Tsongas, Moulton Hope to Extend Life of Essex Heritage Area With New Bill

Creative Commons photo

Haverhill's stretch of the Merrimack River as seen in a Creative Commons photograph.

Local lawmakers are doing all they can to eliminate the $17 million funding cap for the Essex County Heritage Area.

Reps. Seth Moulton and Niki Tsongas announced a bill last week that could put an end to the sunset provision that allows funding of the area only until Sept. 30, 2021.

“The Essex National Heritage Area is a treasured part of our nation’s history and it is vital that Congress continue to help fund the vital programs that preserve this area and its resources for generations to come,” said Moulton, who unveiled the bill with Tsongas at the Andover Historical Society.

Without an extension and lift of the funding cap, thousands of jobs are at risk, Moulton said. The historical and cultural non-profit, which hosts tours and programs to tout locations including the Merrimack River Valley, generated $14.3 million in tax revenue.

Moulton, who will introduce the bill to Congress this session, called the area a “historical and culture fabric of our country.”

Sen. Ed Markey presented a version of the bill to the Senate on Monday.