MEDWAY - Local leaders agreed yesterday that a $3.1 million grant the town received from the state this week for infrastructure work at Cybex International Inc. is a "huge" help and will bring tax relief and more jobs.
Local leaders agreed yesterday that a $3.1 million grant the town received from the state this week for infrastructure work at Cybex International Inc. is a "huge" help and will bring tax relief and more jobs.
The money will help complete a sewage system at the industrial park on Trotter Drive. A new Cybex building there will bring in 120 additional jobs.
"This is huge news," said state Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, who helped secure the funding. "It means so much to the town and the region. Over time it will contribute greatly to the tax base. It's going to create jobs for not only my region, but others as well."
At a difficult financial time for the town, the grant money will "provide some relief to the taxpayers" in bringing more business to the area, selectmen Chairman Glenn Trindade said yesterday.
Homeowners currently make up almost 90 percent of the tax base, he said.
"To get this to an 80/20 split would be huge," said Trindade, a situation in which 80 percent of the town's taxes would be from homeowners and 20 percent from businesses. "This is incredibly exciting. Finally, some really good news."
If the grant did not come through, the town would have had to borrow the $2 million, which would have meant more taxes, said Town Administrator Suzanne Kennedy.
"By getting the grant, we won't need to rely on the repayment of taxes," Kennedy said. "The project will provide more tax levy capacity and will hopefully enable us to fund more school and town programs with less impact on the residential tax base."
Many communities that applied for the grant did not receive it, according to Vallee.
"It was very competitive," Vallee said. "For a town the size of Medway, $3.1 million is enormous."
This grant follows the $500,000 Vallee said he helped secure last year to start the project.
The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development announced Thursday that it had awarded 21 grants for infrastructure improvements, totaling $76.2 million.
Cybex is a top supplier of exercise equipment, Trindade said.
"Cybex has been a good neighbor," said state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, who helped create the grant project. "It's like a poster child for the whole program. It's a perfect opportunity for the state to help Medway."
The Industrial Development Committee, led by Chairman Bill Wright, has worked on bringing sewer service to the industrial park for about seven years, said Trindade, a member of the committee.
Completion of the sewage system will take about 18 months, Trindade said. Tata and Howard is currently doing engineering work at the site, he said.
Cybex can start planning the construction work now that the company knows it will be receiving the money, Trindade said.
Cybex officials could not be reached for comment Thursday and Friday.
"It's been a long time coming," Spilka added. "This is terrific news for the town."
Paul Crocetti can be reached at 508-634-7583 or email@example.com.