Seventeen western Massachusetts communities were included in a list of 46 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth that were awarded $26.8 million in federal block grants for community improvements.
The purposes of the grants are to support housing rehabilitation, public service projects, and local infrastructure.
Congressmen John Olver and Richard Neal, whose districts represent the Pioneer Valley, lauded the grant program.
“These funds will allow communities across my district to undertake much needed improvements and maintain vital social services,” said Olver. “Given the lingering effects of the recent economic downturn, such investments are more important than ever.”
“These federal grants will help small cities and towns across western and central Massachusetts invest in their future,” said Neal. “From roadway improvements to housing rehabilitation, this critical assistance will help communities fund important projects that help improve the quality of life for our friends and neighbors.”
Here is a list of the western Mass cities and towns that will receive grants:
•Amherst- $900K…Amherst Community Childcare Center roof and HVAC improvements; Main Street barrier removal project; First Time Homebuyers’ Program to benefit 4 LMI; Affordable Housing and Rehabilitation planning study; social services (food pantry, Big Brother/Big Sister mentoring program; support for Center for New Americans, Emergency Shelter and assistance services)
•Athol- $897,689…Housing rehabilitation (9 units); Tremont Street roadway, sidewalk, drainage, water and sewer improvements
•Belchertown, Hadley, and Granby-$889,889…Housing rehabilitation (17 units); Belchertown Housing Authority sidewalk improvements; Granby Housing Authority roadway, drainage and parking improvements; Hadley Housing Authority sidewalk improvements
•Erving, Colrain, Deerfield, Gill-$1,100,000…Housing rehabilitation (25 units); social services (childcare assistance).
•Greenfield-$900,000…Housing Rehabilitation (8 units); Hillside neighborhood sidewalk reconstruction; Sustainable Master plan; social services (adult literacy, food pantry, substance abuse counseling, ESOL, youth employment training)
•Hardwick-$774,370…High Street/Taylor Street sewer and water line replacement project; Prospect Street/Broad Street replacement sewer design; senior center planning
•Montague-$865,509…Housing rehabilitation (4 units); Unity Park improvements project Phase II
•North Adams-$900,000…Public facilities improvements to create youth center in former armory; Noel Field accessibility improvements; community comprehensive plan; strategic demolition; social services
•Orange-$700,000…Hayden Street roadway, sidewalk, drainage, sewer improvements
•Palmer-$837,335…Housing rehabilitation (8 units); Griffen, Stewart, Crest, Hill Streets water main booster pump improvements; social services (domestic violence prevention)
•Shelburne/Buckland-$910,451…Highland Village public housing (Shelburne) driveway, sidewalk and parking improvements; Sears Street (Buckland) roadway, sidewalk, drainage, water and sewer improvements; social services (food pantry)
•Ware-$900,000…School Street roadway, sidewalk, drainage, water and sewer improvements; engineering/design of High Street; distressed property assessment and re-use planning; social services (domestic violence prevention)
•West Springfield-$900,000…Housing rehabilitation (13 units); code enforcement; Memorial neighborhood sidewalk improvements; social services (ESOL, camp scholarships, Head Start, family self-sufficiency counseling, homebuyer education)