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Posted on: July 18, 2022

PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Sciarra Announces Livability Initiatives

Image of Bike Path

For Immediate Release – July 18, 2022

 

 Mayor Sciarra Announces Livability Initiatives

 

NORTHAMPTON – Today, Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra announced that the city has received two grants to advance two important shared use (bicycle) path projects and reached milestones on several affordable housing projects.

 

“I am excited to announce progress on several important livability projects,” said Mayor Sciarra. “New funding from the state will allow us to move forward on expanding two bicycle path projects, while Community Preservation Act funds and other state grants will advance critical affordable housing projects.”

 

The city received a $160,000 MassTrails grant from the Commonwealth’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to repair a century old crumbling retaining wall along the New Haven and Northampton Canal Greenway. Even as the city builds new bicycle paths, it is critical to retain and maintain existing paths. This grant will allow the city to repair the retaining wall that was built to serve the railroad and is now serving bicycle path users.

 

The city also received a $238,000 MassTrails grant from DCR to fund the design of a future bike path from Damon Road to Elm Court in Hatfield. A few months ago, MassDOT agreed that this project proposal was eligible to eventually receive state and federal construction funding, which clears the way to start the design process. Collectively, these projects support the city’s continued efforts to expand bicycle paths that reduce its carbon footprint and provide more transportation choices. 

 

At the same time, the city is working hard to help those who are being priced out of the housing market. The city recently transferred a surplus parcel of land on the western edge of the former Northampton State Hospital to Habitat for Humanity for three affordable housing units. The city is also actively seeking bids to demolish the former Moose Lodge for a future housing development of up to four affordable housing units, and just completed upgrading the infrastructure on Laurel Street to accommodate the eventual development of 20 affordable housing units. Northampton has multiple affordable housing projects in active development around the city.

 

Carolyn Misch, Interim Director of Planning and Sustainability, will coordinate these projects as they advance.

 

For more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at 413-587-1249 or mayor@northamptonma.gov.

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