State government has awarded Bedford a $500,000 grant that will help finance the design of expanded sewer capacity, plus an improved water main connection with Burlington, both along the Middlesex Turnpike corridor.
Town Manager Sarah Stanton said on Wednesday the award, under the state’s MassWorks program, will be augmented by federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act. Water and sewer infrastructure is a permitted use for ARPA funds.
Stanton said she hopes design work can begin early next year.
The expanded sewer capacity is needed to accommodate the manufacturing needs of Ultragenyx and similar life-sciences firms at the northern end of Middlesex Turnpike. “You want infrastructure that supports this type of development,” Stanton said. “Ultragenyx and the Gutierrez Co. will be contributing supplemental funds.” Gutierrez is the developer of the Bedford Woods industrial park.
Stanton said the water infrastructure project will strengthen the connection between Bedford and Burlington, which she said will improve water quality and pressure by providing an additional source of metropolitan water.
Burlington is preparing to convert to reliance on the Metropolitan Water Resources Authority for its supply. Bedford receives MWRA water through Lexington, with links on The Great Road and near Page Road.
Stanton said the grant is “part of the Community One Stop for Growth program, a streamlined application process that combines multiple state grant programs that support local infrastructure programs that support economic development.”
The official announcement credited the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karen Polito. The town manager said she also thanks State Sen. Mike Barrett and State Rep. Ken Gordon “for their legislative support of the MassWorks program.”
Last summer the Select Board approved a $97,000 contract to analyze the need and investigate minimizing disruption of the ongoing widening of Middlesex Turnpike, a state-funded project that has spanned two decades. One objective of the road improvement is to attract firms like Ultragenyx.
Ultragenyx is expected to be numbered among the town’s biggest taxpayers. Estimated real estate and personal property taxes for the next nine years are almost $3.75 million, according to town projections.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 781-983-1763