Money coming to Pioneer Valley communities - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Money coming to Pioneer Valley communities

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Millions of dollars of federal Community Development Block Grants was announced Friday in West Springfield. Thirty-eight communities around Massachusetts shared $31 million for public projects, housing rehabilitation and local infrastructure.

West Springfield was chosen to receive $900,000, the maximum amount allowable.

Gov. Deval Patrick was scheduled to deliver remarks, but was not able to attend because he was stuck in traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Patrick delivered a message to the crowd over speaker phone.

The process was very selective, and only a handful of communities were selected said Aaron Gornstein, undersecretary for Housing and Community Development. He also said communities get to decide how the money would be spent.

West Springfield Mayor Gregory Neffinger said the money will be spent on rehabilitating 13 homes, code enforcement, sidewalks in the Merrick-Memorial neighborhood and for several social services programs. Those programs included ESOL, camp scholarships, Head Start, family self-sufficiency counseling and home buyer education.

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