North Country gets development boost with NBRC grants
Twelve New Hampshire projects will receive $1.55 million in funding
Twelve New Hampshire projects will receive grant funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission to help spur economic and community development in the North Country.
Created in 2008, the NBRC is a federal-state partnership that promotes economic and community development within the most distressed counties of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.
Governor Maggie Hassan and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced the grant awards on Tuesday, as part of the 2016 NBRC Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment Awards.
Totaling $1.55 million, the grants will be awarded to the New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development, Town of Northumberland, Town of Littleton, Grafton Regional Development Corporation, New England Ski Museum, Town of Ashland Water & Sewer Department, River Valley Community College, City of Berlin, University of New Hampshire, Soldier On, Tri-County CAP for Friendship House and Friends of Wentworth Park. Additionally, Eastern Slope Airport in Fryeburg, Maine, will receive $250,000.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission grants provide an important boost to economic and community development in the North Country, and today’s announcement is exciting news that will help support the success of people and businesses across the region,” Governor Hassan said. “Each of these projects will promote job creation and economic development by addressing critical priorities, including increasing access to substance misuse services, updating our long-term economic development strategy, combating veterans homelessness, strengthening our infrastructure and supporting our travel and tourism industry. I thank our partners across the region and in the federal government for their collaboration, and I look forward to continue working together to keep New Hampshire's economy moving in the right direction.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for jobs and the economy in northern New Hampshire,” said Senator Shaheen. “Each of these projects will help revitalize the North County economy by addressing important infrastructure needs and supporting small business growth. I’m glad to see the NBRC prioritizing development in North Country communities and businesses, building on the region’s strengths and expanding opportunity in the Granite State.”
Details regarding use of the grants is as follows:
The New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development will receive $42,000 that will support the creation of a five-year economic development strategy for New Hampshire that will align economic development resources across agencies and organizations to address the State’s most pressing economic development needs.
The Town of Northumberland will receive $200,000 for the repurposing of the former Groveton Mill site as an industrial park with room for approximately nine buildings (two of which currently exist). The grant will provide funding to construct critical water and sewer infrastructure at the mill site.
The Town of Littleton will receive $110,000 to construct one mile of multi-modal trail connecting an existing regional system within the River District Revitalization project.
The Grafton Regional Development Corporation will receive $50,000 for improvements at the Enterprise Center in Plymouth, including the completion of an office suite that will assist the Center to incubate and build more startup businesses.
The New England Ski Museum will receive $100,000 for the renovation the former North Conway Community Center into a branch of the New England Ski Museum. Interior renovations and installation of exhibits will result in new visitation estimated at 38,000 visitors per year, enhanced cultural offerings in North Conway and improvement of the non-profit museum.
The Town of Ashland Water & Sewer Department will receive $250,000 to help fund a new septage receiving station that will increase septage intake into the existing wastewater plant by 30%. This will enable the town to generate additional revenue, which in turn will be used to improve water and sewer infrastructure to revitalize Ashland’s struggling mill area.
River Valley Community College will receive $50,000 to for renovations to the Lebanon Academic Center in downtown Lebanon.
The City of Berlin will receive $250,000 for the construction of the first phase of a multi-use trail and river walk adjacent to the Androscoggin River. The project will provide improved access for a variety of recreational uses that will serve to create more tourism opportunities in Berlin as the community works to provide more destination activities to spur economic development.
The University of New Hampshire will receive $145,000 to continue the efforts of the NH Broadband Mapping &Planning Program to accommodate mapping and analysis in northern New Hampshire, collect local data, extend speed test promotional efforts, and deliver three technical assistance workshops.
Solider On will receive $250,000 to assist in the creation of a 52 units of affordable, service enriched, permanent housing for veterans.
The Tri-County CAP for Friendship House will receive $60,500 to expand the Friendship House, a residential program that services low-income individuals recovering from substance use disorders. Friendship House will help transition individuals into self-sufficiency.
Friends of Wentworth Park will receive $42,500 for the relocation and completion of a newly restored historic wooden covered bridge over the Baker River Falls. The bridge will restore multimodal forms of transportation (pedestrian, OHRV, bicycle) which will be assist the community’s tourism activities.
The Eastern Slope Airport in Fryeburg, Maine, will receive $250,000 for the construction of a new aircraft hangar to attract new seasonal visitors and outside investors. Although in Maine, New Hampshire’s State partners were impressed by the project’s heavy economic impact on the Mt. Washington Valley region of New Hampshire. This is a multi-state application in which the Eastern Slope Airport also applied for $250,000 in NBRC funds from Maine’s allotment. The applicant may receive up to a total of $500,000 from the NBRC.