The city is using Community Development Block Grant funding for fiscal 2017 to do the first phase of improvements at the senior center and the last phase, No. 12 to be exact, on the Armory on Ashland Street.
The bids to repair the Capitol Theatre marquee are higher than anticipated. But, the City Council feels it is worth it.
"In my opinion, the marquee is a jewel," said Ward 7 City Councilor Anthony Simonelli.
After a public hearing Wednesday when Community Development Director Donna Cesan outlined the up to $550,000 grant, the Selectmen voted to go all in on the former school building this application cycle.
New projects this year include the funding for the two feasibility studies, the first of which would look at turning Eagle Street into a European-style "woonerf," or shared space, using paving and landscaping to slow traffic.
The Selectmen the grant paperwork Tuesday after Town Administrator Mark Webber told them that the New Marlborough Selectmen gave the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission its blessing earlier this week.
The town is looking at putting $60,000 toward improving the town's housing stock.
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Planner William Sikula met with the Selectmen Tuesday to go over the town’s Community Development Block Grant allocation and asked if the town would be willing to put up $60,000 in an effort to reel in $600,000 in grant funding.
Patricia Mullins, BRPC's community and economic development program manager, asked board members Tuesday if they wanted to apply for a housing rehabilitation block grant through the state Department of Housing and Community Development to make upgrades to up to 20 homes.
Cheshire officials had hoped to capture up to $600,000 to help low- to medium-income homeowners make upgrades to their homes.
But last week's list of Community Development Community Block Grant beneficiaries didn't have the town listed.
Adams has received $800,000 in 2017 Community Development Block Grant funds to reconfigure the parking lot at the Adams Visitors Center.
Adams was one of 58 towns and cities receiving $30.5 million in CDBG funds announced on Thursday. Also receiving grants are Becket, Buckland and North Adams.
Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said the town was awarded $580,728 in 2015 and $428,572 of that was used to continue the housing rehabilitation program. Fourteen low to medium income residents within the Route 8 corridor were chosen to make improvements to their homes.
The city is applying for some $250,000 in federal funds to repair facade work on the Armory that was completed nearly a decade ago.
The parapets of the Armory are covered with tarps — jersey barriers are set up on the northeast corner in case of collapse — and the stonework on the stairways is pulling apart.
Community Development Director Donna Cesan said this year's Community Development Block Grant application reflects the strategic plan approved by the Selectmen in 2015 for community and downtown development. The maximum the town can apply for this year is $800,000 and the deadline is March 10. Adams should know by late summer if it is being awarded the money.
The Selectmen have seen a draft of a Community Development Strategy Plan that is needed for the town to participate in the state's Housing Rehab Program.
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission representative Patricia Mullins asked the board on Tuesday to review a draft copy of the plan that was created by a committee of residents. The plan outlines community goals and strategies.
The Selectmen may double down on efforts to secure Community Development Block Grant funds for the Memorial Building.
Community Development Director Donna Cesan told the Selectmen during a review of possible projects for the 2017 CDBG application that her main priority would be to capture funds for a heating and cooling system for the former school