The Recorder – Rural Development Grants Supporting 4 Franklin County Communities

MONTAGUE – The City will be able to replace a sewer pumping station on Industriel Boulevard, thanks to a state subsidy of $ 169,000.

Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy awarded the city the Rural and Small Towns Development Fund grant in a ceremony at the pumping station site on Wednesday. Erving, Orange and Whately are also among the 16 communities in the state to receive a share of the total funding of $ 3 million.

The existing sewer pumping station was installed in the 1980s and serves major facilities in Montague, including the Franklin County Technical School and the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts. The replacement of the infrastructure should ensure its continued operation for at least 25 years.

“What we’re about to do today is see the completion of a critical infrastructure update,” city administrator Steve Ellis said during the introduction of the ceremony.

“Across the Commonwealth of Nations, we are seeing example after example how small projects can build momentum for transformative development in communities planning for growth,” Kennealy said in a press release announcing the grants. “We are proud to create tailored programs to support municipalities, including here in Montague, where sewer upgrades will allow local organizations and institutions to grow and adapt to future demand. “

During his speech at the ceremony on Boulevard Industriel, Kennealy underlined the importance of the “rural and small town” component of the development fund.

“I think it’s useful for everyone,” he said, “but for small towns that don’t have a lot of a team around them, I think it’s especially useful. “

After Kennealy spoke, State Representative Natalie Blais D-Sunderland thanked him with a smile on the podium.

“Every time you come here you learn what we are going through with our communities, and we love it when you come back with money,” she said with a laugh.

The Rural and Small Towns Development Fund, born out of economic development legislation signed by Governor Charlie Baker in January, is part of the Community One Stop for Growth platform for municipalities. It specifically supports projects in communities with a population of less than 7,000 people or with a population density of less than 500 people per square mile.

Other Franklin County communities that will receive funding are:

■ Erving, who received $ 60,000 to revise current zoning bylaws to encourage housing options, including affordable housing, commercial and industrial development in appropriate areas, and to eliminate redundancies and errors;

■ Orange, which will use its $ 24,000 to carry out a certified housing production plan to develop affordable housing in locations that reflect the needs of the community;

■ And Whately, who received $ 30,000 to hire a consultant to complete and submit to the Department of Housing and Community Development a housing production plan for certification.

Kennealy has expressed a desire to provide more grants for similar projects.

“We would like to do a lot more of this,” he said.

Contact Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or [email protected]

About Keneth T. Graves

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