructure improvements in the area. This project will support Fall River’s ongoing revitalization, bring more jobs to our community, and solidify Fall River’s status as a regional manufacturing hub. I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for keeping the unique needs of municipalities and the business community in mind through the Community One Stop for Growth program.”

“In the Legislature, I have always been proud to support programs that make a real, tangible difference in cities and towns across the Commonwealth like MassWorks and Urban Agenda,” said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues, Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “I am thrilled that Fall River was recognized with these grant awards. Thank you to Baker-Polito Administration for prioritizing local infrastructure and supporting urban neighborhoods in Massachusetts.”

“I was proud to join Lieutenant Governor Polito and Secretary Kennealy in announcing Fall River’s 2021 MassWorks Grant and Urban Agenda award,” said Representative Carole Fiola. “These investments made in our city help improve infrastructure and help promote our communities. This funding allows for critical upgrades that will keep our city thriving.”

“This funding will provide extensive supports to the residents of Fall River through economic development and job creation and much needed infrastructure improvements,” said Representative Paul Schmid. “We are grateful for these improvements and the lasting impact they will have.”

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