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Joyce Endee

Littleton Industrial Park secures expansion funding

September 16, 2021
LITTLETON — Last month the Northern Border Regional Commission announced 44 Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant award recipients would receive $18.6 million in project funding support. The Littleton Industrial Development Corporation was one of the recipients in what the NBRC called its most competitive grant round to date.

The $210,000 NBRC grant will help offset the costs of a $500,000 park expansion that includes 600 feet of new access roads, culvert replacements and the installation of water and sewer lines. When completed, the 42-acre expansion will allow new businesses to join the complex.

Three years ago, Littleton voters approved a property transfer and an exchange of easements between the Town and the Littleton Industrial Development Corporation. The lot is located behind the Littleton transfer station.

With no efficient access, it was difficult for potential buyers to view the area. After gaining voter approval in 2018, LIDC sought funding to install a rough access road behind the transfer station.

That same year, NBRC awarded LIDC $119,500 for the rough access route, and LIDC received notice to proceed by Jan the following year. LIDC completed the work last year.

"We were able to rough in a good road to get to the top of the lot and access those 42 acres. Now, with the new grant, we'll have a cash match to extend the road, bring in utilities and improve the culverts," stated LIDC Officer Chad Stearns.

Stearns estimated the total project would cost $420,000. While the funding is secured, more engineering work is needed before the project goes out to bid, he added.

"We're certainly not going to begin this year. It will be more of a 2022 or 2023 timeline, depending on bids and contracts and how long it takes for everything," said Stearns.

A portion of the project funds came from the sale of the Littleton Learning Center to the White Mountain Community College earlier this year. Stearns estimated the biggest upcoming challenged LIDC faced were timelines and contractor availability.

"Ideally, our long-term goal is to create good-paying jobs. Whether the 42-acres helps to expand businesses that are already in the park and don't have anywhere else to go or brings in new companies, we hope to create several lots and meet a wide array of business needs," said Stearns.

The Industrial Park currently rests on 380 acres and features 18 businesses with more than 1,200 employees and annual payrolls exceeding $60 million.

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