State gives Gardner $263K to fund economic improvement projects

GARDNER ― In an effort to boost the local economy, the city is planning for a third industrial business park with the help of a state grant.

The city was awarded $263,000 from the state’s One Stop local economic grant program to fund several improvement projects designed to stimulate the local economy.

The largest portion of the funds is a $150,000 grant that will be used to determine if a parcel of land on the south side of Route 140 between Pearl and Matthew streets site is a feasible location for an industrial park.

The city plans to use the money to do building and marketing analyses.

The city of Gardner will soon see a third industrial park developing in the community. The city hopes the new park will simulate the local economy and create more jobs for the Gardner residents.
The city’s current two parks are East Gardner Industrial Park at Betty Spring Road and the Summit Industrial Park at Pearl St. Together the parks are home to 14 companies.

Michael Gerry, Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce president, said he would welcome a new business park.

“From the economic advantages it is a boon to residents in the area for employment opportunities,” he said. “Once the companies come in and even during the construction process, there will be jobs and then the second big point is the tax base. If we get help to increase the tax base, and bring more revenue into the city, that’s another absolute plus.”

The project is at the early stages. Plans to hire a consultant have been on hold because the city faced some unexpected expenses, said Community Planning and Development Director Trevor Beauregard.

“We are at the initial steps before we actually proceed with the park, if everything comes up positive then the next step is actually acquiring the properties,” Beauregard said. “Next steps are identifying other funding sources to actually bring in the infrastructure to start the construction of the business park such as roadways, sewer, water to make the property developable for local businesses or big businesses to relocate in the city.”

The city’s Planning Department has not chosen a firm to conduct the analyses, but Beauregard said he thinks the city will go with a previous consultant, Fuss & O’Neill, Inc. engineering services.

Beauregard estimated all of the analyses and the required steps before construction starts should be finished by late spring or early summer.

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