Springfield’s mayor is announcing how the city wants to use some federal disaster money from the severe weather of 2011. That’s when June tornadoes followed by an October Nor’easter caused widespread damage.
The $13.9 million plan calls for a variety of projects in parts of Springfield heavily affected by the tornadoes, including the South End, Forest Park and Sixteen Acres. Money would be spent on new housing development, road construction, assistance for small businesses and demolition of blighted properties. Mayor Domenic Sarno says public meetings about how to use the money attracted about 3,000 residents.
“This plan has been worked on by numerous individuals from city, state, federal, but really the heart of the neighborhood and your input has been heard,” Sarno says.
Springfield is also proposing the renovation of Nathan Bill Park and buying a Catholic school for use by the city as a middle school. Plans for this grant now go to the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has the final say on how the money is used. Springfield will announce what wants to do with a similar $9 million award later this year.