May 11, 2022
Contact:Jamie Webb, Assistant Planner
Easthampton Officials Hold Public Event and Seek Comments on Proposed Infrastructure Improvements for the New City Neighborhood
EASTHAMPTON, MA – Over the last year, the City of Easthampton and consulting engineer Fuss & O’Neill have been conducting assessments of the public infrastructure in the New City neighborhood. A public “walkshop”, held last November, to tour the neighborhood and solicit input directly from community members regarding the problems in their neighborhood was well attended.
“We asked for your input and we heard you,” says Assistant Planner Jamie Webb, “you helped identify the problems and now it’s time to get your opinions on the proposed solutions and prioritize how to move forward.”
On Saturday, May 21, from 10 am to noon, the City Planning Department, Public Works Department, and consultant Fuss & O’Neill will present their findings and proposed concept plans to the New City neighborhood. In case of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, May 22. Draft concept plans can be viewed on the city’s project webpage: easthamptonma.gov/newcity. A final report, the New City Infrastructure Master Plan, will be finalized and presented to the City Council after receiving comments from the members of the community.
“We need to hear from the folks who live in the neighborhood because they live and work there and will be most affected by any changes. It’s not up to us to decide what improvements will be the most beneficial to the neighborhood” says Webb.
The New City neighborhood, bounded by Ferry Street to the north, Parsons Street to the east, Everett Street to the south and Lower Mill Pond to the west, has long been identified as needing comprehensive infrastructure improvements. The existing public infrastructure is outdated and inefficient as most of the utilities were installed around a hundred years ago and there has been few improvements since its original construction except for emergency repairs. The public water supply, sewer and drainage systems are nearing the end of their intended use. Sidewalks and walking surfaces are limited and where they do exist are in poor condition and do not meet accessibility standards. Roadway surfaces are deteriorating.
“We are very excited to present the results of this planning study!” says City Planner Jeff Bagg. “In addition to the improvement plans for all of the underground utilities, Fuss & O’Neill has been busy developing concepts plans and novel ideas for the parks on Parsons Street and Lincoln Street, addressing traffic safety concerns, and for better non-vehicular connections from the neighborhood to the bike path and the rest of the city.”
The New City Infrastructure Planning Study will provide a road map for a series of public infrastructure improvement projects that will be undertaken over the next ten years. This planning project was funded by a FY2020 Community Development Block Grant award from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
For more information about the program, please visit the Easthampton Planning Department’s project webpage: https://www.easthamptonma.gov/568/New-City-Infrastructure-Planning-Study
For more information about the Massachusetts CDBG program, visit: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/community-development-block-grant-cdbg