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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Passenger Rail

10/4/2010



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Massachusetts issues South Coast Rail community grants, investment order


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Last week, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced the latest round of technical assistance grant awards to 15 communities to plan for train stations and economic development related to the South Coast rail project. He also signed an executive order that directs state agencies to  make investments that prioritize development and preserve land around the corridor.

During the past two years, the commonwealth has issued $300,000 annually in technical assistance grants that have helped communities plan for development around stations, create housing plans and draft zoning changes to maximize smart-growth potential for the commuter-rail service. This year’s winners: Acushnet, Berkley, Easton, Fall River, Freetown, New Bedford, North Attleboro, Norton, Rehoboth, Rochester, Sharon, Somerset, Stoughton, Taunton and Lakeville.

A South Coast Rail economic development and land use corridor plan released last year estimates the project will stimulate nearly $500 million in new economic activity each year.

Meanwhile, the executive order calls for state investments that support job and home creation near stations and in downtowns, and the permanent protection of the South Coast’s forests, farms and habitat areas. The corridor plan identifies 33 places that are priorities for new job and housing growth, and 72 places that are priorities for the protection of natural lands. State investments affected by the executive order include water, wastewater, transportation, housing and econoic development, and land preservation, as well as the construction and leasing of state facilities.

“The executive order… aligns funds to support smart growth and the technical assistance awards will ensure communities reach their goals for economic development, housing and land protection,” said. Gov. Patrick in a prepared statement.

The South Coast Rail project calls for restoring passenger-rail service from Boston’s South Station to the cities of Fall River and New Bedford.


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