Swanzey DPW

The town is able to undertake a large public works project to repair roads and sidewalks thanks to a $500,000 federal grant.

SWANZEY — The town is the first community in Cheshire County to benefit from a new federal program to help finance infrastructure improvements.

“The selectmen and I are excited that Swanzey will be the first community in Cheshire County to receive a Northern Border Regional Commission grant,” said Town Administrator Michael Branley.

Last week it was announced that Swanzey is getting $500,000 from the Northern Border Regional Commission. The grant will help fund a $1,030,000 project to reconstruct South Winchester Street, West Street and Swanzey Street, the replacement and expansion of the existing sidewalk network along these streets, and the construction of an improved drainage system, according to Branley.

Branley said the improvements will upgrade the infrastructure for the businesses that access the Route 10 corridor, and it will improve accessibility to the Homestead Woolen Mills section of town. This should help with the redevelopment of the mills, according to Branley.

Additionally, the project will also address pedestrian safety concerns in the area, including constructing new sidewalks on South Winchester Street and West Street to fill in gaps within the sidewalk network and completing intersection and pedestrian crossing improvements. Cutler Elementary School is located on South Winchester Street and many of these pedestrian improvements are being completed to improve the safety of children walking to school, according to Branley.

The Northern Border Regional Commission was formed by Congress in 2008 to provide funding for economic and community development projects in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and New York. This is the first year that communities in Cheshire County were eligible to apply for grant funding.