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Lt. Governor Murray Announces $250,000 in Funding for Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment Planning in Gardner

October 11, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Lauren Jones, Lt. Governor's Office, 617-725-4000
Trevor Beauregard, City of Gardner, 978-630-4074

As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Brownfields Support Team (BST) Initiative, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined MassDevelopment, state, federal, and local officials to announce $250,000 in support of brownfields clean up and redevelopment of the City of Gardner's Mill Street Corridor.

“One of the many ways our administration partners with cities and towns to support economic development is through our Brownfields Support Team Initiative, which has proven effective in addressing complex contaminated brownfields sites,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “Over the last year, we have experienced significant progress by bringing together state, local, and federal agencies to assess the needs of the Mill Street Corridor project in Gardner, and we look forward to reaching more milestones as we work together to revitalize this brownfields site.”

Through the BST, participating state, federal, and local agencies have formed a partnership with the City of Gardner to identify opportunities for technical and financial assistance for the Mill Street Corridor. Today’s funding includes a $50,000 Technical Assistance Grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to prepare a Redevelopment Action Plan for the City’s Mill Street Corridor. MassDevelopment will match the grant with $35,000, and the Gardner Redevelopment Authority (GRA) will add $15,000. Additionally, MassDevelopment has also approved a $150,000 grant to the City for assessment and cleanup at the former S. Bent Mill manufacturing site.

“Gardner has been particularly hard hit by the most recent economic downturn. The green technology industry provides solid jobs at livable wages. I applaud the City of Gardner for taking this step forward, and I commend the agencies working together to redevelop the South Gardner area,” said Congressman John Olver.

“The City of Gardner has taken great strides in planning for site cleanup and future development at the S. Bent site, and this grant will assist the ongoing work,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “MassDevelopment is pleased to work with federal, state, and local partners to redevelop the Mill Street Corridor successfully.”

In September 2010, Lt. Governor Murray selected the Mill Street Corridor as part of the BST Initiative’s Round II, which helped lead the City purchase of the 10-acre former Garbose site and establish a $1 million Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The BST has solidified the City's partnership with state and federal agencies and has lead to this exciting opportunity to finalize planning for the Mill Street Corridor,” said Gardner Mayor Mark Hawke. “We are one step closer to making this redevelopment opportunity a reality.”

“It wasn’t a tough decision to match $15,000 to the other $85,000 to make this project work,” said Edward Lepkowski, Chairman of the Gardner Redevelopment Authority (GRA). “The Action Plan will map out the process for making the City-owned former Garbose Metal and S. Bent sites pad-ready and available for future private development over the next couple years.”

“I am so pleased that Mayor Hawke and Economic Development team have focused redevelopment efforts in this area of Gardner. I am thankful that Lieutenant Governor Murray and the Administration have recognized the economic impact that their investment will have in the City. This project will bring much needed jobs and further investment into the region,” said State Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan.

The City of Gardner and the GRA began their efforts in 2007, when the City received the 27-acre former S. Bent site through tax title. The City has spent more than $1 million in local, state, and federal funds on environmental remediation and demolition at the site.

Work on the Redevelopment Action Plan will begin in late 2011 and continue through mid-2012. The City will take action on other parts of the redevelopment as funds become available, expecting to complete the plan by the end of 2013.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed 277 projects generating investment of nearly $3.7 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create 10,291 jobs (2,507 permanent and 7,784 construction) and 1,350 housing units (336 new and 1,014 rehab).