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PRESS RELEASE

For More Information, Contact:
Assistant Planner Jamie Webb
City of Easthampton
50 Payson Avenue
Easthampton, MA 01027
(413) 529-1405
jwebb@easthamptonma.gov

Easthampton Receives a $551,000 Grant for Admiral Street Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Project Phase III

Sewer, drainage, sidewalk, and street surface improvements planned

Easthampton, Massachusetts, September 23, 2019 – The City of Easthampton in partnership with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) received a $551,958 grant from the Massachusetts Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program run by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for Phase III of the Admiral Street Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Project. The project will improve outdated and inefficient infrastructure along Maple Street, from Charles Street to North Hampshire Street, and includes sewer line replacement, drainage improvements, sidewalk replacement, street surface improvements, and paving.

“Community development block grants are a rare example of federal, state, and local governments collaborating effectively to provide flexible funds for much-needed local projects. In this case, Easthampton is receiving over half a million dollars towards some of our most urgent infrastructure upgrades. This is great news for my constituents on Maple Street and for our entire city”, said Thomas Peake, City Councilor for Precinct 3.

This is the third phase of four phases of construction and stems from a 2014 CDBG grant that funded the project design and engineering. The first phase of construction, funded through a 2016 CDBG grant, was completed in the fall of 2017 and took place on Admiral Street (north), Church Street, George Street, and a portion of Briggs Street. The second phase of construction, funded through a 2018 CDBG grant is nearing completion on Admiral Street (south), Clark Street, Olympia Street, and North Hampshire Street. The final phase of construction will improve the infrastructure along Charles Street and will be the subject of the 2020 CDBG grant application.

The streets and subsurface infrastructure in the project area are comprised of old and inefficient facilities, structures and systems that will soon be replaced. The existing sanitary and storm sewer were originally installed between 1905 and 1916. The pipelines in the project area have essentially been untouched since their installation, except for individual excavations for broken or root-filled sewer pipes and the work funded by the 2016 & 2018 CDBG grants. The greatest problem stems from the poor condition of the sewer and stormwater system, much of which includes the original clay pipes. This deficient infrastructure results in basement and street flooding in the neighborhood. In addition, the roads and sidewalks are in rough shape, extensively scarred from trench cut repairs and patching for potholes, and have not been repaved in thirty years.

“The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is a competitive grant program authorized by Congress. It helps small cities and towns with a broad range of community development needs. Fighting to help our city grow this competitive grant of over a half-million dollars, the grant will go towards urgent upgrades needed in our vulnerable neighborhoods. This award is amazing news for Easthampton and allows us to keep improving it”, said Homar Gomez, City Councilor for Precinct 2.

National regulations for the CDBG program stipulate that CDBG funds must primarily benefit low- to moderate-income individuals and families. In Easthampton, this amounts to a combined annual income of less than $70,950 for a family of four. Based on a 2017 income survey, the majority of residents in the project neighborhood met these income guidelines, which qualified the City to apply for the grant.

“This is a great opportunity to improve the welfare and daily livelihood of city residents in the area, many of whom are low- or moderate-income households. Without these grant funds, we would not be able to do this important project that will improve residents’ well-being and the condition of the sanitary sewer, stormwater drainage, sidewalks, and road surfaces”, said Jamie Webb, Assistant Planner for Easthampton.

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For more information, please visit the Planning Department “current projects” webpage:
https://www.easthamptonma.gov/forms-documents/planning/current-projects.html and look for the “Community Development Block Grant 2019” project

For more information about the Massachusetts CDBG program, visit: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/community-development-block-grant-cdbg

For more information about the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, visit: https://www.pvpc.org/about

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Main Phone Number 413-529-1400
Municipal Building 50 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027