Easthampton to hold community meeting for New City Neighborhood
The Planning Department, DPW, and the City’s consultant Fuss and O’Neil will be holding a neighborhood “walkshop” – an interactive outdoor meeting with a short presentation, review of materials, short survey, and, walk around the neighborhood in small groups on Saturday November 20, 2021 from 12-2. The rain date will be Sunday November 21, 2021.
“We really need input from the residents in this area regarding an issues they encounter with water or sewer service, sidewalk conditions, roadway conditions, pedestrian safety and what type of park or recreational opportunities they’d like to see at the small park on the corner of Parson and Federal and the larger vacant city-owned lot behind the former Parson Street school”, said City Planner Jeff Bagg.
The goal of the walkshop will be to hear from residents in this area regarding:
Any issues they encounter with sidewalk conditions, roadway conditions, pedestrian safety
What type of park or recreational opportunities they’d like to see at the small park on the corner of Parson and Federal and the larger vacant city-owned lot behind the former Parson Street school
What they’d like to see (such as community garden, basketball or active sports courts, walking paths
What it’s like walking the neighborhood for people with mobility impairments or with strollers
If residents experience issues with water or sewer infrastructure or services.
The goal of the in person meeting is to more directly engage residents in these future project areas and meet them where they are instead of asking them to come to City Hall or be on Zoom. The information will be more valuable as more people engage in the process. For those not able to make it out to the walkshop, the Planning Department will collect information via the webpage.
“This will be similar to the on-the-ground meeting the City held on Cherry Street as part of that upcoming infrastructure improvement project. Resident participating will strengthen the project”, said Staff Engineer Diane Rossini.
In February, the City announced a $175,000 CDBG grant to comprehensively evaluate and plan for the infrastructure needs in the New City neighborhood. Along with the public input, the project will include the full evaluation of above and below ground infrastructure along with base plans and plans that will form the basis for funding future improvements. The neighborhood is bound by Ferry Street at the north, Parson Street to the east, Everett Street to the south and Lower Mill Pond to the west. This neighborhood was identified as needing comprehensive infrastructure improvements due to the aging public water, sewer and drainage systems, limited sidewalks (most of which are in poor condition and do not meet accessibility standards) poor roadway conditions, and limited access to amenities such as parks or playgrounds.
The overall goal of the project is to formulate a multi-year infrastructure improvement plan that can be funded by future CDBG grants in phases. The area was also included in the DPW’s recently completed Green Infrastructure Master Plan which incorporates ways to slow and capture stormwater runoff in rain gardens much like what is going to be constructed on Cherry Street. We have had success with creating and implementing multi-phased projects through the CDBG program, most recently with the City completing a multiphase project to replace the water, sewer, sidewalks and roads on Clark, Admiral, Charles, North and South Hampshire and a portion of Maple Street. To find more information about the project or to contribute comments online, please go to the https://easthamptonma.gov/newcity