Northern Border Regional Commission announces new round of grants

COOS COUNTY — Thirteen New Hampshire projects totaling over $2.2 million have been selected for grants through the Northern Border Regional Commission. The projects include $194,000 to Lancaster Rotary Charities for parking lot construction, $399,200 to Whitefield to upgrade its existing septage receiving station, $78,750 to the North Country ATV Club to repair an inactive ATV trail in Stratford, $400,000 to Colebrook to replace 600 traditional water meters, and $150,000 to AHEAD to help construct a new 32-bed treatment facility at the Friendship House in Bethlehem.

The grants were announced Friday by the state’s Congressional delegation. In all, the commission awarded more than $8 million to projects in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and New York. They are designed to help spur economic and community development in the rural regions of the four states.

“NBRC continues to deliver important investments that bring jobs, tourism and critical services to rural New Hampshire communities,” said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“The grants announced today will help create jobs and bolster the economic competitiveness of the region and state,” said U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH).

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) noted that in addition to economic development and job creation, the current round of grants are also providing funding for substance use disorder treatment and recovery services.

The entire delegation vowed to fight for the commission which was targeted for elimination in the budget proposed earlier this year by President Donald Trump.

Shaheen, a member of the Senate Appropriation Committee, secured $5 million in additional funding for the commission, and Kuster introduced bipartisan legislation in the House to continue funding the commission and extend its authority for five years.

“I’m working with my Republican and Democratic colleagues, who represent other rural districts, to reauthorize and strengthen this program so that we can continue to build on its success and support some of our most underserved communities,” Kuster said.

The New Hampshire projects receiving funding are:

Among the projects receiving NBRC funds:

• The Lancaster Rotary Club Charities Inc. will receive $194,400 for parking lot construction and parallel parking in Lancaster, including landscaping and river greenway with Phase I of access to the island nature area.

• The town of Whitefield will receive $399,200 to upgrade the town’s existing septage receiving station to treat wastewater from septic tanks.

• The Northern Forest Center will receive $75,000 to deliver technical assistance to more than 57 forest-based businesses to help them adapt to the changing regional forest economy.

• The New Hampshire Academy of Science will receive $100,000 to establish a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics laboratory for future N.H. STEM workforce/leaders.

• The New Hampshire Department of Business & Economic Affairs, Division of Travel and Tourism will receive $70,000 for construction and renovation projects at the Intervale and Rumney Rest Areas.

• The G.A.L.A. Community Center will receive 250,000 to purchase and improve a vacant building in Conway for makerspace and business incubator services.

• The North Country will receive $78,750 to repair an inactive ATV/snowmobile trail in Stratford and add wayfinding signage.

• The town of Colebrook will receive $400,000 to replace up to 600 traditional water meters with new “smart water meters.”

• AHEAD, Inc. received $150,000 to construct a new 32 bed treatment facility at Bethlehem Friendship House.

• Opera North will receive $150,000 to renovate the Charles Beaman home to serve as the base for a new summer festival for the performing and visual arts.

• The Bethlehem Village District will receive $75,000 to replace water meters to enhance delivery of clean, safe, reliable drinking water.
Claremont Development Authority/City of Claremont (CD-2) will receive $149,650 to revitalize two historical city owned buildings for end user tenants.
Created by the 2008 Farm Bill, the Northern Border Regional Commission is a federal-state partnership that is comprised of a federal co-chair and the governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.