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(Washington, DC)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that her request to reconstruct part of Hutchins Street in Berlin has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Committee also approved her request to support the Northern Community Investment Corporation's (NCIC) revolving loan fund. Shaheen secured $800,000 and $500,000, respectively, for the projects. The legislation will now go to the full Senate for final passage.

"The North Country is in need of an economic boost, and I'm thrilled this funding will do just that," said Shaheen.  "Helping repair the primary trucking corridor in the North Country is essential to connecting residents to jobs and draw industry to the region. And supporting the NCIC will further diversify the region's economy and help create new jobs, both critical to economic development and recovery."

"I just heard that Senator Shaheen was able to obtain $800,000 for the City of Berlin's Hutchins Street," said Pat MacQueen, City Manager of Berlin. "This is great news since the road is literally falling apart. We have already started engineering, and with these funds, hopefully we will be able to complete the whole project."

A key section of Hutchins Street, the primary trucking corridor through Berlin and to the rest of the North Country, was built over pulp mill bark and is extremely difficult to maintain. This funding will put the road on a proper and realigned base, while also adding sidewalks and a bike lane. The project will greatly improve pedestrian and traffic flow through Berlin and be of significant benefit to the restoration of this community.

"I'd like to thank Senator Shaheen for helping us with this opportunity to help the most innovative companies create new and hirer paying jobs," said Jon Freeman, President of the Northern Community Investment Corporation. "With the recent closing of paper mills and Ethan Allen in Beecher Falls this is truly good news for the North Country."

The Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) is a non-profit established to boost economic development in Northern New Hampshire and Vermont by providing capital and professional assistance for a wide range of business and community development investments. This project will create a unique revolving loan fund that will offer flexible funding solutions, designed to serve innovative North Country businesses that will create well paying new jobs. This loan fund will provide new opportunities, including loans with low to no repayments for 6 to 18 months, allowing businesses time to establish themselves on solid ground and recognize the return on investment before being impacted by the cost of the loan.

The funding was approved by the Appropriations Committee as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which includes $3.5 million for projects in New Hampshire.