I would like to acknowledge and thank some special guests who are with us tonight:
- $3,510,000.00 MassWorks grant to support new mixed-use development and bring 43 million dollars of private investment to the heart of the Mill District.
- $212, 000.00 in Complete Streets funding to design safer thoroughfares for cyclists and pedestrians on Cottage and Main St.
- $225k for the equipment necessary to join the Valley Bike share program.
- $798k to improve outdated and inefficient infrastructure in the Admiral Street neighborhood - designated specifically to benefit low- to moderate-income individuals and families.
- $28k for Municipal Vulnerability Program Design to protect and prepare Easthampton for severe weather events.
- A $50,000 Planning Assistance Grant to create a Downtown Strategic Plan, focusing on Cottage and Union Streets. It also supports our exploring options for the two soon-to-be-surplused elementary school campuses.
- $100k to demolish the Lower Mill Pond pumphouse, which is an environmental and public safety hazard. I want to give a special thank you to our Building Inspector, Jon Flagg, for expediting this project.
- $75k to purchase modern equipment for our Parks & Recreation department so it can maintain our amazing public open spaces.
- A $400k PARC grant for the City, in conjunction with the Kestrel and Pascommuck Land Trusts, to purchase 11 acres of the Mt Tom viewshed off East St.
- $50k in community compact grants to modernize our budget process.
Working with our city’s leadership team, I have consolidated day to day administrative operations. This has provided a streamlined interface for the public and more efficient spending of municipal dollars. For example, in my own office, I consolidated clerk responsibilities for the Planning, Licensing and Health Boards. This saves resources and provides consistency for the public record. I would like to thank Municipal Clerk Lindsi Mailler for taking on these responsibilities.
I also updated the city’s financial policies and budget practices. The budget document now reads like an “Owner’s Manual” for residents. It provides narratives of why, how and where our taxpayer dollars are spent. The new budget format shows the timeline for purchasing big ticket items. In addition, it outlines the type of funds that will be used to purchase them over the next five years. I added a forecasting model to detail what revenues and expenditures the city can expect going forward. This means that my financial decisions are well informed today and will stand up tomorrow. These extensive projects are possible only with the help of our finance director Melissa Zawadzki and Alan Wolf in my office.
- I have told people around the country and around the world that Easthampton works – for businesses, workers, families and tourists
We are fortunate to have these remarkable young people in our community. I am so proud of them all --- let’s acknowledge these young community leaders with a round of applause.