Congress: Question 4 – Infrastructure Projects
The candidates discuss possible future Massachusetts projects.
As a way to inform our readers about the candidates, Patch asked the four candidates for the Congress in the Fifth Congressional District five questions that focused on topics ranging from education to war and from the economy to veterans' services.
Here is Question 4:
Do you forsee any infrastructure projects funded by the federal government to come and if so how will you advocate for Massachusetts for those projects?
Dale Brown (I)
I would advise all states to immediately set up planning commissions to begin and continually maintain and update needed infrastructure plans to be ready for situations where funds may become available. The I-93 project is hopefully at a stage that available funds could immediately be put to use. I fear that the funds for infrastructure from Stimulus 1 was wasted and is gone.
Bob Clark (I)
I would like to see more renewable energy projects funded in Massachusetts. I would work with the people of the 5th district to identify applicable sites, and build cases that I can present in Washington. I would also seek funding for research in advanced technologies. I believe this would help produce quality jobs in the area.
Jon Golnik (R)
I believe that there are some important infrastructure projects in Massachusetts that have been ordered or can be. I do not, however, believe in the stimulus plan that not only cost a trillion dollars, but within that we paid for signs for the infrastructure projects' advertising that the stimulus project paid for it. It's a waste of money. PR on the backs of taxpayers. I am opposed to the current earmark system and believe that if these projects are worth funding, they should be subject to an up or down vote.
Niki Tsongas (D), incumbent
An active federal partner is vital for state and local infrastructure projects, which often can lead to significant economic development and job opportunities. I work with our local cities and towns through the appropriations process and in requests for grants and other federal dollars to support their infrastructure needs. These investments include rebuilding roads and bridges, modernizing public buildings, hospital and school construction
For example, I am strongly supporting Billerica's new economic development strategy for growth along Middlesex Turnpike, the Middlesex Turnpike + 3 plan, that calls for a "green" road with improved transit connections to better respond to the needs of innovative and life science companies. The plan is centered around supporting present and future innovation technology and life sciences companies, as well as both public and private educational partners.
There are some 8 million square feet of office, technology, and industrial space in and around this emerging growth corridor. Over the next 5-10 years, implementation of a green, technology friendly strategy and improved transportation access could result in over 3,000 new jobs while helping to stabilize the municipal tax bases. Federal infrastructure and transportation funding can help move this economic development strategy in Billerica forward and I will be advocating on the town's behalf.