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Mayor Sarno Welcomes British Consul-General

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, CAFO TJ Plante, Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan and Springfield Redevelopment Authority Director Amanda Pham welcomed British Consul-General Peter Abbott to Springfield with a tour of the state-of-the-art transportation hub, Union Station. The Consul-General highlighted how the Springfield Armory, which served as the primary center for the manufacturing of firearms for the United States military from 1777 until its closing in 1968, kick started the manufacturing industry not just for Springfield but for the Pioneer Valley, including having Rolls-Royce manufacturing cars in Springfield from 1919 to 1931 – the only place outside the United Kingdom where Rolls-Royces were made.

Mayor Sarno and the city’s economic team discussed in great detail with the Consul-General the City of Springfield’s great transformation; from being nearly bankrupt with a state financial control board, having low school graduation rates and high dropout rates, and with no vision to move Springfield forward.  Under the Sarno Administration, the City of Springfield now boost the highest bond rating in the City’s history, a dramatic increase of over 30% to 84% in high school graduation rates and significant decreases in the schools dropout rates from 12% to 1.9%, recovered from many man-made and natural disasters, and numerous public safety programs and economic development initiatives including over $4 billion in public and private investments.

One of the many projects that has been instrumental in the City of Springfield’s renaissance was the rebirth of Union Station, Springfield’s regional transportation hub.  Mayor Sarno acknowledged and credited Congressman Richard E. Neal for his leadership and dedicated efforts in seeing Union Station become the state-of-the-art transportation hub it is today.  “Union Station is the house that Congressman Richard ‘Richie’ Neal built,” said Mayor Sarno. “Without the Congressman’s support and unyielding efforts, Union Station wouldn’t be what it is today.  Throughout Congressman Neal’s career from City Councilor to Congress, he never wavered in supporting the complicated endeavor to restore this beautiful facility – once a mayor always a mayor.  His leadership involving the City of Springfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Federal Government was instrumental.  Now the discussion on enhancing our Union Station moves forward with the potential of the East-West rail service.”

Mayor Sarno stated, “It was a great meeting with British Consul-General Peter Abbott and his team.  We shared a little history of Springfield and the vision my administration has for the future to keep our Springfield moving forward, especially as we work together with all of our community and regional partners to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic and move our economy forward, including the potential and transformational aspects the East-West rail service could bring not just to Springfield but for the region too.  The Consul-General is such a humble and down-to-earth man, it was a pleasure to meet with him.  I am looking forward to working with him and his team as we explore ideas on how to address the economic challenges and development partnerships in the post-pandemic world not just for the City of Springfield but for the Commonwealth, the United States of American and the United Kingdom.”

Mayor Sarno presented Consul-General Abbott with the book ‘Saving Union Station’ and an original Sunday Republican Newspaper with his recent Op-Ed during his visit and tour of Union Station.   

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm