BOSTON – This week the Massachusetts Senate passed S.2625- An Act Relative to Economic Development in the Commonwealth. This legislation authorizes the issuance of over $600,000,000 in bonds to fund a variety of projects across the Commonwealth aimed at economic development. Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth) included several amendments in the bill that will fund local projects across the Plymouth and Barnstable District.
Local communities have identified infrastructure development as one of the keys to attracting economic investment in our region. With that in mind, Senator deMacedo sought to include several amendments to provide $12.2 million in bond authorizations for projects in Bourne, Kingston, Pembroke, and Plymouth.
“I am excited to have this funding included in today’s legislation,” said Senator deMacedo. “From working with my communities I know that they are always looking for ways to support smart and sustainable growth for housing and businesses. These funds will allow them to improve local infrastructure and provide the opportunity for new housing and investment in our communities.”
The recently passed legislation includes language sponsored by Senator deMacedo for $2.5 million in funds to allow the Buzzards Bay Water District to provide additional capacity and improve Head of the Bay Road in Buzzards Bay and South Plymouth. This funding will support the purchase of a new tank and additional piping that would give the water district more capacity during times of peak demand. This will not only ease the burden on the current system but allow new housing and businesses to hook up to the expanded system thereby encouraging development in the area.
Senator deMacedo included an amendment for $3 million to be allocated to Pembroke for the development of buildings in the downtown area. This will eventually include upgrades to the Community Center, Town Green, Council on Aging, and Library. This funding will provide a basis for Pembroke to reinvest in the heart of the community.
In Kingston, $3 million was included to upgrade the water distribution system to service hotel and housing units whose zoning was recently approved by Town Meeting. This will greatly expand the water distribution capacity for the southern part of town which is expected to attract investment and create job opportunities and new housing.
As part of its efforts to revitalize South Plymouth, the Town of Plymouth worked with Senator deMacedo on an amendment for $3 million to fund improvements to Hedges Pond Road. This funding will begin the process of clearing up uncertainty related to the current zoning restrictions on town owned parcels in this area and allow for future development of a Cedarville Enterprise District. This clarity will allow the town to work with developers bring new housing and job opportunities to the area.
The economic development bond bill also includes language to assist the region’s fishing industry, an integral part of communities in the Plymouth and Barnstable District. Senator deMacedo filed language to establish a task force to study the effect of Cape Cod Bay closures on the fishing industry. This task force, which will come at no financial burden to the tax payers, will study and develop recommendations on the impact of annual closures of Cape Cod Bay to protect the right whale population on the Massachusetts fishing industry.
“I appreciate and respect the work of the scientists and environmentalists who are protecting our valuable right whale population,” said Senator deMacedo. “However, these closures have severely impacted the ability of our fishermen to earn a living. We need to determine the impact these closures are having and identify ways to assist our fishermen during those times when they cannot fish so that they can continue to provide for their families.”
Senator deMacedo included $500,000 in this bill that will be allocated to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Falmouth to allow them to use autonomous vehicle technologies to detect and study harmful algal blooms that impact our fishermen and shellfishermen.
As a bond authorization bill, the funds included are subject to future bond authorization and appropriation by the Governor’s office. Upon passage, the authorizations will be available for ten years for the municipalities to access. The bill will now be reconciled with a version passed by the House of Representatives before being sent to the Governor for his final approval.