HomeCommunityCOAST Receives $25,000 Grant from Cogswell Benevolent Trust: To support construction of...

COAST Receives $25,000 Grant from Cogswell Benevolent Trust: To support construction of new facility

Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation, more commonly known as COAST, was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Cogswell Benevolent Trust. The grant funds will help support the final design and construction of the nonprofit organization’s new administration, operations, and maintenance facility in Dover.

For more than 40 years, COAST has connected people and communities in the Greater Seacoast region. In the last 15 years, in particular, COAST has experienced its most significant growth. To better meet its current operational needs, be responsive to future demand, and reduce its environmental impact, COAST plans to build a new facility on its current property in Dover. The project will be funded through federal, state (including NH CDFA tax credits), local, and private sources. The recent award from the Cogswell Benevolent Trust brings the total funds raised to 82% of the $17.3M projected cost.

“A new, efficiently designed facility will be transformational for COAST and for the workforce, students, seniors, individuals living with disabilities, and lower-income families that we serve,” said Rad Nichols, Executive Director of COAST. “We are so grateful to the Cogswell Benevolent Trust for investing in the regional economy and climate action. The new facility will help ensure that COAST will be a reliable and environmentally responsible resource for the people of the Greater Seacoast for the next 40 years and beyond.”

The City of Dover recently issued a site plan approval and conditional use permit for the project following a review by the Planning Board. At 17,500 square feet, the new operations, maintenance, and administration building is 6,000 square feet larger than COAST’s existing and leased space combined. The maintenance area is designed with two additional bays (5 total) to support the current and growing fleet. The new administration area contains space to hold larger meetings, for driver training, as well as sufficient room for dispatchers and supervisors to oversee operations. It will also house the TripLink regional call center. An additional 28,000-square-foot building would allow COAST to store its fleet out of the weather.

As a nonprofit, COAST must raise its $7.5-8.0M budget annually. The new operations, maintenance, and administration building will provide numerous benefits both financial and environmental. The new facility will eliminate $70,000 in current annual operating expenses, lower COAST’s carbon footprint with improved energy efficiency (e.g. solar panels, heat pumps, modern construction, and reduced vehicle idling), return staff to one location whereby increasing productivity and efficiency, increase onsite safety, and reduce maintenance hours through shop infrastructure upgrades.

“Public transit is not a virtual job—mechanics, drivers, and dispatchers start work at 4:30 in the morning and leave after 10:00 at night,” said Nichols. “The new facility is crucial to our current operation and an absolute necessity if we are to meet the transportation needs of a growing population that increasingly values public transportation as a climate-friendly, and more socially equitable, alternative to private automobiles.”

More information about COAST’s plans for their new facility can be found at www.coastbus.org.

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