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18 communities in the South Coast Rail corridor are receiving South Coast Technical Assistance Awards of $5,000 to $25,000 for local planning, zoning, housing, and open space initiatives.

South Coast Rail, Manager Jean Fox, November 2, 2011 The awards were announced at the Southeastern Massachusetts Commuter Rail Task Force Meeting in Raynham, with attendees including South Coast Rail Project Manager Jean Fox along with Secretary Greg Bialecki and Victoria McGuire of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, left.

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey said, “These technical assistance awards further the goals of South Coast Rail by aligning regional development and land use with the corridor plan."

The South Coast Rail Plan unveiled in 2009 by Governor Deval Patrick demonstrates the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to targeted state investment to enhance the development and sustainable growth of communities.  The plan provides a framework for maximizing the economic and environmental benefits while preparations begin for the new rail line.

MassDOT and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development have partnered with the region’s planning agencies, the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and Old Colony Planning Council to assist communities’ proactive local planning and preservation efforts.

Technical assistance in the latest round of funding is available for station area planning and zoning; economic development and transportation; housing plans and zoning changes; and open space preservation.

The communities receiving technical assistance in the latest round of awards include:

Acushnet/ Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Easton, Fall River, Foxborough, Freetown, Lakeville, Mansfield, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, North Attleborough, Raynham, Seekonk, Somerset, Stoughton, Westport

More information about the technical assistance and the South Coast Rail Project is available at http://www.southcoastrail.com/

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