Elected officials gathered Friday in West Springfield to announce the award of $31-million in federal block grants to cities and towns across Massachusetts. But one congressman says despite the these kind of grants might be targeted for elimination.
More than a dozen Western Massachusetts communities are receiving block grants to fund a variety of projects ranging from affordable housing renovations to social programs to construction of parks. With the wading pool at Alice Corson Playground–which was built with block grants–as the backdrop, U-S Congressman Richard Neal delivered a warning. He says despite the program’s popularity with municipal leaders, the grants could become victims of continued federal budget cuts and sequestration.
“It is on the chopping block. It is being proposed not for curtailment, but for elimination. Now when you listen to the United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities and Towns, they’re going to say ‘Well, has everybody lost it trying to give up this sort of a program?'” Neal says.