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State Awards $3.2 Million to Prepare Prime Sites for Revitalization

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced $3,184,000 in funding for 10 projects in the fifth annual round of Site Readiness Program awards. These awards provide resources to help municipalities, private-sector businesses, and nonprofit economic-development entities overcome obstacles to developing otherwise prime sites for large-scale industrial and commercial use.

The funding will finance pre-development work including feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, increasing the development potential of nearly 900 acres across the Commonwealth.

“Our administration is committed to helping communities achieve their economic-development goals, and we will continue to work with the public and private sectors to ensure Massachusetts remains a great place to do business,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “The Site Readiness Program addresses both goals by helping local partners advance key sites to shovel-ready status, and we look forward to these awards supporting projects that create jobs and revenue in their communities.”

Four of the projects are based in Western Mass., including:

• The Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corp. will use $804,000 in Site Readiness funds for the abatement and demolition of the disused power plant at Carriage Grove. When cleared, the one-acre site will become a development pad or a parking area to support the development of an adjacent 15-acre industrial district.

• The town of Palmer will use $280,000 in Site Readiness funds to design the replacement of the Church Street Bridge over the Ware River. The bridge provides direct access to the village of Thorndike and is critical to the redevelopment of the Thorndike Energy Mill Complex.

• The Pittsfield Economic Development Authority will use $880,000 in Site Readiness funds to complete the design, environmental permitting, and bid-ready documents for the construction of an internal site roadway, utilities, and stormwater facilities for this 16.5-acre parcel known as Site 9. The funds will be used for engineering and design services as well as crushing existing pavement on the site, which is expected to accommodate 282,000 square feet of industrial uses and open space.

• The town of Southwick will use $105,000 in Site Readiness funds to evaluate the feasibility of extending a road connection between existing industrial areas along Hudson Drive and Sam West Road, thereby creating new development sites for industrial uses. The funds will also be used to study the potential extension of municipal sewer service to the area.

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