Here is a nice rendering of the new J.G. Whittier Bridge shared use walking and biking trail that will link my 3 communities. The overlook will have spectacular views of the Merrimack River.

whittier overlook rev 1

Posted in Amesbury, Transportaion | Comments Off

Amesbury receives Green Communities designation

WEST NEWBURY– Monday, February 10, 2014 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today presented Amesbury, Manchester-by-the-Sea and West Newbury with $453,000 in Green Communities grants to fund local clean energy projects.

These municipalities are now three of the 123 Green Communities across the Commonwealth making smart investments in clean energy,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Community by community, we are protecting our environment, reducing municipal costs and making Massachusetts a clean energy leader.”

“It’s exciting to see these communities count themselves among the leaders taking charge of their clean energy future,” said Secretary Sullivan. “The Patrick Administration continues to support municipalities that are cutting energy use, creating jobs and protecting the environment. Their efforts are critical to the Commonwealth’s clean energy revolution.”

The grants each community received are as follows:

Amesbury                               $173,775
Manchester-by-the-Sea          $138,850
West Newbury                        $140,900

“Massachusetts’ clean energy revolution continues its momentum in large part because of leadership at the local level,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “These communities continue to spread renewable energy and efficiency efforts across our Commonwealth, saving money and energy for their residents and businesses, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Congratulations to Amesbury for earning designation as a Green Community,” said Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives. “This is an opportunity to qualify for state grants to renovate municipal buildings and update equipment to improve energy efficiency and reduce the city’s energy cost.”

“I congratulate Amesbury on joining the innovative Green Communities program,” said Representative Michael A. Costello. “The energy improvements from this grant will help make Amesbury a more efficient community. I look forward to the new LED replacement lighting in the historic downtown that will add brighter illumination and long-term energy savings.”

DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, a result of the Green Communities Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, is funded through auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as well as Alternative Compliance Payments made by electricity suppliers under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years running. This year, Governor Patrick set a new solar goal after reaching the previous goal of 250 megawatts four years early. The Commonwealth now aims to install 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the cleantech industry in Massachusetts.

Green Communities

Posted in Amesbury, Press Releases | Comments Off

Water shuttle, bike trail and roadwork eyed for local area

February 1, 2014

By Angeljean Chiaramida

From: Newburyport Daily News

BOSTON — The House of Representatives has passed a $12 billion Transportation Bond Bill that holds about $14 million for 11 projects in Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury that would improve roads, expand rail trails and study the concept of a Merrimack River water shuttle linking the communities.

According to the office of state Rep. Michael Costello, D-Newburyport, the bill, passed unanimously by the state House of Representatives, offers the chance of obtaining funds for projects that extend to 2019.

The projects come with no promises for it’s still in its early days in the legislative process. From the House, the bond bill heads to the Senate for debate and possible changes before state senators vote on it.

“I am committed to working on transportation investment projects and securing funding for those projects in the transportation bond bill once it is taken up in the Senate,” said Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport.

And, it won’t become law until it’s signed by Gov. Duval Patrick.

The bill includes a commitment of $300 million in Chapter 90, or local aid, funding by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo for local road and bridge repairs for fiscal year 2015, which begins on July 1. According to Costello’s District Director Frederick Lucey, this aspect of the bill would allow communities to start planning for next fiscal year’s projects early.

The 11 local projects are intended to enhance public safety, ease of travel, and encourage economic growth in the three communities, according to Costello’s press release. Three local gateways are targeted, including Market Street in Amesbury, Storey Avenue in Newburyport, and North End Boulevard in Salisbury. The Storey Avenue improvements will follow the “Complete Streets” policy concept enabled in this legislation, ensuring convenient travel and access for all modes of transportation.

The “Complete Street” initiative provides accommodations for walking, cycling, public transportation, private vehicles and freight carriers, according to the press release. Lucey said the idea behind Complete Street is to make the major gateways — such as Storey Avenue — “more welcoming to those who use them.”

The bill holds $1.5 million for the design and construction of Complete Streets improvements on Route 113/Storey Avenue in Newburyport and $1.25 million for the design and reconstruction of the Route 150 historic gateway on Market Street to Main Street in Amesbury.

