NH receives $3M for economic development
4 projects in six counties receive Northern Border Regional Commission funds
The Northern Border Regional Commission has awarded New Hampshire more than $3.7 million in federal grants for 14 projects geared toward community restoration and development.
The NBRC was created by Congress in 2008 as part of a group of commissions across the country focused on supporting regional and community economic development approaches that alleviate economic distress and position the area for economic growth.
Previously, there were only four counties in New Hampshire that were eligible to receive funding from the NBRC: Grafton, Coos, Carroll and Sullivan. However, with the inclusion of a provision secured by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, and Congresswoman Annie Kuster, D-NH, in last year’s farm bill, Belknap and Cheshire counties have become eligible for funding.
Last year, the NBRC was a target for elimination in President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, yet Sen. Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster secured the reauthorization of the NBRC for five years. The organization was appropriated $20 million in fiscal year 2019 legislation that was signed into law in September 2018.
“The NBRC has a proven track record of supporting rural development projects that are having a positive impact on communities in northern parts of New Hampshire,” said Congresswoman Kuster, a member of the Farm Bill Conference Committee and House Agricultural Committee. “I’ve long fought to strengthen this program and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to increase funding for the NBRC and expand its reach so that more Granite State communities can benefit.”
“As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, ensuring the Northern Border Regional Commission is reauthorized and funded has been one of my top priorities in Congress, and expanding its reach to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County was of the utmost importance to further spur economic growth throughout the state,” said Sen. Shaheen. “This year’s allocation of funds is a testament to the significant economic opportunities in New Hampshire and the role the NBRC can play in empowering Granite State agencies and businesses.”
When asked if any particular projects stood out to her as exemplary ways of using the grant, Christine Frost, the program director for the NBRC in New Hampshire, said, “I think they’re all obviously worthy and should be funded. If we had more funding, we would fund more.”
Awards were given to the following projects:
Town of Lincoln: $500,000 to improve fire flow to increase commercial development and fire protection for existing commercial buildings by making modifications to an existing booster pump and getting a new 234,000-gallon storage tank.
TwinState MakerSpaces: $164,800 to install a rooftop solar power generator at Claremont MakerSpace in Claremont.
Town of Swanzey: $500,000 to reconstruct .95 miles of road, replace/contrast .45 miles of sidewalk, and improve/construct 2,100 linear feet of closed drainage on South Winchester, West and Swanzey streets in West Swanzey village.
Meridan Village Water District: $376,000 to install a Rapid Infiltration Basin System at the Wastewater Treatment Facility.
Colebrook Community Child Care: $158,642 to renovate an existing child care facility, provide teacher training and create new programs.
Community College System of NH: $199,843 to address critical technical skills/service gaps to retain and expand regional business through an Accredited Test Facility for welders and computers and technical skills training.
Belknap Mill Society: $250,000 to renovate/restore interior parts of the Belknap Mill.
Town of Newport: $354,183 to replace the water intake pipe system at Gilmond Pond, Newport’s primary water supply.
Lakes Region Community College: $189,825 for the renovation of 4,685 square feet of space to create two
teaching laboratories and a dining room facility to provide on-campus educational training opportunities for those interested in the hospitality and tourism industries.
Nansen Ski Club: $250,000 to redevelop the historic Nansen ski jump for the purpose of holding US Nordic sanctioned competitions and the development of a North Country youth jumping program.
Turning Points Network: $250,000 to renovate 231 Broadway Street in Claremont to serve as the main office for Turning Points Network.
Town of Groton: $250,000 to repair one mile of road starting at the beginning of Sculptured Rocks Road and ending after the Sculptured Rocks State Park.
Town of Carroll: $250,000 for the engineering and construction of a new, safer, 90-degree angle intersection at School Street with Route 302.
Southwest Regional Planning Commission: $75,000 to provide planning and technical assistance to multiplicities, businesses and other stakeholders to adopt policies and implement strategies that address economic development changes.