Governor Deval Patrick's Five Year Capital Investment Plan FY2013 - FY2017

Governor's Capital Investment Plan FY2013

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Closely aligned with Governor Patrick’s priorities and initiatives, the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was enacted to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery; to assist those most impacted by the recession; to provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health; to invest in transportation, environmental protection and other infrastructure that will provide long-term benefits; and to stabilize state and local government budgets.

The Recovery Act has given Massachusetts the ability to fund $7.5 billion in awards for projects throughout the Commonwealth. ARRA contributed to Governor Patrick’s job creation priority by putting 96,841 individuals to work on ARRA-funded projects since February 17, 2009. While significant ARRA funds have been critical in supporting state and local operating budgets, preserving healthcare, education and other vital safety net services, the Commonwealth also targeted ARRA funds for infrastructure investments which supplemented the Commonwealth’s fiscal years 2009 through 2012 capital budgets. Committed ARRA capital program funds for the Commonwealth included:

  • Housing-related ARRA funds went to cleaning up properties in troubled neighborhoods, helping create new affordable housing, making homes more energy-efficient and supporting community development projects. Massachusetts received commitments of over $291 million in housing and community development ARRA funding. The Recovery Act has weatherized over 20,000 homes, exceeding its initial goal of weatherizing 17,000 homes by the end of the program. Along with weatherizing homes, the program has provided over 3,000 people with ARRA-funded paychecks. ARRA helped kick start a number of stalled housing projects.  In Wareham, for example, ARRA created an affordable housing project with 49 units that helped low-income families and created construction jobs for the economy. The Recovery Act also allowed the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership to house 307 families, divert 35 families from homelessness and provide prevention resources to 92 families. ARRA funding has had a major impact on creating and maintaining housing across the Commonwealth.
  • Transportation-related federal stimulus funds were directed toward "shovel-ready" state-wide road and bridge projects across the Commonwealth. Massachusetts received a commitment of $437.9 million over four years for transportation projects from the Recovery Act. $59.6 million was designated for transit-related projects, with the balance being used for road and bridge projects. One of the transit projects is the John W. Oliver Transit Center in Greenfield, which is now main transit center for the entirety of the Franklin County area. The facility is also a new Amtrak Vermonter high speed train station, and is the first public zero-net-energy transit building in the country. Additionally, 287 people have been paid through an ARRA-funded paycheck on this project which will be the hub of Franklin County’s transportation program for years to come. In southeastern Massachusetts, the Fall River – Freetown Interchange is one of the largest, landmark ARRA projects. The project created a new interchange between exits 8 and 9 on Route 24 in Freetown and has helped reduce congestion for travelers. The project had 240 workers who received an ARRA paycheck and was completed on schedule in less than two years thanks to MassDOT’s expedited design/build approach to construction.
  • Energy-related ARRA funds were designated to increase energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and consumption and reduce reliance on imported energy. Massachusetts has managed $55 million of ARRA funds under the State Energy Program. Projects that received funding included energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind projects located at state office buildings and higher education facilities. Funding also went to projects such as the Boston Housing Authority’s Armory Street Elderly/Disabled Housing Development which has created the largest solar hot water heating installations in the state. This 96-panel installation will cut the development’s hot water costs by 40% or roughly $13,000 a year. Additionally, funding went to the Castle Square Apartment Development, an ambitious project of a 500-unit affordable housing development with the aim of drastically reducing utilities bills. The project created 200 jobs, reduced overall energy consumption by 72% and decreased the annual utility costs for the entire development by $227,578.
  • Massachusetts received $177.8 million under the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By distributing the funds to cities and towns as low-interest loans with 9% principal forgiveness, Massachusetts was able to leverage its State Revolving Fund allocation to finance $770 million worth of construction in the Commonwealth – more waterworks construction than any other state in the nation. Through this assistance the Pittsfield Wastewater Treatment plant was able to fund the installation of a solar photovoltaic array, a combined heat and power system, an aeration system upgrade and the replacement of the plant’s bar-rack filtration system. This project has reduced the plant’s energy costs by about 35% to 50%, saving the plant hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
  • The Commonwealth was awarded $45.4 million in ARRA funding to expand broadband access in Western and North-Central Massachusetts. The Patrick-Murray Administration worked closely with federal and state elected leaders to help secure this significant federal award and dedicate Commonwealth bond funds, which will support long term economic growth, improve health care and education and strengthen public safety throughout the region. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute worked with Governor Patrick to create a 1,300-mile internet backbone network that will expand broadband to Western and North-Central Massachusetts, and provide direct connections to over 1,300 schools, hospitals, libraries and public safety facilities.

In addition to directly funding capital projects, ARRA also provided for the use of new or expanded tax credit bonds as alternative means of financing projects that are typically financed with traditional tax-exempt bonds issued by state and local governments.  The Commonwealth created robust programs under the Recovery Zone Bonds, Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, Qualified School Construction Bonds and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds programs and selectively used these programs when they provided a clear economic advantage over traditional tax-exempt bond financings. 

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