Nearly $20 million in federal funding for municipal projects and nonprofits in western and central Massachusetts was allocated through the Congressional Directed Spending portion of the federal budget passed by the Room this week.
A total of some $138 million will be distributed among the state’s 12 congressional districts.
U.S. Representative Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, said he was able to secure $8 million in funding for 10 projects in the First Congressional District. The funding comes at a time when the country is facing pressing issues at home and abroad, Neal said.
“This legislation will create well-paying jobs, reduce costs for families and support those in need,” he said. “This is the last major deliverable of our ongoing work for the people. I am proud to vote for this legislation, which will reduce costs for working families, create American jobs, and support vulnerable people. These investments support and promote economic development, making a real difference in the lives of so many in our community.
The funding includes $2 million for the City of Westfield Water Treatment Plant Operations Center and $2 million targeted for a horticulture plan at Springfield Forest Park.
Neal said the package includes infrastructure investments that have already been authorized by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Additional funds will be made available through community project funding.
U.S. Representative James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, requested and received $11.3 million for the Second Congressional District to address food insecurity and support local arts, education and health care.
McGovern said the projects include $2.5 million for the Northampton Community Arts Trust and $1 million for a robotics program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is due in Northampton on Monday to formally announce funding to help complete a creative arts space project with Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra and other city leaders.
“I celebrate alongside so many essential organizations in our community whose efforts will be recognized through collective investments…in federal funding,” he said. “As Chairman of the House Rules Committee, I have fought hard for the inclusion of community projects in this appropriations bill to provide vital support to worthy causes in the Second District and around the country. .”
Each of the representatives in Congress was authorized to choose 10 recipients of federal funding. Margaret Boyle, Neal’s spokeswoman, said he received hundreds of applications from eligible municipal and nonprofit organizations and had to narrow the field himself.
Included in this year’s funding round for the Neal District, Westfield and Springfield projects are:
$740,000 to Agawam to fund the Main Street Slope Stabilization and Sewer Line Project;
$450,000 for historic Camp Atwater, operated by the Urban League of Greater Springfield, for a modernization and stabilization project;
$350,000 to Berkshire Community College to enhance the nursing simulation program;
$100,000 for Rick’s Place, a Wilbraham-based children’s counseling and support organization honoring Rick Thorpe, who was killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks;
$250,000 for Mount Holyoke College’s Professional and Higher Education Program;
$200,000 for the Franklin County Opioid Task Force;
$850,000 to the Town of Sturbridge to fund the Maple Street Water Pipe Project; and
$1 million for the Greylock Glen project in Adams.
The 10 projects McGovern selected for funding, in addition to the Northampton and UMass projects, include:
$300,000 to the Creative Hub Community Arts Center in Worcester for a multipurpose arts center;
$110,000 to the Hispanic American Center of Leominster for a food truck and refrigerated van to help address food insecurity;
$3 million to the Worcester Area Business Education Foundation to expand the Food Hub at Union Station;
$1.047 million to LaunchSpace to establish an employment training support center in Athol;
$430,000 to Veteran, Inc. in Worcester for behavioral health services for veterans and their families;
$975,000 to Centro Las Americas in Worcester for a telehealth and electronic health records project and the purchase of equipment;
$975,000 to Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester to purchase technology for workforce training programs; and
$1 million to Worcester State University to expand early college programs for low-income high school students.
The spending package is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden soon.