PROVIDENCE — Joined by state and local officials, Gov. Dan McKee on May 19 announced over $600,000 in site readiness awards to 16 projects in 11 communities across Rhode Island. The awards will fund municipal technical assistance and site-specific planning improvements to catalyze economic development projects in these communities.

“The investments announced today will help to stimulate the construction of housing, increase economic development in advanced industries, and revamp infrastructure throughout Rhode Island,” said Gov. McKee. “We are pleased to be partnering with municipalities on this important work and excited to see the results of these projects.”

“In the context of the region and nation, Rhode Island’s economic recovery has been strong to date,” said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. “This site readiness program will help to sustain and advance it. The initiative will do so by helping prepare needed sites for development across 11 cities and towns in our state. We thank our municipal partners and the Commerce team for working collaboratively to get these important investments under way.”

The Site Readiness program partners Rhode Island Commerce with municipalities and/or private parties to spur development activity throughout the state. Site-readiness awards were made in two categories: site specific improvements and municipal assistance.

Site specific improvements included site planning and pre-development activities and project improvements. Projects intended to catalyze growth in advanced industry clusters, regardless of project size, were also be prioritized.

Municipal Assistance awards are for the development of projects that will spur development and growth in support of the municipality’s development goals. Funding can be used to streamline current land-use development and permitting processes; training/education for planning/zoning board members, building officials and inspectors; assistance with writing zoning ordinances, updating comprehensive plans; strategic planning support, marketing support, and for matching funds/support for federal grants.

Of the 11 municipalities awarded, two were in northern Rhode Island:

  • Town of Burrillville — $13,250 to assist the Town of Burrillville with planning to extend sewer and water infrastructure to service two industrially zoned parcels owned by the Town.
  • City of Woonsocket — $50,000 to purchase and install a 150KW backup generator and install commercial facade improvements to the Commercial Block Building on Woonsocket’s historic Main Street. A higher education facility will be located in the building and help drive traffic to downtown Woonsocket.

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