State Awards $1.5 Million MassWorks Grant to Orleans

Allows for reconstruction of Main Street, Support for Orleans Village Center District...
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash announces a $1.5 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant award to Orleans. (Courtesy of Secretary Ash)

ORLEANS – Today, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash joined Orleans Town Administrator John Kelly, local officials and community leaders to announce a $1.5 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant award to Orleans for the reconstruction of Main Street between Route 6A and Route 28. The project will build upon current work being done by MassDOT at both intersections, and allow for improvements in the Orleans Village Center District for cars, bikes and pedestrians.

This award will allow Orleans to completely rebuild Main Street between two state highways at the heart of downtown. In addition to the roadway reconstruction, the Town of Orleans will add streetscape amenities such as streetlamps, benches, public art, landscaping and sidewalk repairs. 

“Our Administration is committed to programs like MassWorks, which impact not only local infrastructure, but also play a critical role in strengthening businesses and the communities that surround them,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “MassWorks is one of many administration initiatives that enable local communities to tap into private investment and accelerate local economic growth across the Commonwealth.”  

“Main Streets are vital to our communities and this MassWorks award will allow for Orleans to continue to invest in their downtown strategy,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “The Governor and I are pleased to support critical upgrades to Main Street and complement existing roadwork currently being undertaken by MassDOT. We are committed to continuing to invest in public infrastructure our cities and towns need to create sustainable growth.”

“Through the flexibility of MassWorks, we have been able to drive over two million square feet of new commercial space, made possible by listening to individual communities’ needs and by responding with individualized programs that benefit many stakeholders, such as this project in Orleans, which is critical to the town’s ability to support local and regional tourism,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash.  “Our office saw another competitive round of MassWorks for 2018 and we are happy to keep the momentum going across the Commonwealth.”

“The Town of Orleans has carefully planned for the economic future of its downtown.  Intersections have been improved, sewers are in the final design stages, and zoning has been updated to allow needed housing growth.  Property owners are preparing to make significant investments in new construction. We are delighted to partner with the MassWorks Program to reconstruct Main Street; it will make the downtown attractive, functional and economically vibrant,” said Orleans Board of Selectmen Chairman Alan McClennen.

“The future of downtown Orleans is bright, with sewering on the way, newly installed underground utility infrastructure, and now a $1.5 million MassWorks grant for a complete rebuild of Main Street,” said Senator Julian Cyr. “The hub of the Lower Cape will be more walkable, bikeable, safe, and thriving with this infusion of state funding. I am pleased we in the Legislature reauthorized the MassWorks program in 2018, and I commend the Baker/Polito administration and Secretary Ash for releasing these funds to Orleans.”

“Thank you to Secretary Ash and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development for their attention and care to the importance of the Orleans Main Street Reconstruction Project,” said Representative Sarah K. Peake. “Small businesses located on Main Street are vital to the local economy and the heart of the Orleans Village Center District. The revitalization of this area will provide a unique public space for locals and tourists alike to shop, dine, and appreciate the historical importance of the Orleans Village Center District.”

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $275 million in MassWorks grants to support 138 projects in 106 communities. MassWorks funding has been critical to the addition of over 2 million square feet of commercial/retail space, approximately 10,000 full and part time jobs, more than 7,000 immediate housing units, at least 7,000 square feet of new public space and 1,200 new hotel rooms.

Through the 2018 MassWorks round, the Administration will award more than $82 million in new grants for 40 projects that intend to leverage $2.9 billion in private investment, and drive an anticipated 4,000 units of new housing and more than 9,000 full time jobs. 37 communities across the Commonwealth will benefit from this round’s investments.

Governor Baker signed economic development legislation in August that includes substantial new funding for municipalities, including another $250 million for MassWorks awards. The legislation builds on the Baker-Polito Administration’s work to partner with communities to catalyze economic development and create new opportunities for residents across the Commonwealth, including the 2016 Job Creation and Workforce Development act, which authorized $1 billion to support economic development efforts across the state, including $500 million authorization for MassWorks Infrastructure Program, enhanced tools and the introduction of new strategies for job-readiness efforts.

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