SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –
Linda Bartlett’s neighborhood was ravaged by the tornado two years ago.
Now, she couldn’t be happier that the place she calls home is finally getting a facelift. “it’s outstanding. We put a lot of work into a lot of property meetings, and, to know that they listened to us is outstanding. I want to do a happy dance I’m so happy!” she laughed.
Springfield was allotted nearly $22 million through the Community Block Development Grant Disaster Recovery Program, Under the Federal Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. It allots money to cities and towns damaged by natural disasters in 2011 and 2012.
Still, 2 years might seem like a long time to get these funds. “You’re reminded, some of the events of the Boston marathon, false claims were offered, that’s why the federal government is being careful,” said Congressman Richard Neal.
Mayor Domenic Sarno, alongside other officials unveiled Partial Action Plan A on Wednesday, which will cost $13 million.
They’ve split the city into 3 districts; all of them would see small business assistance & housing repair.
Number 1 is the Metro Center and South End, which would also see roadway alignment for the South End Community Center. District 2 includes Six Corners, Old Hill, Upper Hill, and Forest Park. Improvements include tearing down blighted properties, building more single family homes, repaving the streets , and realigning Center St. with Hickory St. for an improved traffic pattern.
District 3, which includes East Forest Park and 16 Acres, would see a refurbished Nathan Bill Park.
With all of that, there’s still more to come for the city. “We’re very close to finalizing with FEMA, which will bring in another bundle of money for the citizens in for the business and community of Springfield,” Mayor Domenic Sarno noted. “We’re also going to have the development of Union Station and other projects. In 3-5 years it’ll be a completely different Springfield,” expressed the city’s Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2014.
The city will see the other $9 million for phase b which will begin later next year.