LONDONDERRY — With at least one major business already establishing roots in the still-undeveloped Pettengill Road area, Londonderry town officials are feeling hopeful this time around in their latest attempt to obtain state and federal grant monies.
Later this month, a proposal to submit an application for a New Hampshire Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will head before the Town Council.
On Tuesday, Town Manager Kevin Smith said things have changed for the better since the town’s previous attempts to obtain grant funding.
“We’ve always been told that if the town doesn’t have a firm commitment in place, either with developers or the town itself, the chances of a grant being approved are pretty unlikely,” Smith said. “But right now, there’s a lot going on in this part of town. Things are definitely looking up.”
This summer, construction crews will begin clearing the way for the new, 614,000 square-foot Prologis distribution center, which will serve as a logistics facility representing the company’s third-party relationship with Pratt & Whitney and United Parcel Services (UPS).
Company officials plan to extend Pettengill Road by 1,800 feet as part of the project. Once completed, the new facility is expected to bring several hundred jobs to the region.
It’s been over a year since the town of Londonderry unsuccessfully applied for federal funding to help make Pettengill Road a reality.
In early June 2013, the town submitted its application for an $8.2 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant: a grant that would have funded the entire Pettengill Road project.
At the time, town officials admitted the changes of receiving such funding were slim, with then-acting town manager Police Chief William Hart noting that historically, such grant awards are used to fund about 40 percent of a project.
Last summer’s unsuccessful grant attempts represented the town’s second time applying for a TIGER grant.
The Town Council will hold three consecutive public hearings on the CDGB during its July 21 meeting, where community members will have the chance to comment on the process and ask questions.
If councilors approve the proposal, an application for a CDBG for economic development in the Airport Area Infrastructure Investment will submitted to the state’s Community Development Finance Authority this summer.
Under the state program, up to $500,000 annually is available on a competitive basis for housing and public facilities, economic development and emergency activities “directly impacting the low to moderate income population.”
If approved, the funds would be used towards the design and/or construction of needed public infrastructure, such as roadways, water and sewer lines, in the airport area. Smith said that there’s no deadline to apply for the grants, which are awarded on a quarterly basis. If the board gives its blessings to submit the application later this month, Smith said the town would be notified of its status sometime this fall.
For more information, contact the Londonderry Town Manager’s office at 432-1100, ext. 120 or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.