If passed, this piece of legislation would also focus money on a number of rail trail projects over the next five years, completing the 24-mile Coastal Trails Coalition Network in the three communities.

“Representative Costello has been committed to the rail trail (initiative) since 2004 or 2005,” Lucey said. “This is the final phase to make the trails complete,” Lucey said.

In funding for rail, or recreation, trails, the House version of the bill includes $1.5 million for the Clipper City Rail Trail Phase III link design and construction from Parker Street to the Newburyport MBTA Station; $1.8 million for the Powow River Rail Trail link from Rocky Hill Road to Elm Street in Amesbury, and $1.5 million for the Interstate 95 Ghost Rail Trail underpass connector from Rabbit Road in Salisbury to Elm Street in Amesbury.

Not part of the Interstate 95 widening project, Lucey said, the proposed connector will pursue options to connect the end of Salisbury’s Ghost Trail to Amesbury. Although some of the land along the old railroad bed that passes under I-95 is privately held by members of Amesbury’s Ouellet family, Lucey said no deal has been agreed to utilize that land.

“Everyone is very sensitive to the wishes of Ouellet family,” Lucey said. “But options are also being looked at to put the rail trail on state-owned land in the area. This is a project that would be slated for 2016 or 2017.”

A $75,000 study for the planning for the Merrimack River water shuttle is in the House version of the transportation funding bill in conjunction with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Lucey said the idea being investigated would be part of a future Newburyport inter-modal transportation nexus that would include a garage and bike stands, along with the possibility of a ferry transporting individuals between the communities of Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury.

Lucey said this is not a move to have the state run a water transportation vehicle. It’s expected that a private operator would offer the ferry service, Lucey said. The public money sought in the bond bill would conduct a study to provide guidance from the experts on such an undertaking, he said.

The bill would also spend $700,000 to replace/restore historic ironwork railings on Route 1, at High, Winter, Washington, and Summer Streets in Newburyport. The railings were first installed in 1934, Lucey said, and are nicer than the current standard used by the state Department of Transportation for railings. The money would spotlight the historic nature of the rusty railings, giving MassDOT the ability to provide facsimiles to maintain the feel of the area.

The bill currently carries $4.8 million in funding for Salisbury projects, $3.6 of which is targeted for 2017 to 2019, and would be in junction with the hoped-for revitalization of Salisbury Beach. Some $2.4 million would go for the design and resurface with sidewalks for Route 1A from Beach Road to Route 286, known as North End Boulevard in Salisbury. Another $1.2 million would underwrite a study of drainage issues that plague Beach Road (Route 1A) at County Road, which regularly floods during storms closing the roadway. This money would also pay for the design, permit, and resurfacing of the segment of state highway.

And $1.2 million would offer drainage work and the resurfacing of Route 1, or Bridge Road, from the Gillis Bridge over the Merrimack River to School Street, at the entrance of Salisbury Square.

In addition to other infrastructure projects applicable to Amesbury, the bond bill includes a $1 million for access stairs or ramp and parking to the Interstate 95 Whittier Bridge shared-use path at Carriage Town’s Main Street.

Posted in Newburyport, State House, Transportaion | Comments Off

Local Transportation Projects Funded Through Bond Bill

BOSTON – Eleven local transportation projects have been included in a 5-year, $12 billion transportation bond bill, passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Representative Michael A. Costello announced.

The bill includes a fulfilled commitment of $300 million in Chapter 90 funding by Speaker Robert A. DeLeo for local road and bridge repairs for fiscal year 2015. This will enable cities and towns to commence needed projects early in the construction season.

“This legislation represents a significant investment by the House of Representatives in our transportation infrastructure, and these projects will meaningfully enhance public safety, ease of travel, and economic growth in my communities and the Commonwealth,” said Representative Costello.

In total, $14 million will be directed at projects in Newburyport, Amesbury, and Salisbury. Three local gateways are targeted, including Market Street in Amesbury, Storey Avenue in Newburyport, and North End Boulevard in Salisbury. The Storey Avenue improvements will follow the Complete Streets policy concept enabled in this legislation, ensuring convenient travel and access for all modes of transportation.

In addition, the bill focuses on four Rail Trail projects that complete the 24 mile Coastal Trails Coalition Network in the three communities. 

