Today, Congressman John Olver and the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission announced a $129,500 award to fund the development and completion of a Wachusett Station Smart Growth Corridor Plan. The grant will be used to study the area surrounding the planned Wachusett passenger rail station as well as engage the local community and examine various elements within the rail corridor, including transportation, land use, housing, economic development, open space/recreation and facilities/institution planning. The grant was awarded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC) Program.
"I have worked with the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission for many years, and I am very pleased that the Wachusett Station Smart Growth Corridor Plan has been awarded the funding it needs to move forward," said Congressman John Olver. "These days some people criticize public investment like that taking place at Wachusett Station. But with the proper planning this grant allows MRPC to do, West Fitchburg has the potential to be an economic driver for the region," said Congressman John Olver.
"The Wachusett Station Smart Growth Corridor Plan will include a 2.5 mile radius study around the new highly anticipated Wachusett Station. The plan will identify specific housing and transportation linkages to and from the station and act as a guiding document for smart growth development in West Fitchburg, North Leominster, and East Westminster. This study allows MRPC the opportunity to do local area planning from a regional perspective, something we would like to do more of in the future," said Glenn Eaton, Executive Director, MRPC.
"Smart development is always the goal in Fitchburg," said Mayor Lisa Wong. "With the upcoming extension of the commuter rail into West Fitchburg this study is an amazing opportunity to plan for future growth that best serves the residents and businesses of Fitchburg."
The study is expected to begin around the start of the New Year.