Greater New Bedford Sees $2.3 Million in State Seaport Grants
NEW BEDFORD — The Greater New Bedford area — including the towns of Dartmouth and Fairhaven — is set to receive more than $2.3 million in state Seaport Economic Council grants for projects relating to coastal access and the maritime industry.
According to an announcement from the outgoing Baker-Polito administration on Tuesday, New Bedford itself will see more than $1.2 million in funding for maritime projects.
These include $880,000 for the New Bedford Port Authority for design, engineering, and permitting to eventually replace Homer's Wharf, as well as a $320,000 grant for the port authority to split with the town of Fairhaven to update the municipal harbor plan.
It also includes $50,000 in funding for a feasibility study on expanding the Community Boating Center of New Bedford.
Fairhaven is also set to receive a $1 million grant for the final phase of the 10-year effort to reconstruct Union Wharf to modern standards.
On the other side of the city, Dartmouth will be getting $40,000 for a feasibility study on dredging Padanaram Harbor, along with $32,000 for an economic impact assessment of the harbor.
Further afield, Fall River is receiving $640,822 for the next phase of its city pier development project, which will see one of four proposed floating dock systems installed at the pier on the Taunton River.
And the town of Marion will be getting $300,000 towards constructing a new maritime center/Harbormaster's office elevated outside the flood zone.
This year, the administration handed out more than $11 million in Seaport Economic Council grants for 24 projects to benefit the maritime industry, improve access to waterfront areas, advance dredging projects, and mitigate climate change.
Funding was granted to 20 coastal communities and approved at a Dec. 13 Seaport Economic Council meeting.
"It has been an honor to serve as chair of the Seaport Economic Council, a role in which I’ve been able to learn from, partner with, and advance the work of local leaders in communities up and down our coast," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
"At our final meeting today we are thrilled to invest over $11 million for projects aimed at protecting and improving our waterfronts."
Governor Charlie Baker thanked Polito and the council members "for their tireless work advancing Massachusetts’ coastal communities."
"Since taking office our administration has been proud to award over $87 million through the Seaport Economic Council to support 190 projects that promote economic development, recreation, and climate resiliency along our shoreline," he noted.
State Senator Mark Montigny — whose district includes New Bedford and environs — commented, "These investments will provide a significant boost to New Bedford and the Southcoast region, and I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their ongoing support."
Meanwhile State Rep. Bill Straus — who represents Fairhaven and Marion on Beacon Hill — said, "I have been and will continue to be a supporter of robust state funding for the Seaport program, which recognizes that maintenance of our coastal infrastructure is of regional and statewide significance."
"This is a highly competitive program and Lieutenant Governor Polito and the Council members have done excellent work over the years prioritizing these capital expenditures," Straus added.
The Seaport Economic Council was established in 2015 to support economic development and climate change resiliency in coastal communities.
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