Below is a list of targeted local projects:

  • $1,500,000 for the design and construction of Complete Streets improvements on Route 113 Storey Avenue Newburyport.
  • $1,500,000 for the Clipper City Rail Trail Phase III link design and construction from Parker Street to the Newburyport MBTA Station Newburyport.
  • $700,000 for replacement or restoration of the historic ironwork railings on Route 1 at High, Winter, Washington, and Summer Streets in Newburyport.
  • $ 75,000 for study and planning for the Merrimack River water shuttle in conjunction with the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the cities of Newburyport and Amesbury, and town of Salisbury.
  • $1,250,000 for the design and reconstruction with streetscape of Route 150 historic gateway on Market Street to Main Street Amesbury.
  • $1,000,000 for access stairs or ramp and parking to the Route 95 Whittier Bridge shared-use path at Main Street in Amesbury.
  • $1,800,000 for the Powow River Rail Trail link from Rocky Hill Road to Elm Street in Amesbury.
  • $1,500,000 for the Route 95 Ghost Rail Trail Route 95 underpass connector from Rabbit Road in Salisbury to Elm Street in Amesbury.
  • $2,400,000 for the design and resurface with sidewalks for Route 1A from Beach Road to Route 286 (North End Boulevard) in Salisbury.
  • $1,200,000 for study of drainage issues, as well as the design, permit, and resurfacing of Route 1A (Beach Road at County Road) in Salisbury.
  • $1,200, 000 for the resurface and drainage work for Route 1 from the Gillis Bridge to School Street in Salisbury.

 

Posted in Press Releases, State House, Transportaion | Comments Off

Maudslay Pond to Receive DCR Partnership Grant

BOSTON – January 23, 2014 – State Representative Michael A. Costello and State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives today announced that the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has awarded the Maudslay State Park Association a total of $16,000 in matching funds for restoration and maintenance of the park’s Flowering Reflection Pond.

“For over 25 years the Maudslay State Park Association has been a dedicated partner with the Commonwealth in ensuring a good visitor experience at Maudslay State Park,” said Representative Costello. “This grant will start Phase 2 of the restoration. I have always said Maudslay State Park is one the great jewels of the Merrimack Valley and this grant will help it to shine even brighter. I look forward to seeing the Pond returned to its historic significance.”

“As Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, I know how important the maintenance and enhancement of our parks is to my constituents and those in surrounding areas. This money is essential in keeping Maudslay clean for the enjoyment of everyone,” said Senator O’Connor Ives.

A total of $24,000 will go towards the Pond restoration efforts. In addition to the $16,000 from DCR, the Maudslay State Park Association has raised $8,000. Included within the scope of the planned project is erosion mitigation and sedimentation control. Plantings, new trees, basins, and diversions will be put in place to see that the health of the Pond is maintained.

“I thank Maudslay State Park Association President Terry Berns as well as Pond Restoration Chair and Treasurer Marlys Edwards for their commitment to this project,” Costello stated further. “I congratulate them on a successful application.”

DCR’s Partnerships Matching Funds Program accepts applications from park advocacy groups, civic and community organizations, institutions, businesses, non-state government partners and individuals with an interest in improving the Commonwealth’s natural, cultural and recreational resources. DCR considers applications that will provide a match of non-state funds for capital projects in state parks. DCR assigns a project manager to each approved project who will oversee implementation of the project in close consultation with the partners making the contributions.

For information on DCR’s Partnership Matching Funds Program, please visit http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/get-involved/partnerships/.

For information on the Maudslay State Park Association, please visit http://www.maudslayassociation.org/.

Maudslay Pond 715 2012 REV

Posted in Newburyport, Press Releases | Comments Off

Anna Jaques Hospital Receives $333,500 Award

BOSTON – January 8, 2014 – State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives and State Representative Michael A. Costello today announced that the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) has awarded Anna Jaques Hospital a total of $333,500 to enhance the delivery of efficient, effective health care in the Greater Newburyport community.

The HPC, an independent state agency created through the Legislature’s landmark health care cost containment law, Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012, is making approximately $10 million available to 28 community hospitals across the Commonwealth through Phase 1 of the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation (CHART) Investment Program.

“This is an important investment in our community hospitals for the delivery of quality, accessible healthcare,” said Senator O’Connor Ives.

