State grant will help traffic flow

If jobs are maintained, money will offset redevelopment costs
Mark Ignatowski

Map courtesy MSA Professional Services. The city will construct two new roads, labeled Avenue A and Avenue B on the map above, in order to provide better access to Certco, Saris Cycling Group and Thermo Fischer. Construction is slated to begin in July and will be partially covered by a TEA grant from the state.

A $1 million grant from the state could help the City of Fitchburg pay for redevelopment costs in the Arrowhead neighborhood.

The catch is that the city must prove that the grant money has helped retain about 400 jobs in the area near Certco and Saris Cycling Group.

The city was awarded the Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) money by the state in late May. The funds will be used to help create two new roads - Sprocket Drive and Spoke Drive - in the Arrowhead neighborhood that would provide better access to large employers like Certco and Saris.  

At a May 5 Board of Public Works meeting, then-city public works director Paul Woodard explained that the city could end up having to pay the $1 million back if those jobs aren’t maintained. Woodard said that was unlikely, as the city has been working on plans for redeveloping that area to provide more manufacturing, warehouse and office space to the area between McKee Road and Williamsburg Way. The new road would go north from McKee just west of the Badger Ridge State Trail and head west toward the Verona Road Frontage Road, according to a master plan for the neighborhood approved in 2011.

Woodard said at the meeting that the city had not planned on getting any grant money for the redevelopment project as the project will be paid for using tax increment financing.

The grant stipulates that the city will be have to pay for at least half of the road improvement costs.

Project bids were due June 11. Construction is expected to begin in July.

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