Senate President Therese Murray said the state money holding up the Plymouth Rock Studios project isn’t coming through – not for the movie studio or any other state projects.





Senate President Therese Murray said funding from a new state economic development program isn’t coming through for the Plymouth Rock Studios project or the other major projects that applied for it.


Murray told The Patriot Ledger’s editorial board Tuesday that she learned earlier in the day that the new program “can’t be used on anything.”


“The way it’s set up, it’s just not going to be doable,” Murray said.


Developers behind the Plymouth Rock Studios project, a $500 million movie studio campus to be built in Plymouth, had applied for $50 million for road, sewer and water upgrades from the state’s Infrastructure Investment Incentive Program.


But Murray’s comments that the so-called “I Cubed” funding isn’t coming were refuted by Patrick administration officials who insisted the developers that applied for the funding are still under review.


The I Cubed program was created by the Legislature in 2006 to provide state money for infrastructure upgrades needed to move forward private developments. Gov. Deval Patrick signed an amended form of the legislation into law in September 2008, after technical flaws were addressed.


The program is designed to provide up to $250 million for the improvements, which would be financed by state tax revenues generated at the developments.


“We certainly haven’t given any indication that I Cubed as a program won’t able be able to fund projects,” said Cyndi Roy, spokeswoman for Patrick’s Executive Office of Administration and Finance.


“The decision (on Plymouth Rock) is imminent,” Roy said.


However, Murray spokesman David Falcone said the Senate president was briefed on the program’s problems on Tuesday by Gregory Bialecki, Patrick’s secretary of economic development.


“Not one project has received funding, and I think now it’s very doubtful they will,” Murray said. “There’s no way to meld the tax credits and I Cubed, and that was the whole idea. ... It’s a tremendous loss for a number of economic development projects.”


Patrick spokesman Joe Landolfi said there was a “miscommunication” with Murray’s office but declined to say how her understanding of the briefing was incorrect or what Bialecki said.


Landolfi also declined to comment on the fate of the specific projects that were submitted for I Cubed funding.


“Nobody should be saying (I Cubed) is not workable,” he said. “That’s not our position right now at all.”


Three developments have been submitted for I Cubed funding, Roy said, and all of the projects are still under review.


Developers of the Plymouth Rock Studios proposal have been waiting for funding so they can start construction this summer for a late 2010 opening.


The movie studio’s developers had to take a bond funding agreement off last week’s Plymouth town meeting agenda because they’re waiting for the Patrick administration to approve the funding.


The issue was rescheduled for a special town meeting on June 29, with the expectations the I Cubed funding would be approved by then.


“We’ve done our part,” studio development director William Wynne said last week. “We’ve given them our consultant’s report and answered all of their questions.”


Reach Nancy Reardon at nreardon@ledger.com.