U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today with Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that New Hampshire agencies and organizations have been awarded $6,800,000 from the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) for various projects that invest in economic and community development. This is $2.2 million more for New Hampshire compared to last year’s funding from the NBRC. Earlier this month, Shaheen announced that she helped secure $40 million for the NBRC in Senate Democrats’ proposal for government funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2023 that was recently released by the committee and will next be considered by the full Senate. This marks a $5 million increase above the FY 2022 funding level and the highest the program has ever been funded.
The NBRC provides federal support throughout northern and western New Hampshire through grants that spur economic and community development in rural communities. Shaheen has led efforts in Congress that support and invest in the NBRC, and included her bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and expand the NBRC’s reach in the Farm Bill that was signed into law in 2018. With support from Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), the legislation expanded the NBRC to include Cheshire County and communities in Belknap County. Shaheen has also worked to include language to ensure portions of NBRC funds be directed to assist rural communities affected by past mill closures, as well as support new markets and the infrastructure needs of the forest products industry. Shaheen previously led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers, including the NH Congressional Delegation, calling for the inclusion of dedicated funding for the NBRC in COVID-19 relief legislation. Language Shaheen secured in the FY2022 funding bill provided $4 million for the NBRC to address the needs of rural communities impacted by forest product plant closures. The bipartisan infrastructure bill that Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate and that was signed into law last year also provided a direct appropriation of $150 million to the NBRC to remain available until expended. Shaheen and Hassan have also introduced legislation to reauthorize the NBRC for 10 years and expand its programs to allow for investments in childcare, health care and affordable housing.
“The Northern Border Regional Commission is a vital engine of economic growth in rural communities across New Hampshire. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce record funding for the NBRC this year, which will further empower the North Country with the tools to thrive. From supporting local businesses to boosting local tourism opportunities and expanding access to high-speed internet, these projects will make a real difference in the livelihoods of Granite Staters,” said Senator Shaheen. “Ensuring resources are delivered for the NBRC to continue its important work has always been a top priority for me, and this year was no exception – I’m excited to see these projects soon take off.”
“New Hampshire’s border and rural communities are vital to our state’s economic success and way of life,” saidSenator Hassan. “I’m proud to have helped secure funds from the Northern Border Regional Commission to address the unique needs of rural New Hampshire. These funds will help develop new trails and outdoor recreation opportunities, secure high-speed internet access for families and small businesses, update our water infrastructure, and bolster economic and workforce opportunities. I will keep working to secure federal resources that help rural New Hampshire communities grow and thrive.”
“The Northern Border Regional Commission creates opportunities for robust investments in our communities and has been instrumental in spurring economic development in the North Country and throughout rural regions of our state,” said Rep. Kuster. “I’m thrilled that the NBRC grants we are announcing today include the most funding New Hampshire has ever received through this vital program. This ground-breaking funding heading to our region will fund more than a dozen projects to bolster our local economies through workforce development, increasing tourism opportunities, and more. I will continue supporting the NBRC and working to ensure our rural New Hampshire communities have the resources they need to thrive.”
“These critical funds will have far-reaching effects across so many communities in New Hampshire,” said Rep. Pappas. “From supporting our small businesses to investing in water infrastructure, these awards will spur economic growth and improve quality of life for Granite Staters. I will never stop fighting to support projects like this to boost economic growth, expand job opportunities, and invest in our future.”
A list of the New Hampshire projects awarded funding through the NBRC is available below.
Replacement of sewer line inside and outside of the facility. The investment will allow continued expansion of this rural critical access hospital and build in long term financial stability.
Nansen Ski Club
Installation of an on-site snow-making system and an exterior staircase. This investment represents the final step of the revitalization of this historic, competition-level ski jump.This will enable high level events to be scheduled brining competitors and fans to the area.
Mountain Top Music Center
Investment in Majestic Theatre and Café in Conway with equipment and site improvements including a sound system and stage lighting.
Waumbec Methna Snowmobile Club
Purchase of a trail groomer and Mogul Master Drag to improve grooming operations and associated economic/tourism benefits of approximately 100+ miles of snowmobile trails in the Jefferson area.
City of Laconia
Extension of the existing multi-use WOW bike trail in Laconia, which is a portion of the "Opechee Loop."The WOW trail connects Laconia and Weirs along a scenic route, allowing a connection that avoids growing vehicle traffic on the road.
