Northern Border Regional Commission awards grants to 15 NH projects

State receives $2.8 million for economic development projects in four counties


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The Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) has awarded more than $2.8 million in federal funds to 15 projects that will boost community development projects in New Hampshire.

Created by the U.S. Congress in 2008, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership whose mission is to help alleviate economic distress and help the region grow throughout 36 northern counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

The program was singled out for elimination in President Trump’s budget proposal, but New Hampshire delegation’s encouraged the protection of the NBRC, which was funded $15 million for Fiscal Year 2018, according to a press release from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Congresswomen Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01).

Last month, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster — to extend authorization of the NBRC for five years and make additional reforms to encourage business retention and expansion in distressed communities of the Northern Forest region — passed the Senate, as part of the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. Kuster, who was recently named as a member of the Farm Bill Conference Committee, has committed to advocating for inclusion of the NBRC Reauthorization Act in the Farm Bill.

New Hampshire counties eligible for the Economic and Infrastructure Development Investment Program are Carroll, Coos, Grafton and Sullivan.

“Today’s announced Northern Borders Regional Commission grants are great news for Granite State communities,” said Governor Chris Sununu in a press release. “These grants are an important tool for local communities to promote opportunity and further strengthen their economic and community development efforts.”

The 15 projects enhance the efforts communities and organizations are advancing to strengthen their local economies, said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs.

“Funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission is increasingly important for the towns and cities that are working hard to build communities where people want to live and work,” he said. 

Awards were made for the following projects:

The Bridge House: $68,330 to create six units of service-enriched affordable housing that include job training and employment opportunities in Plymouth;

Town of Bristol: $132,157 for a 3-mile, middle mile fiber optic cable telecommunication infrastructure project that will provide high speed internet, voice, data, video, and network backup for cellular and wireless needs;

Coos County Family Health Services: $250,000 for a 2,300-square-foot clinical space addition to expand behavioral health and substance abuse treatment in Berlin;

Coos Economic Development Corp.: $250,000 to Whitefield’s King Square revitalization project, targeting four buildings around the town common for refurbishment;

Dartmouth Regional Technology Center: $250,000 for the purchase and installation of a laboratory-grade air handling system at the DRTC business incubator in Lebanon;

Town of Enfield: $135,397 for the Mascoma Lakeside Park Pavilion, providing an indoor/outdoor community gathering space and enhanced recreation opportunities;

G.A.L.A Community Center: $250,000 for renovations needed to establish a makerspace and business incubator in Wolfeboro;

Laconia Area Community Land Trust: $310,000 for basic public infrastructure for the Harriman Hill Homes development project in Wolfeboro;

Littleton Industrial Development Corp.: $119,500 for site development design and permitting of 42 acres the Town of Littleton donated to expand the industrial park;

Mascoma Community Healthcare Inc.: $154,275 to provide radiography, physical therapy and pharmacy equipment, which is needed to expand an existing community health center, which serves 1,600 patients and will create nine jobs in Canaan; 

Mount Washington Valley Trails Association/Town of Conway: $200,000 for the North Conway Recreation Path, a 2.9 mile infrastructure project for non-motorized, off-road transportation and recreation;

Taproot Farm and Environmental Education Center: $156,260 for the retention and expansion of a Lancaster marketplace supporting 88 local farmers and artists/craftsmen;

Weeks Medical Center: $250,000 for installation of an 85Hp biomass boiler in center’s new patient care center in Lancaster;

White Mountains Community College: $240,220 for a training program developed through a collaboration between the college and regional industries to address critical skills gap impeding business retention and expansion;

White Mountain Science: $95,550 for  its STEM-Works program, a region-wide STEM workforce training program with a focus on leadership, communications, STEM-tech skills and entrepreneurship.

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