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West Side receives $900K CDBG funds

July 25, 2014 | By Carley Dangona

A view of the weathered conditions of Union Street, looking towards the CSX bridge that leads to Memorial Avenue.
Reminder Publications photo by Carley Dangona

WEST SPRINGFIELD – West Side is once again the recipient of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that will be used to repair the Memorial neighborhood and to promote its rehabilitation in support of its diverse population.
 Gov. Deval Patrick announced on July 18 that the town would receive $900,000, the maximum grant for a single community. The money is designated for sidewalk replacements in the Memorial neighborhood, housing rehabilitation assistance for 13 units, code enforcement and support for family self-sufficiency and homebuyer programs, English for Speakers of Other Languages, camp scholarships and Head Start.
“The CDBG will truly enhance life in West Springfield,” Mayor Edward Sullivan said.
The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and funds are distributed by Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Massachusetts has made over 350 grants totaling $265 million during the Patrick Administration.
The CDBG program is the Commonwealth’s largest available resource for neighborhood revitalization projects and helps meet the housing and public service needs of low- and moderate-income communities while building and repairing infrastructure vital to the health and safety of all residents.
“These CDBG awards will provide our cities and towns with federal funding to help families and small businesses, and to revitalize our neighborhoods,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. “CDBG funding is an important way the federal government can be a strong partner for our local communities across the Commonwealth. I will continue to do everything I can in Washington to preserve and strengthen this critical program.”
In addition to the CDBG work, West Side’s Planning Department is currently refining the form-based zoning proposal for the Merrick neighborhood, which is still recovering from the June 1, 2011 tornado. The mayor anticipated that the review would be complete within “the next month or so.”
Sullivan said, “This has been a long time coming. I’m really looking forward to having this process completed.”
He stated that he wants the residents to be able to finally move forward because they have been through much in the past few years.

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