Larger Stimulus Projects Will Wait

September 28, 2010

Private developments in Massachusetts might have to wait as long as two years to receive federal stimulus funding, a delay that could stall the recovery of the state's business climate, a top economic aide to Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday.

Gregory Bialecki, secretary of housing and economic development, said a large chunk of federal money will instead have to be spent on smaller jobs, such as paving roads and painting bridges, instead of private projects that could create thousands of jobs. The reason is that because smaller jobs can be started quickly, allowing Massachusetts to comply with the "use it or lose it" provisions of the federal stimulus plan, which require state governments to spend hundreds of millions of dollars within a few months of receiving it.

Without an infusion of public money or a thaw in the credit markets, many of the state's largest development projects are likely to remain on hold because they do not have sufficient funding to begin construction. Among delayed projects are the $700 million redevelopment of the Filene's block in Boston, reconstruc tion of the 1,400-acre Weymouth air base, and the $1.5 billion development of Westwood Station off Interstate 95. Combined, those projects carry the potential to create more than 25,000 temporary and permanent jobs.

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[From The Boston Globe]