“I’m happy that the Commonwealth continues to support this critical resource for my communities,” said Representative Costello. “Anna Jaques serves 165,000 people every year and this grant will allow for cost-effective web-based case management and coordination, which will significantly improve the healthcare experience. I congratulate the Anna Jaques Hospital administrative team on a strong application.”

CHART, a four-year program funded by an industry assessment of select providers and insurers, makes phased investments to promote care coordination, integration, and delivery transformations; advance electronic health records adoption andinformation exchange among providers; increase alternative payment methods and accountable care organizations; andenhance patient safety, access to behavioral health services, and coordination between hospitals and community-based providers andorganizations.

On January 8, 2014, the HPC approved the following award:

Anna Jaques Hospital

$333,500

This investment will support training of directors and select clinical leaders in change management, implement a web-based case management tool to better communicate with post-acute providers, and implementation of a tool to support enhanced monitoring of quality of care.

 

 

“Today’s awards show that the HPC is committed to partnering with Senator O’Connor Ives, Representative Costello and Anna Jaques Hospital to achieve the Commonwealth’s cost containment and quality improvement goals,” said David Seltz, Executive Director of the HPC. “We look forward to continuing this work until we build a more coordinated and affordable health care system in all corners of Massachusetts.”

Over the next six months, the HPC will support and monitor the implementation activities of CHART hospitals. Comprehensive evaluation and accountability are strong elements of the CHART Investment Program in order to assess these new initiatives’ impacts on health care cost and quality. This engagement will strengthen future phases of the CHART Program, including Phase 2 expected in spring 2014.

Posted in Newburyport, Press Releases | Comments Off

Clipper City Trail to Receive Public Arts Installations

BOSTON – The City of Newburyport will receive a $50,000 state grant to install sculptures and artistic murals along the Clipper City Rail Trail, State Representative Michael A. Costello announced today.

The grant was made by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as part of its Recreational Trails Grant Program. The City will provide $120,000 in matching funds for the project.

“The Clipper City Rail Trail will link Newburyport from north to south and from east to west,” said Representative Costello. “These public arts installations and amenities will enhance the public space and make it a more attractive destination. I look forward to the South End Joppa Link in the Coastal Trails network being built.”

“The opening of Phase I of our Rail Trail in 2010 has been enthusiastically received by City residents and the greater region. We look forward to the completion of Phase II,” said Newburyport Mayor Donna D. Holaday. “The DCR grant will support arts and amenities on the trail that create unique and beautiful public spaces. My congratulations to our Senior Project Manager Geordie Vining for his leadership and dedication to this project.”

Recreational Trails Grants are awarded for the construction and stewardship of hiking trails, bikeways, snowmobile trails, and an array of other trails throughout the Commonwealth. This can include improvements to long-distance trails and rail trail development, ATV trail maintenance, and creation or maintenance of municipal trails.

“The development of recreational trails is central to our core mission,” said DCR Commissioner Jack Murray. “These projects will connect cities and towns across the Commonwealth and will help ensure that Massachusetts continues to be a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts.”

Construction of the Joppa Link of the Rail Trail will begin in 2015.

Nbpt Joppa Trail DCR Grant Rev 2013

Posted in Newburyport, Press Releases, Transportaion | Comments Off

Newburyport Named Newest Cultural District

1452007_664518513568503_1565284789_nThe Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Board has voted unanimously to approve a new state-designated cultural district in downtown Newburyport – the fifth cultural district on the North Shore and the nineteenth statewide.

The Newburyport Cultural District is positioned at the center of a historic and thriving waterfront community. Located just 37 miles north of Boston and easily accessible by commuter rail, Newburyport is often cited by preservationists as an example of how to maintain a city’s architecture and heritage, while remaining functional and livable.

“When the Legislature created the Cultural Districts Initiative, I suspect it had a community like Newburyport in mind,” said MCC Executive Director Anita Walker. “The downtown provides all the experiences you want in a New England port city—beautiful, historic architecture, shopping and galleries, restaurants, and lots of arts activities for children and adults. Congratulations to the Mayor, the Chamber of Commerce, and all the partners for creating a district that offers so much to visitors.”

