Trahan Announces Strong Local Support for MA-03 Project Funding Passed by House
Washington, July 30, 2021
LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) announced overwhelming local support for the $7,778,838 in federal funding in the House-passed government appropriations packages for projects in the Third District.
“Working with these incredible organizations, we’ve successfully secured the inclusion of key federal investments that will improve our district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, shorten our road to recovery, and make our communities even better places to call home. I look forward to continuing our work together, including by partnering with our Senators to get these critical provisions across the finish line so these projects can start spending these critical funds,” said Congresswoman Trahan.
This week, the House advanced a package of appropriations bills that make great progress in investing in American jobs, opportunity, and working Families – and doing so starting at the local level. In consultation with local governments and nonprofit organizations, Trahan secured the inclusion of several provisions totaling nearly $8 million that will fund specific projects throughout the Third District. The inclusion of these projects was applauded by many in the district.
The appropriations package included $2,000,000 for the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s efforts to expand its primary health care services at 700 Essex Street in Lawrence by creating an additional 4,000 square feet of new space and renovating existing space and equipment. The addition of the new space will also allow for expanded access to pharmacy services and create better patient flow throughout the clinic.
“Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) is a leader in primary care delivery, responsible for providing best in class health care in a culturally sensitive and competent way that addresses the issues of health equity and social determinants of health throughout our region. This Community Project Funding support secured by Congresswoman Trahan will be transformational for our Health Center in support of that mission and will change the lives of so many of our patients from the city of Lawrence. We are truly grateful for her commitment to our Health Center staff and patients and the communities we collectively serve,” said Guy Fish, MD, GLFHC President and Chief Executive Officer.
“We could not ask for a better partner than the Congresswoman and her team in meeting the healthcare needs of our patients. This $2.0 million in Community Project Funding support they have helped to secure through her leadership does just that and will allow us to complete much needed renovations and capital improvements to our 700 Essex Street site, one of our busiest clinics in the city. The primary focus of the project also includes expanding patient access to primary care, behavioral health, and pharmacy services for over 10,000 patients on an annual basis,” said Rich Napolitano, GLFHC Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer.
The legislation also allocated $1,650,000 to support the establishment of the Middlesex County Restoration Center, which would provide several components of needed crisis and urgent care for individuals with behavioral health conditions that could serve as an alternative and more appropriate treatment destination than being arrested and jailed/hospitalized. Services would include triage and assessment, crisis stabilization beds for up to 24 hours, sober support beds for up to 24 hours, crisis respite beds for up to 2 weeks, a multi-service center with housing navigation, financial services navigation, legal services navigation, and related services, as well as case management and aftercare planning. This pilot Restoration Center in Middlesex County could serve as a model for a statewide network of behavioral health crisis and urgent care services and wrap around social supports to divert people from unnecessary arrest and hospitalization.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Trahan for fighting for this critical funding to help establish the Middlesex County Restoration Center. Each day, members of law enforcement are called upon to respond to situations in which individuals are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. Establishing this center will provide law enforcement in Middlesex County a greater opportunity to divert individuals away from the criminal justice system and into treatment – improving outcomes for individuals, their families and all those who live and work in our communities,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian.
“Congresswoman Trahan has clearly seen the extensive work and planning that has gone into identifying a difficult issue facing the Commonwealth and drawing on well-established best practices to develop solutions for Middlesex County and the Commonwealth. Her support is so critical to moving into the next phase, which would be piloting a Restoration Center model that will reduce arrest and hospitalization for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. I am excited to work with her on obtaining this critical funding to make these needed services a reality,” said Danna E. Mauch, PhD; President and CEO of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health.
The government funding bills also included $1,000,000 to support Entrepreneurship for All’s – otherwise known as EforAll – “inclusive entrepreneurship" approach, including supporting the organization’s Small Business Accelerator; Deep Dive Businesses Webinars; Peer to Peer support; Mentorship for startup and existing businesses; Digital Business Survival Bootcamp; Technical Assistance for startup and existing businesses; and small grants. These programs provide critical assistance to individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities statewide, and help yield more sources of income and uplift families out of poverty across Massachusetts.
“For the past ten years, EforAll has been on a mission to help under-represented individuals in the state of Massachusetts get the training and support they need to start and grow their own business, including the 3rd district where we launched our very first program Through our free, one year English and Spanish language Business Accelerator programs featuring hands-on business training and dedicated mentors, we have been able to help well over 700 businesses launch; 72% of which were women-owned and 70% BIPOC owned. In 2020, these businesses generated over $43M in revenue and provide 1,329 local jobs,” said David Parker, CEO of Entrepreneurship for All. “Congresswoman Trahan has worked so tirelessly to help bring more entrepreneurial opportunities to the people who need it the most, and we are proud of her ongoing support of programs like EforAll. The federal funding that she just helped EforAll secure will help us support even more under-represented, aspiring business owners in the state of MA who need our help more than ever due to the pandemic.”
$750,000 was appropriated specifically for Making Opportunity Count, Inc.’s construction of a new, state-of-the-art early education center in Fitchburg to help fill the affordable child care need identified by the organization during its December 2020 community needs assessment. The new facility will offer services to as many as 60 children and families, including classrooms, behavioral health services, an outdoor space and playground, and nutritious food.
