By Micheal from New Bedford Guide
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Today, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) and Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral (D-New Bedford) were notified by officials within the Baker Administration that two key projects in New Bedford will receive significant state capital funds through the annual Capital Investment Plan.
Under the plan, $2.25 million is allocated to complete the long-awaited refrigeration project at State Pier in fiscal year 2018 to ensure its facilities can properly handle and store perishable cargo such as clementine imports. Senator Montigny and Rep. Cabral have long fought for refrigeration at State Pier to ensure that economic activity can take place year-round.
The plan also allocates $700,000 to continue the multi-year restoration of the Schooner Ernestina Morrissey, which is currently undergoing a multi-year rehabilitation in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Officials also indicated that the project will receive $1 million in fiscal year 2019 and $3 million in fiscal year 2020 to complete the vessel’s restoration as well as to complete dock facility repairs for the schooner when it returns to New Bedford State Pier.
“These capital projects are solid investments in our City’s economy and its multi-cultural identity,” explained Rep. Cabral. “The economic benefits that will come as a result of this refrigeration project will be substantial, since State Pier is an economic driver in its current state. The Schooner Ernestina Morrissey serves a number of purposes for our community. Its restoration will symbolize the City’s commitment to preserving our past while investing in our future.”
“State Pier is the next step in an economic vision for New Bedford that first began with the restoration of the Star Store building. This year we were successful in ensuring new management at the pier along with commitments for long-overdue refrigeration that will help boost cargo activity and create good, local jobs. Today’s pledge to complete the restoration of the Ernestina along with its berthing space on our waterfront will solidify our city as the most unique working waterfront in region, beginning the mixed-use vision that I led in the Senate for almost 10 years. At the same time, funding committed to the YWCA’s Under One Roof Project will provide invaluable support to local women and children seeking greater stability and opportunity in their lives.”
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, also awarded $1.8 million to the YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts for the organization’s “Under One Roof” project. The project will renovate a building that currently houses the YWCA’s existing office space to create 8 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless or incarcerated women. In addition, the project will create a child care facility and consolidate the YWCA’s administrative, program, and residential activities into one state-of-the-art facility.
“This additional funding for the Under One Roof project highlights our collective commitment to the neediest among us. The YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts does an incredible job implementing this mission,” said Rep. Cabral.