December 09, 2019

Warren, Markey, Kennedy, Trahan Announce Economic Development Grants for Projects in Merrimack Valley, Taunton

Grants Will Support Merrimack Valley Data Portal Project, Decas School Expansion

Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA-04) and Lori Trahan (D-MA-03), announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded over $68,000 in federal grants to the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) and Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD). The grants were awarded through the EDA's Local Technical Assistance grant program. 

The EDA's awards include:
  • $37,500 to MVPC to support the development of a comprehensive online data clearinghouse for the Merrimack Valley region. This data application will assist the region with ongoing recovery efforts resulting from gas explosions that devastated the communities of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover.
  • $31,150 to SRPEDD to fund a feasibility study to analyze future expansion and development alternatives for the Decas School site in Taunton. 
"These grants are great news for residents in the Merrimack Valley and the City of Taunton," said Senator Warren. "This new funding will give the Merrimack Valley one more tool to get back on its feet after last year's gas explosions, help develop our local schools, and grow the regional economy."

"The Merrimack Valley and the City of Taunton will benefit from these important and targeted economic development grants, providing valuable support for local initiatives," said Senator Markey. "As the residents and businesses of Merrimack Valley continue to rebuild after last year's natural gas disaster, this additional support will help make them whole. In Taunton, this funding will help support students and their families while growing the larger economy."

"With this federal funding, both the Merrimack Valley and City of Taunton can continue to implement their vision for economic development and growth for their community's families and businesses," said Congressman Kennedy. "As the Merrimack Valley recovers from the gas explosions and Taunton considers creative uses of the Decas School site, our federal government must be an engaged partner and these grants are a welcome step in that process."

"One of the lessons we learned in the aftermath of the Merrimack Valley gas explosions was that a lack of coordinated data can slow a recovery. The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission is now leading us in preparedness by building a database of critical information that will help sustain and improve the recovery process now and should another crisis arise," said Congresswoman Trahan. "The information that will be collected can easily be used by all of our Merrimack Valley cities and towns in bolstering economic development efforts and planning. I applaud the MVPC for its work and creating this important tool, and for their work to secure this grant funding."

More information on the EDA's grant and investment process can be found here.