Town of Gorham
New trail hub within walking distance of the downtown commercial district, featuring a natural viewshed, canoe/kayak launch, information and interactive kiosks, bike racks, bike repair station, and ADA-compliant restrooms.This investment takes advantage of a rapidly developing trail network for ATV use, hiking along the Appalachian Trail and mountain biking.
Presidential Range Riders Snowmobile Club
Purchase of a trail groomer and mogul master drag to maintain/increase tourism in the greater Berlin/Gorham area connecting to Maine trails.
Tri-Town Bike Friendly Community Initiative
Establish a comprehensive, year-round, diverse bicycling destination. Project will provide safe, accessible cycling, increase number of visitors and enhance economic opportunities for area businesses.This project incorporates 3 existing trail systems: Littleton, Franconia, Bethlehem, Profile Safe Routes to School trails and safe road and gravel routes.
Northern Forest Center
Strategic Mountain Bike Trail Development in growing network of destination mountain bike trails and will expand the trail networks in NH. Through the JFC's Bike Borderland program, trail development will increase visitation, making towns more attractive to workforce, and benefiting local businesses. (Multi-state project, funded only in NH representing a reduced award)
Town of Haverhill
Support of town formed broadband committee to focus on delivering last-mile services through Haverhill. Haverhill is the convergence of several of the county "loops" that would create redundancy for end users in Haverhill and throughout Grafton County. This infrastructure will improve telecommunications giving the Town more opportunities to start-up and grow, as well as support and retain remote workers.
Town of Newport
Establish an additional water supply well in the northern portion of Town to increase the water system's supply capacity, resiliency, and security. The increased water system resiliency will provide the Town with added confidence that its existing g water customers will main the level of service provided by the water system while supporting economic growth.
County of Cheshire
Purchase and installation of radio system equipment and installation of repeater sites. This will allow equipment status monitoring, problem detection alerting, remote diagnostic capabilities and control, and uninterrupted backup power systems. This side area digital network radio system for first responders' primary use will have clear and seamless quality, widespread radio coverage, and continuity of communications and operations, enhanced securing and reduced environmental vulnerabilities at remote sites.
North Country Community Radio
Expand the recording capacity of NCCR by upgrading and expanding the existing recording studio. The addition will include a control room and a recording room. The equipment to be purchased will be used to increase programming outside the studio, allowing NCCR to become more sustainable.
The Park Theatre
This project funding will assist with the purchase and installation of stage sound, rigging and lighting to support live productions in the Theatre's 333-seat William David Eppes Auditorium. The events held at this downtown venue attract visitors and residents for performances as well as dining and shopping activities.
Town of Campton
Installation of digital radio repeater equipment and antenna and purchase/installation of new mobile radios for police, fire, highway department, including necessary FCC licensing.
Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center
Construction of new 3,000 sq ft Environmental Education Center on a 16-acre property in Jefferson in order to retain and create jobs, expanding programs, and provide on-going and new services in education, food access, and agriculture that will make the region more economically viable and attractive to residences. Programming will include farm apprenticeship/incubator, environmental education internship, and teacher training programs along with nature/agriculture-based camps, afterschool programs, programs for homeschoolers and partner schools, and a semester/gap-year program for high school and college students.
Twin State Maker Spaces
Claremont Maker Spaces (CMS) Workforce and Business Development program will add a key component to efforts in Sullivan County to develop the regional workforce and economy. CMS provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch a business with low overhead, for people whose careers were disrupted by COVID to retain, for works to up-skill in pursuit of higher-paying roles, and for people who were formerly incarcerated or who are in recovery to gain vital employability and technical skills.
Town of Woodstock
Upgrade existing municipal wastewater infrastructure on Route 112 to accommodate anticipated developments and future growth. This project will increase the pumping capacity of their wastewater pump station system to accommodate the development of 30-units of workforce housing and an additional 60-units at full buildout. In addition, it will allow for the expansion of Ice Castles-NH beyond the winter season allowing for increased economic activity, job retention and growth.
Town of Swanzey
Design and reconstruction of .65 miles of roads, replace and construct 2,400 linear feet of sidewalk, extend 450 liner feet of sewer and construction 2,050 linear feet of closed draining improvements to North Winchester Street and California Street in the Village of West Swanzey.These two streets are important "gateways" from Route 10 an provide access to the historic commercial cover of the village.