Several communities receive funding from state for development projects

Hampshire County

MONTAGUE, Mass. (WWLP) – More than $3 million in grants through the Rural and Small Town (R&ST) Development Fund program will be distributed to local communities with a population below 7,000 people.

The program, created in the Economic Development Legislation and signed by Governor Baker in January this year, is part of the Community One Stop for Growth platform. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy was in Montague Wednesday to present local officials $169,000 that will be used to replace a sewer pump station.

“Montague is deeply grateful for this grant, which will enable timely and cost-effective improvements to a critical piece of infrastructure,” said Montague Town Administrator Steven Ellis. “The Airport Industrial Park pump station is essential to maintaining services to several major employers, including a range of commercial enterprises and educational institutions.”

“Throughout the Commonwealth, we see example after example of how small projects can build momentum for transformative development in communities that plan for growth,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are proud to create responsive programming to support municipalities, including here in Montague where sewer improvements will ensure local organizations and institutions can grow and adapt to future demand.”

A total of 16 communities will receive grants ranging from $24,000 to $400,000 which will be used for local projects. Other western Massachusetts communities receiving money are:

  • Cummington, $25,000 – The Town of Cummington will create a redevelopment design plan for reuse of the public owned Community House to provide town planners tools on how to invest capital dollars into the building to maximize efficiency and generate revenue.    
  • Erving, $60,000 – The Town of Erving will review current zoning bylaws to encourage housing options including affordable housing, commercial and industrial development in appropriate areas, and eliminate redundancies and errors. 
  • Orange, $24,000 – The Town of Orange will complete a certified housing production plan to proactive plan and develop affordable housing in locations that are well intentioned and reflect the community’s needs.  
  • Whately, $30,000 – The Town of Whately will hire a consultant to complete and submit to DHCD a Housing Production Plan for certification.
  • Williamstown, $400,000 – The Town of Williamstown will create specification and schematic designs for redesign phase of a Fire Station built in 1950 to improve and meet standards and guidelines as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Aire Force Fire Station Design Guide to improve the station’s response time, deployment, and rescue process. 

“The Rural and Small Town Development Fund is an important new resource for our smaller communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This program is the result of a collaborative process with our colleagues in the Legislature, and I congratulate the communities receiving funding today to pursue local projects.”

“Municipalities of every size and in every region of the Commonwealth share similar goals on initiatives to support vibrant communities, affordable housing and healthy neighborhoods,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to support our small towns and rural communities with today’s funding and responsive programming to address local needs.”

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