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CRDC Awards Community Grants to Two Economic Development Projects in Downtown Franklin, NH


CRDC is proud to announce it recently awarded a total of $10,000 to two separate Franklin non-profit organizations through its Community Grant Program. 

CRDC awarded Mill City Park at Franklin Falls $5,000 to help fund the development of a master plan for 9.32 acres of land surrounding the Winnipesaukee River that would create Mill City Park. The park is part of a larger development project in Franklin that Mill City Park at Franklin Falls is spearheading which is to create New England’s first whitewater park. Initial plans for Mill City Park include; a community garden, event space, picnic area, historic mill run trail, interconnection to the Winnipesaukee River Trail, mountain bike pump track system and an eco-village area. The Mill City Park Master Plan is expected to take three months. 

“We are very thankful for CRDC’s involvement in this project,” said Marty Parichand, Executive Director of Mill City Park at Franklin Falls, a non-profit organization overseeing the development of New England’s first waterpark, and owner of Outdoor New England, a downtown Franklin business. “A portion of the park already exists but the way it is now, it’s not very welcoming. Our goal is to make Franklin a destination spot for not only outdoor enthusiasts through the waterpark and adjacent biking trails but to also revitalize the downtown. Mill City Park will be a beautiful park for everyone to enjoy whether they live, work or visit Franklin. CRDC through its own mission is helping Franklin rebuild our downtown and we are very appreciative.”

A second grant through CRDC’s Grant Program was awarded to PermaCity Life (PCL) for $5,000. PCL is a non-profit organization based in Franklin that owns seven downtown block buildings. Grant funding through CRDC will help support a condo conversion plan with the goal of converting three mill buildings into eight commercial and five residential units. The condo conversion plan is expected to deliver prepared site plans and surveys, legal documents required by the Planning Board for approval of subdivision.

“At PermaCity Life we recognize that encouraging property ownership as a redevelopment strategy is a unique approach which has many advantages,” said Todd Workman, Executive Director, PermaCity Life. “We believe with CRDC’s assistance through this grant funding we can develop a plan that will create an ‘owner-operator’ which will create pride in ownership. Favorable financing terms will likely yield debt service payments equal to or less than pro-forma rents. This will improve cash flow and encourage owners to invest in their business expansion. It's great for the business owner and great for Franklin. With the enhancement of Mill City Park and plans for New England’s first water park – we believe this is perfect timing and no doubt we will attract sustainable, committed businesses to downtown Franklin.” 

"The primary focus of CRDC’s Community Grant Program is to support projects and programs that lead to job creation/retention and enhance a community's tax base while providing a public benefit," said Chris Wellington, CRDC's Project Management Officer. “Both Mill City Park at Franklin Falls and PermaCity Life share the same mission which really is to enhance their community. CRDC is proud to support both organizations in their efforts to revitalize their downtown. Both projects share the synergy Franklin needs to help boost its economy. Our mission is to help support communities like Franklin with their economic development plans.” 

CRDC’s Community Grant Program also funded five additional projects in Merrimack, Sullivan and Hillsborough Counties for a total of $26,230.  Other grants awarded by CRDC this fiscal year include: Sullivan County to hire a consultant that will explore the feasibility of cheese and mushroom production at a root cellar located on the Grafton County Farm , an economic development survey for the Town of Amherst that will focus on short and long-term economic development goals for the town, the West Claremont Center for Music & the Arts received grant funding to help with the architecture design plans for a scheduled move to a historical downtown mill building, the Merrimack County Conservation District received a grant from CRDC to help support the purchase of a freezer/refrigeration unit for their Capital Area Local Food Initiative and the Manchester Makerspace received grant funding to support their operations. 

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