GOFFSTOWN — Selectmen are supporting the Economic Development Council in its pursuit to secure future federal funding for three infrastructure projects in town, and to the county’s redevelopment of the women’s prison.
Derek Horne, the town’s economic development coordinator, said the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission has teamed up with the Southern New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission and communities in Hillsborough and Merrimack counties to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or CEDS, for the region.
A strategy is required to be eligible for funding, and identifies projects for possible funding based on need and priority. Project identifications had to be submitted on April 15, and could range from water and sewer, streets and regional roads to broadband Internet connections, workforce training and internships.
“This is not a grant application. This identifies projects for the region that are important from an economic development standpoint,” said Horne at the selectmen’s April 14 meeting. “It could in the future, if it is included in the CEDS and specific funding becomes available, the town can make a decision then if it wants to pursue grants.”
Horne outlined the town’s three projects:
• Extension of high-pressure gas lines from the Hillsborough County complex on Route 114/Mast Road to Tatro Drive, with a second phase to bring lines into Goffstown Village to provide cleaner energy to the residential and commercial property owners.
• Feasibility study to extend the town sewer to 70 acres in the industrial/commercial zone along Daniel Plummer Road and 100 acres in the commercial/industrial flex zone at Route 114 and Saint Anselm Drive.
• Completion of the remaining 2.85 miles of the Goffstown Rail Trail, estimated at $290,000.
The Economic Development Council is applying for the rail trail work, but it may not be eligible for EDA funding.
“But, under the goals that were identified during the planning process — quality of life, recreation and transportation — were all identified as goals for the region,” said Horne.
Selectmen Chairman Collis Adams said many boards, groups and committees have discussed the need to move toward economic prosperity.
“These are certainly the types of projects that are front and center. Without this infrastructure, we’re going to have a hard time attracting economic development to Goffstown specifically, and to the region in general,” Adams said. These are great projects, all of them, and we’re fully supportive. It’s a big step in the right direction.”
The Board of Selectmen also gave a letter of support for the fourth project, the Hillsborough County’s project application for an analysis of the women’s prison and how to best redevelop the property.The Board of Selectmen and the Economic Development Council’s goal is to meet quarterly in “informal open forums,” said Adams.
In addition, selectmen will host an all-boards meeting at 7 p.m. on May 12 at the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College.