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State Sweetens Grant for Square Project

Dedham would receive an additional $400,000 if Town Meeting approves funding for the Dedham Square Improvement Project.

With just one week before the fate is turned over to Town Meeting members, the state has sweetened its deal: if Town Meeting approves, they'll kick-in another $400,000.

The Housing and Economic Development Office announced Monday that it would increase Dedham's .

"I am pleased to confirm that if the Town of Dedham votes to authorize $4.8 million in bond funds for this project this month," Secretary Greg Bialecki said in a press release, "I will approve an additional $400,000 in MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grant funds."

The announcement comes one week before Town Meeting is set to vote on authorization of $6.1 million for safety and aesthetic improvements to Dedham Square. The state would then reimburse the town $1.7 million as part of a MassWorks grant.

"By successfully pursuing these grant opportunities, we are helping to reduce the local cost of public improvements while furthering our partnership with the Commonwealth," Town Administrator William Keegan said in a statement.

The proejct has been called "mid-sized" and therefore allowed to go to Town Meeting for authorization as a bonded capital project, rather than go on a ballot.

Town officials have said that the project needs to go out to bid by this year in order to qualify for the money. They've told Town Meeting members that if it doesn't receive approval on May 16, Dedham will lose this grant and could be in jeopardy of not winning future grants.

"We are hopeful that Town Meeting supports the town’s portion of the funding for this project," said Board of Selectman chairman James MacDonald in the press release.

CartMan May 10, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Nice Artist rendition, it looks like there are more cars(5) in the background than in the rendition, one car and 2 people on bicycles, bigger trees and some flower pots, all that for only a "mid-sized" $6,100,000.00 price. I wonder if it will get approved??
Amy Haelsen May 10, 2011 at 03:28 AM
It is a comprehensive pedestrian safety and traffic project that will modernize the traffic signal at the intersection of High/Washington Street, install a new signal at Eastern Ave./High Street (the Mocha Java corner), shorten the excessively long crosswalks, increase pedestrian visibility with new bump-outs, make the Square handicapped accessible (which it currently is not) and add 39 parking spaces for public use. We have $1.7 million in state funding to help underwrite this project, nearly 1/3 of the entire cost. If we don't secure local funding by September, we must return the grant to the state. It has been over 50 years since there has been any significant public investment in Dedham Square. The time to do this project is now. Please support the passage of the Dedham Square Improvement Project at town meeting.
Eileen Kelly May 10, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Anyone who doesn't believe that this is a Safety project ought to try and cross High St. in the Square. Yesterday I walked through the square and narrowly missed getting hit by a person who obviously didn't see me in the middle of the crosswalk. I then crossed Route 1 towards Memorial Park and realized I felt completely safe. We cannot ingnore how dangerous it is to be a pedestrian in the square anymore. If we want to attract and keep quality businesses then we need to make the square a place we can all shop and enjoy. This project has been well thought out and will help when the time comes to go for the Grant for East Dedham improvements in the Fall. Making the Square a safer place makes sense for us all

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