Mayor Sarno previously announced the creation of the Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund (NERF) utilizing $12 million in city ARPA funding, combined with approximately $1 million in CDBG CARES Act (CDBG-CV) funding to respond to various COVID-19 pandemic neighborhood impacts. This was after Mayor Sarno and city officials met with over 35 neighborhood councils, groups and agencies to hear directly from them what their respective neighborhoods need to help enhance the quality of life.
In response to an application from the Maple-High Six Corners Neighborhood Council, the city of Springfield is awarding approximately $170,000 in CDBG-CV funds from the NERF to install new sidewalks and new street trees along Rifle Street between Central Street and Hancock Street. This award of CDBG-CV funding will compliment DPW’s existing Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 annual $6.4 million paving contract, which already included $1.48 MassDOT Winter Recovery Assistance Program (WRAP) funding for the milling, paving and sidewalk repair on Longhill Street, Sumner Ave and Rifle Street.
This additional award of funding will allow for new sidewalks to be installed along that stretch of roadway, greatly improving pedestrian safety and conditions for neighborhood residents and for families walking to Johnny Appleseed Park, Ruth Elizabeth Park, the new Brookings School, and the new Brookings Apartments. The contractor for this project is Palmer Paving Corporation and Ludlow Construction.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank City Councilor Melvin Edwards, Linda Bartlett from the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council and all the residents who shared their concerns with me and my dedicated city team. My administration has and continues to do neighborhood walks with all of our neighborhood councils to hear directly from them their concerns and what they would like to see addressed to enhance their quality-of-life – this is on top of the over 35 neighborhood meetings my administration held with our neighborhood councils too.”
“When Councilor Edwards and the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council put forth their Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund application to expand the current Rifle Street project to add more sidewalk improvements for pedestrian safety for our residents, it was a no brainer. I created this vital funding source to help ensure that our neighborhood councils, which are at the core of our neighborhood life, have the resources to partner with the city to help address important issues such as housing, pedestrian and complete streets infrastructure, services and more.”
Councilor Edwards stated, “I appreciate the administration for listening to the concerns of the neighborhood. Safety is paramount for our residents and I want to thank Mayor Sarno and the city team for taking the time and walking through the area to see first-hand the need for this project. As the neighborhood council president and Ward 3 City Councilor, I deeply appreciate the administrations continued efforts in advancing these much-needed roadway and pedestrian improvement projects throughout our city, especially in the Maple High Six Corners neighborhood.”
“The expansion of the Rifle Street project will complete the corridor project of roadway improvements that have already been done on Central Street, Hickory Street, and Allen Street by the Watershops Pond,” Councilor Edwards continued. “Again, I want to thank the administration. There have been several significant improvements in our neighborhood including the Six Corners roundabout, new homes being built, and our new Brookings School. I will continue to work together with Mayor Sarno and the city team as we continue to move our Maple High Six Corners neighborhood and all of Springfield forward.”
“I am proud of my administrations continued efforts in enhancing and improving roadway and pedestrian projects across our city,” Mayor Sarno added. “Working with Councilor Edwards and the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council, we have completed numerous neighborhood projects include roadway improvements on Rifle Street, Allen Street, Central Street, and Hickory Street; the Watershops Dam project; new market rate housing units on Central Street; the Six Corners roundabout roadway; the new state-of-the-art Elias Brookings School and the reuse of the old historic Brookings School into much-needed affordable workforce development housing units, just to name a few.”
The city of Springfield had previous completed roadway and pedestrian improvements on Central Street, Hickory Street and Allen Street. The new state-of-the-art Elias Brookings School opened in 2015, and the old historic Brookings School, which was damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornado, was converted into 42 units of work force development housing and the Watershops Pond Dam project were both completed earlier this year.