“We're grateful for this partnership that allows us to support the child care needs for families in our community. Congresswoman Trahan's advocacy and commitment to early education has been tremendous to our work and strengthening our community. We want children to thrive and we want parents to be able to focus on their own education and workforce goals. The Congresswoman's investment in high quality childcare is an investment in a lifetime of opportunities for families,” said Making Opportunity Count Executive Director Kevin Reed.
The appropriations package also included $750,000 for the Town of Stow to continue efforts to extend the Assabet River Trail from its current terminus in Maynard through portions of Stow. Today, Track Road functions as a public access dirt road along the northern border of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge before transitioning to an unimproved trail as it approaches its terminus at Sudbury Road. Construction of an improved multi-use path along Track Road will provide regional recreation and transportation benefits. Improvements to Track Road will also make the current gravel road accessible to a wider range of users through paving, signage, and street markings.
“The Assabet River Rail Trail has been a work in progress for more than two decades. As planned, the trail will connect the five towns of Acton, Maynard, Stow, Hudson, and Marlborough with a 12.5 mile off road trail. Sections in Hudson and Marlborough were built and opened in the mid-2000’s, and sections in Acton and Maynard, with a connection to the South Acton MBTA Commuter Rail station, were opened in 2018. The remaining gap in the trail system is situated almost entirely within the Town of Stow. This $750,000 supported and submitted by Congresswoman Trahan would support the efforts to extend this system providing regional recreation and transportation benefits. Being a small community, funding opportunities are paramount to these larger type projects that exceed our budgetary capacity and would take years to bring to fruition. We are extremely grateful that the Congresswoman selected Stow and our project as one of the nine projects she brought forward,” Denise M. Dembkoski, Stow Town Administrator.
For the City of Lowell, $750,000 was included to help invest in LeLacheur Baseball Park, a community staple for the past half-century, including roof repairs, bleacher replacement, and upgrades to the concourse and existing visitor amenities. This project is projected to have significant positive economic development impacts from baseball fans visiting Lowell's downtown.
“The Community Project Funding secured by Congresswoman Trahan for improvements to LeLacheur Park will be critical to the City of Lowell as we continue to work actively to prepare the ballpark for the return of baseball in the years ahead,” said Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue. “LeLachuer Park is among Lowell’s most important cultural assets, and we are grateful for Congresswoman’s unwavering support of the ongoing effort to enhance and modernize the facility.”
The legislation appropriated $500,000 for the University of Massachusetts, Lowell’s River Hawk Scholars Academy, which provides critically important resources to its first-generation, first-year students, supporting their retention, sense of belonging, academic success and career readiness. The program currently offers a Peer Leader mentoring program, academic skill-building workshops, study sessions, faculty and professional mentoring opportunities, leadership training, scholarships, financial support workshops, emergency needs funding, and social and informational events. This funding will help expand its student supports by offering a Summer Bridge program for incoming first-year students, extending the program to include sophomore-year support, and offering a Pathways to Employment program for juniors and seniors.
“This funding will allow UMass Lowell to grow its River Hawk Scholars Academy, which provides academic and other services to enhance educational, campus and community experiences for the university’s first-generation college students, who represent 41 percent of our undergraduates. As a first-generation college student myself, I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to expand the horizons of hundreds of UMass Lowell students through this program and sincerely thank U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan for her continued advocacy and support,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney.
The government funding legislation also provided $352,000 for the Merrimack River Watershed Council to support projects focused on providing clean water in four highly urbanized and contaminated segments of the Merrimack River. The funding will specifically support one year of bacteria and nutrient hot spot investigations, four EPA watershed-based plans, and the designing of appropriate green infrastructure to remediate relevant impairments of bacteria and nutrient pollution in the Merrimack and Spicket Rivers. The MRWC will employ water quality monitoring, technical watershed modeling, and green stormwater infrastructure design.
“As the fourth largest watershed in New England, the Merrimack is an invaluable asset to the health, economy and environment of our Commonwealth. Through the persistent advocacy of Congresswoman Lori Trahan and her support of this Community Funding Project, we are taking a stand for the public health of the 600,000 residents of the watershed who receive their drinking water from the river, in addition to the millions of residents and visitors who enjoy the waters for recreation. As a result of this work, there will be less water pollution in the drinking water source of Lawrence, Methuen, and Lowell. Management of the public health risks of water pollution will be better understood by learning exactly where pollution concentrations are the most dangerous. Public confidence in the capacity of local advocates to make tangible improvements to water quality, will increase. Public trust in tap water will strengthen and less residents will feel pressure to buy bottled water, which is a costly household expense,” said Matthew Thorne, Executive Director of the Merrimack River Watershed Council.
The appropriations bill also allocated $26,838 for the United Way of Tri County to purchase and install generators, one each at WHEAT Community Connections in Clinton and Marlborough Community Cupboard in Marlborough. The generators will ensure that the food pantries are able to keep their food supplies preserved in the event of power outages. With thousands of pounds of food in refrigerators and freezers ready for distribution each week, and supply chains that have been impacted by COVID-19, losing this food would be a detriment to people who desperately need food assistance as they struggle to make ends meet.
“All of us at the United Way of Tri-County are truly grateful for the funding we are receiving from Congresswoman Trahan in support of our food security programs throughout the district. Feeding the hungry is central to a decent quality of life for every family and these funds will help us deliver during these very difficult times,” said Paul Mina, President & CEO of the United Way Tri-County.
The government funding legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.