The new $12 million Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund continues the Sarno Administrations investment of the City’s allocation of ARPA funding within the community. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the city’s neighborhoods as places to live, work and meet our daily needs. This new Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund has been developed to ensure that neighborhood businesses and institutions, which are at the core of neighborhood life have the resources to not simply recover from the impacts of the pandemic but to work together with the City towards ensuring our neighborhood centers and the surrounding area include sufficient housing choices, pedestrian and complete streets infrastructure, shopping and services, fresh food accessibility, health care, parks, office space, and have easy access to educational, community and cultural programming with a focus on disproportionately impacted communities, equity and inclusion.
Those neighborhood councils in attendance included: New North Citizens Council, Lower Liberty Heights Neighborhood Council, Hungry Hill Neighborhood Council, Old Hill Neighborhood Council, Upper Hill Residents Council, McKnight Neighborhood Council, Armoury Quadrangle Civic Association and Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council. City Councilors Maria Perez and Melvin Edwards also attended representing their wards and neighborhoods.
Mayor Sarno states, “The creation of this ARPA Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund comes as a direct response from my community and neighborhood council meetings that I held last year in which my dedicated ARPA team and I met with over 30 neighborhood councils and organizations to hear their ideas on how we can best utilize our city’s allocation of ARPA funding to benefit and enhance our neighborhoods. I want to thank CDO Tim Sheehan, Tina Quagliato-Sullivan, my dedicated ARPA team and all of the neighborhood councils for their efforts and continued stewardship on behalf of our residents and business community. Again, this has the chance to be a ‘game changer’ for our Springfield. My administration is looking forward to working together with our neighborhood councils to enhancing our community for the betterment of all.”
Mayor Sarno began meeting with the city’s neighborhood councils in August 2021 and continued these meetings through October, meeting with over 30 neighborhood councils and organizations to hear their thoughts and ideas on how the City of Springfield can best utilize the city’s local ARPA funding.
CDO Sheehan stated, “Through the ARPA outreach process many neighborhoods made known their particular concerns and much of the concern centered around their respective neighborhood commercial district and the lack of re-investment and planning within those areas. Today’s announcement of the Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund is a continuation of that conversation with neighborhood organizations, businesses and institutions that meet the needs of the neighborhood for goods, services and programming. It is truly a unique opportunity for the City to collectively work with our neighborhood partners in addressing not what we think neighborhoods need, but rather what those who are on the ground know is needed.”
Councilor Melvin Edwards said, “As the Ward 3 City Councilor and President of the Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council, I want to thank Mayor Sarno and his administration for taking the time to listen to the concerns of our neighborhood councils. Our neighborhoods are so important for our residents and businesses and this Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund will go a long way to enhancing and addressing the needs of our neighborhoods. I am looking forward to working with Mayor Sarno, CDO Tim Sheehan, Tina Quagliato and the ARPA team as we work together for the benefit of all our residents and business community.”
The Offices of Community Development and Disaster Recovery are releasing two applications for projects that will directly assist neighborhood economies and business districts in this recover effort.
The first application seeks applications for projects within Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) or that serve QCTs and that fall within the following categories:
- Public and Commercial Space Activations
- Digital Equity Projects
- Communications Infrastructure
- Upgrading to the New Economy
- Resident Outreach and Neighborhood Capacity Building
- Essential Neighborhood Businesses
- Essential Community Facilities
- Other Economic Recovery Projects
The second application is for neighborhood organizations/councils or non-profit organizations to submit proposed capital improvement projects that will strengthen neighborhood commercial districts by improving walkability, pedestrian safety, air quality and contribute to the revitalization of neighborhood business districts. The City of Springfield will utilize this application process to determine how funding should be allocated from both ARPA and Community Development Block Grant – CARES (CDBG-CV) to capital improvement projects for neighborhood business districts. Projects and subsequent construction will be managed by relevant city departments.
Information and applications for both programs can be accessed on the City’s website at: https://www.springfield-ma.gov/dr/disaster-recovery/neighborhood-economic-recovery-fund
Additionally, the Offices of Community Development and Disaster Recovery will host virtual Technical Assistance Workshops to overview application requirements and answer questions, as follows:
- Assistance for general applications for the Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund will be held on February 28, 2022 at 6:00 pm and March 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm.
- Assistance for neighborhood councils/non-profits that will be submitting applications for Capital Improvements to Neighborhood Commercial Districts will be held on March 23, 2022 at 6:00 pm.
Those interested in attending any of the workshops should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their contact information and preferred email address, and a zoom link will be emailed twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the meeting.
Individual questions regarding both applications can be directed to Tina Quagliato Sullivan via email at email@example.com or via phone at (413) 750-2114.
All Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) received will be regularly posted and updated with answers on the City's website at: Neighborhood Economic Recovery Fund: CDBG Disaster Recovery, City of Springfield, MA (springfield-ma.gov) - (https://www.springfield-ma.gov/dr/disaster-recovery/neighborhood-economic-recovery-fund)
Both applications are in electronic format and can be submitted utilizing a computer, smart phone or tablet. Applications must be submitted no later than June 15, 2022.