Selectmen sign grant application for traffic improvements at Lake Street/Route 20 intersection

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – The Board of Selectmen reviewed and approved the Massworks Program Grant Application for traffic improvements at Lake Street and Route 20 at its July 24 meeting. This is a state program for funding public infrastructure projects.

Assistant Town Manager Kristen Las stated that the program seeks to incentivize developers to work with municipalities by guiding private investment within communities.

The town has been working with Attorney Mark Donahue from Fletcher Tilton Attorneys at Law in Worcester, for the Edgemere Drive-In redevelopment for several months on this grant for traffic improvements along the Route 20 corridor.

The grant application is due Aug. 10 and is seeking $4.4 million in funding that will affect the portion of Route 20 from Purinton Street west to the first bridge at Lake Quinsigamond, including the intersection of Lake Street and Route 20. The total budget for traffic improvement is $5 million and the developer will make up the additional $600,000.

In related business, the board reviewed and voted to approve the Memorandum of Agreement with Kelly Realejo, trustee of the Route 20 Nominee Trust for the Edgemere Drive-In Redevelopment.

The town has been crafting an agreement detailing provisions and the town responsibilities relevant to utility connectivity and supporting the development through the grant application timeframes and expectations for the developer to meet per permitting process to bring the project to fruition.

Of concern to Selectmen Maurice DePalo was the timing of permitting completing the work by the end of 2019 in accordance with the Massworks Infrastructure Program Grant.

Las said that there is a bit of confusion regarding the timing of the grant application, permitting and construction and she has been working with Donahue for clarification.