A cultural district is a compact, walkable area of a community with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. MCC’s Cultural Districts Initiative grew out of an economic stimulus bill passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2010. It is designed to help communities attract artists and cultural enterprises, encourage business and job growth, expand tourism, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural development.

“This new cultural district is an important tool for the city, cultural organizations and local businesses to market and identify Newburyport as a unique destination for visitors, artists and business development. I aim to work with more municipalities in our district on additional Cultural District designations to strengthen the Merrimack Valley’s status as a tourism hub,” said State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, co-Chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.

“I supported the economic development legislation that created Cultural District Initiative because I knew that Newburyport would be perfectly positioned to take advantage of it,” added State Representative Michael A. Costello of Newburyport. “Visitors to our downtown—whether from up the street or across the country—bring activity and investment that strengthens our local economy. The Newburyport Cultural District is another tool to help develop this sector. I want to thank the staff at Mass Cultural Council for its valuable assistance and guidance during the process. ”

Anchored by a vibrant waterfront, the district features a highly functional urban design, unique cultural destinations, and numerous arts-oriented retail businesses. Sustained by a stable local economy and propelled by active leadership and engaged citizenry, Newburyport is well positioned to embrace and support this new designation.

The Newburyport Cultural District will have signage, an online profile on the Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism and MCC websites, and other amenities. The Cultural Districts Initiative builds upon one of the great strengths of Massachusetts: the distinctiveness and authenticity of its communities. Cultural Districts help cities and towns identify, support, and promote their unique identity and sense of place.

“Arts and culture are key elements to the health and vitality of downtown Newburyport,” said Mayor Donna Holaday, who helped to lead the Cultural District effort. “This designation will help us develop this sector so that residents and visitors alike can benefit from all that our beautiful city has to offer.”

A full list of state designated cultural districts along with descriptions for each can be accessed here.
About the Massachusetts Cultural Council The Massachusetts Cultural Council promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

MCC is a state agency committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities across the Commonwealth. It pursues this mission through a combination of grants, services and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, communities and artists. MCC receives an annual appropriation from the state Legislature and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources. Learn more at www.massculturalcouncil.org.

Posted in Newburyport, Press Releases | Comments Off

Costello brings flood insurance concerns to FEMA

From Newburyport Daily News

By Dyke Hendrickson, Staff Writer
Newburyport Daily News

NEWBURYPORT — StateCostello and Markey resize and federal officials from coastal communities around the country are launching a drive to delay implementation of federal legislation that could reportedly result in increases in home insurance rates in flood zone areas ten-fold.

State Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport, last week traveled to Washington, D.C. to express concern that the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 will push premiums to levels that are unaffordable to many homeowners and business operators.

This legislation was designed to raise more money to offset billion-dollar payouts caused by major storms like Superstorm Sandy.

Though details on actual rates have not been finalized, communities leaders and homeowners in Essex County and around the country are bracing for increases that have been called “catastrophic.”

Costello is chairman of the the joint Committee on Financial Services. He said that he and Joseph Murphy, state insurance commissioner, last week met with U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, and in a separate meeting, with top officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Costello said that FEMA leaders were “very sympathetic” to the plight of property owners in flood zones, and Costello indicated these officials initially weren’t fully aware of the potential impact of the Biggert-Waters Act.

“They now are aware of the sticker shock of the increases, and the problems it could have with real estate sales and people selling their homes,” Costello said. “But they have their marching orders from the Biggert-Waters Act.”

Federal officials say the Biggert-Waters is evolving in at least two parts, the mapping of flood zones and the determination of the insurance rates.

The mapping has essentially been done. State leaders say the maps can be appealed, however.

Rates have not been finalized, though rumors of huge increases have permeated the real estate and property-owning communities.

Federal and state leaders from coastal states around the country are urging a delay in implementation.

Many are backing the proposed Menendez-Isakson Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, according to Costello and others. A key element of this legislation calls for a delay in the implementation of rate increases for up to four years so that FEMA can complete an affordability study mandated by the Biggert-Waters Act.

Such a delay would also be in place “until the administrator of FEMA certifies that the agency has fully adopted a modernized risk-based approach to analyzing flood risk” for waterside properties.

