Boston (February 2, 2023) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Richard Neal (MA-01) and Jim McGovern (MA-02) today touted their successful efforts to secure more than $13 million in federal funding in the end-of-year omnibus spending package, passed in December, for 16 community-based projects across Western Massachusetts.
“Western Massachusetts is a wonderfully diverse region that is home to the beautiful Berkshires, the industrious Connecticut River Valley, and Springfield—the City of Firsts, and world-renowned colleges and universities,” said Senator Markey. “These funds will continue to improve municipal infrastructure, strengthen local businesses, build healthy communities, and expand access to education, all while addressing the climate crisis and preserving the beauty and uniqueness of Western Mass for generations to come.”
“I’m excited to see the impact of more than $13 million in federal funding for 16 projects across Western Massachusetts and the Berkshires,” said Senator Warren. “I fought hard for this funding, which will help with projects like developing affordable child care, strengthening infrastructure, building economic opportunity, and supporting the arts – and I’ll keep making sure the federal government is a strong partner for our communities here in Massachusetts.”
“Representing communities in Western Massachusetts continues to be one of my highest honors,” said Congressman McGovern. “Through the omnibus spending package, I was able to secure vital investments that will make life better for those who call the Valley home. With this funding, Jones Library in Amherst will expand access to English language instruction and make energy improvements that will help combat climate change. Avenue A in Turners Falls will become more accessible and pedestrian-friendly. And in Franklin County, first responders will receive funding for new technology, allowing them to respond faster to emergencies, especially in areas with poor cell service. I will always fight hard to bring federal dollars back to the Second District and I’m excited to see the impact these projects will have for working families in Western Massachusetts.”
“I am proud to have procured this funding for communities across the First District of Massachusetts,” said Congressman Neal. “In partnering with community leaders, I believe we have identified several projects that will contribute greatly to the diverse economic landscape in western Massachusetts. Robust investments in local governments, colleges and universities, hospitals, and non-profits will have a profound impact on our regional economies. Whether it be improving our aging infrastructure, expanding access to healthcare services, or tackling climate change, these investments will stimulate job growth and reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities.”
Western Massachusetts is home to 16 projects that have received funding in the FY23 spending package, including:
- $200,000 for the Hoosic River Basin Flood Control Project to support a feasibility study with local leaders, with an aim to develop a modern flood mitigation system for the basin that protects residents.
- $455,000 for the Berkshire Black Economic Council Business Incubator in Pittsfield to improve and expand the quantity and quality of community economic development services in Berkshire County, as well as develop a business incubator responsive to the needs of Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs.
- $640,000 for the Gándara Center in Springfield to increase access to behavioral health services for individuals experiencing substance use disorders and serious mental illness, with a primary focus on the historically underserved Hispanic and Latino community.
- $1,000,000 for Girls, Inc. of the Valley in Holyoke to purchase and renovate a new permanent headquarters and program space that will ensure more than 1,000 girls from marginalized communities in Holyoke, Springfield, and Chicopee have access to educational resources.
- $1,000,000 for the Berkshire Family YMCA in Pittsfield to renovate its historic Pittsfield building that increases licensed affordable childcare slots by 35 percent, expands resources for adults and seniors, promotes energy efficiency, and ensures the building’s ADA compliance.
- $1,110,661 for the renovation and expansion of the Jones Library in Amherst to increase accessibility to English language instruction and programing for all ages, all while working to safekeep Amherst’s invaluable history and ensuring the Jones Library can become one of the most climate-friendly libraries in Massachusetts.
- $465,000 for Springfield Museums: Biomes Around the World wildlife exhibits for necessary upgrades to the life support systems of each habitat.
- $150,000 for Red Gate Farm in Ashfield to complete the construction of a new student housing facility and dining hall to allow for year-round farm-based programing that fosters growth and self-confidence in students.
- $100,000 for Jacob’s Pillow in Becket to engage ten schools, impacting approximately thousands of students and up to 75 educators, through a nationally recognized arts program.
- $2,854,800 for the City of Chicopee to upgrade its wastewater plant in compliance with new nitrogen removal standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the State to protect the health of surrounding communities and improve energy cost-efficiency.
- $540,000 for the Woodlands Partnership of Northwest Massachusetts, formerly known as the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership, to strengthen forest conservation and stewardship efforts that supports tourism and local businesses.
- $975,000 for the Town of Montague-Turners Falls Avenue to restore an ADA compliant, pedestrian-oriented streetscape to the state-designated Cultural District, a major hub for retail, dining, and entertainment.
- $450,000 for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments in Franklin County to replace the region’s aging analog public safety radio system with modern voice-over pagers for on-call volunteer firefighters and EMTs.
- $1,280,000 for the City of Agawam to replace the White Brook culvert under North Street to increase public health and restore stream and wildlife connectivity.
- $2,000,000 for the City of Holyoke’s River Terrace sewer and stormwater project.
- $165,000 for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments to research methods on retaining police offers and reducing the cost of training new hires, who leave for better opportunities in other communities, to save taxpayers’ money.