U.S. Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, along with U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan, Jim McGovern and Richard Neal are touting successful efforts to secure federal funding for a number of community-based projects across the state in December’s end-of-year omnibus spending package.
In a press release, the lawmakers said they had secured over $20 million for 16 projects across the state, with more than $7 million directed toward projects in Fitchburg, Leominster and Gardner. Markey said the projects existed “at the forefront” of efforts to promote “health, environmental, and economic justice across our Commonwealth.”
“These projects will use federal dollars to add beds and improve systems at regional hospital campuses, promote educational resources and programming for immigrant communities, and enhance critical water infrastructure for our cities and towns in Central Massachusetts,” he said.
Funding in Fitchburg included $450,000 for HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital’s Fitchburg Campus to acquire and install a digital breast tomosynthesis that will expand access to life-saving screenings. Additionally, $2 million was dedicated to Fitchburg State University’s Theater Block Revitalization Project to build a learning laboratory and black box theater to strengthen the city’s cultural and educational infrastructure.
Community Health Connections was awarded $2.5 million. CHC is a federally qualified health center that has served the low-income, underinsured, uninsured, publicly housed and homeless populations of Fitchburg, Leominster and other nearby communities for more than 20 years. The funds will be used to establish an 8,000-square-foot facility to meet the growing need of mental and behavioral health services for children, including outpatient therapy services, psychiatry, in-school therapy, therapeutic case management, peer mentoring and parenting classes.
North Star of Leominster was awarded $1 million to develop 15 units of affordable housing, while an additional $1 million was awarded to the city of Gardner to replace a 141-year-old water transmission main line and maintain the public health and safety of residents.
Trahan celebrated the work of the quintet and said “delivering for our state and our communities” has always been her “top priority.” Warren stressed the importance of these projects to the region while McGovern and Neal said these projects “will [affect] real change” and “undoubtedly go a long way” in their respective communities.
“I’m proud of all that the Massachusetts delegation has achieved together in securing funding that will make the Commonwealth an even better place to call home,” Trahan said.
“Federal investments like these will help fortify our aging water infrastructure, provide critical resources for immigrants and veterans, and advance health equity across this region,” Warren said. “I’ll keep pushing to ensure the federal government is a strong partner to communities across the Commonwealth.”
“These projects will effect real change, like expanding patient bed access and making our health system more equitable,” McGovern said in the press release. “For me, public service has always been about listening to and helping people, and after working with so many community leaders to move these projects forward, I’m proud we are delivering results and I look forward to seeing the impact these investments have on the Second District.”
“The more than $20 million in federal funding secured for central Massachusetts will undoubtedly go a long way in making many of these long-awaited projects a reality,” Neal said. “Congress has the fundamental responsibility to oversee the expenditure of the public purse, and I firmly believe that these projects are worthwhile investments for the people of central Massachusetts.”