Trump Budget Plan Cuts Program Aimed At Boosting Northern N.H. Economy

Mar 24, 2017

Credit Chris Jensen

  The Trump administration is looking to cut a federal program state officials say has helped boost the economy in New Hampshire’s northernmost regions.

The Northern Border Regional Commission was created in 2010, and targets economic development in rural areas of New Hampshire and three other Canadian border states.

The program is eliminated in the Trump administration's initial budget proposal, saving roughly $7 million.

Speaking to NHPR’s Morning Edition, state Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Jeffrey Rose says projects funded through the program have made a difference. 

“We’ve really tried to make an effort here in New Hampshire about trying to address infrastructure, trying to improve telecommunications, whether it’s wireless or broadband. But we’ve also even used it to promote the region, as well.”

The commission provided $1.8 million to help fund 13 projects last year, including $250,000 for the construction of a multi-use trail and river walk along the Androscoggin River in Berlin.

The commission also provided $250,000 to help pay for water and sewage infrastructure at the former Groveton Mill site in Northumberland. That site is being repurposed for an industrial park.

The $1.8 million in federal funding last year yielded nearly $20 million in local matching funds.

"It has been a very effective and efficient program here in New Hampshire," Rose said.

Rose says the state's Congressional delegation has been supportive of the program, and believes they will advocate for its continuation as the budget process moves forward.