Lawmakers who find fault with the Biggert-Waters Act say that part of that legislation called for a study to determine the fairness and/or affordability of implementing new (and higher) rates.

But such a study has not been done, according to those who oppose immediate implementation.

“A delay would be good because some homeowners are facing huge increases,” said Joe Story, who chairs the Newbury Board of Selectmen. “It’s not just the big homes on the ocean. Many regular houses in our community near the Parker River or other places could see huge hikes in insurance.”

Story said he talked to one homeowner whose annual insurance bill could rise from $480 to $10,000.

Residents who own their homes outright presumably have the choice about getting new insurance, but local banking executives say that banks holding mortgages on affected land will be insisting on the purchase of new policies.

Banks that hold loans for homes and businesses erected beneath a flood level height of 13 feet are reviewing their portfolios with the possibility of having to raise rates, according to Newbury officials.

Costello said that FEMA leaders are interested in working with communities to review flood-zone maps, and to receive input on rates and risks.

The state representative said that he will be suggesting this cooperative approach to the mayors of Newburyport and Amesbury.

The Biggert-Waters Bill was spearheaded by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill.

The Menendez-Isakson bill, the measure to slow the impact of pending legislation, was sponsored by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga, and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

Posted in Amesbury, Newburyport, Salisbury | Comments Off

Patrick announces $1.5 million in funding for Lower Millyard project

By Carol Finegold
Wicked Local Amesbury

Gov. Deval Patrick today announced over $1.5 million in additional funding for Amesbury’s Lower Millyard project. The money comes from the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program.

“Growth requires investment, and investments like these to support housing and business development will help catalyze growth in Amesbury and beyond,” said Patrick. “If we want to expand opportunity in our commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well.”

This newest investment builds upon the partnership between the Patrick Administration and the city. In 2011, Amesbury received a $1.2 million grant through the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program, also to support the Lower Millyard project, a multi-year, multi-agency program to upgrade and improve Elm Street. The completed project will mitigate traffic and safety-related issues caused by the future construction and expansion of the site’s facilities.

This public infrastructure project is part of an overall effort to spur private investment and development in the Lower Millyard. The 1.6-acre project consists of three parcels of land located at 25, 27, and 31 Water St. in Amesbury’s Lower Millyard, which are adjacent to downtown. The city plans to develop the site into an urban, riverfront park known as Heritage Park. The development will include pedestrian bridge connections to the newly constructed Nicolas Costello Transportation Center and Senior Center, the downtown area, and the rail trail. The final project will also include approximately 289 new units of housing, 30,000 square feet of office space and a multi-story 10,500-square-foot commercial property.

The 2011 MassWorks grant also helped leverage $2.5 million the city previously spent on infrastructure improvements to support development of the site, including water line improvements, sewer upgrades and drainage work.

The city also committed $215,000 to fund design costs associated with the MassWorks project. In June 2013, the MassWorks grant was increased by $200,000 to cover remediation costs at the 25 Water St. parcel. The latest grant brings the total investment to more than $2.8 million over the last two years.

“We remain committed to working with local communities, like Amesbury, to help identify opportunities to maximize growth and spur regional development,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki. “I look forward to our ongoing partnership with city officials and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote continued growth throughout the community and region.”

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program is the consolidation of six capital budget programs, giving communities a single entry point and one set of requirements for state public infrastructure grants. The consolidation has improved efficiencies and streamlined the process, increased access for municipalities of all sizes and enhanced state-regional-local partnerships around economic development and housing projects.

“I sincerely appreciate Gov. Patrick personally delivering the great news about the Lower Millyard economic development project today,” said Rep. Michael A. Costello. “His administration has been a strong partner for so many initiatives in my district. Mayor Thatcher W. Kezer has worked tirelessly on this centerpiece for economic investment in the city of Amesbury. I was happy to vote on the creation of the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, and we’re seeing real and meaningful results for communities across the commonwealth.”

“Gov. Patrick and his administration have been invaluable partners in the Lower Millyard redevelopment effort,” said Mayor Thatcher Kezer III. “The commonwealth’s continued investment coupled with local funding has bolstered the city’s vision for dynamic growth and sustained economic redevelopment in the heart of downtown Amesbury.”thatcher_web

Posted in Press Releases | Comments Off