Adams Again Seeking Funding For Park Street Streetscape

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The plans for Park Street as proposed last year. There had been multiple changes after public hearings.

ADAMS, Mass. — The town will again apply for grant money to renovate Park Street.

The town will be applying to the annual federal Community Development Block Grant program in hopes of securing funding for the project.

The town will be one of many applying for some of the $28 million allocated for development projects.

"We are proposing that as the No. 1 project for the town," Director of Community Development Donna Cesan said Tuesday night.

The bulk of the $900,000 the town is applying for would go to the Park Street streetscape project and the remainder would go to rehabilitate 10 residential units.

The rehabilitation program has been used to fix up 98 units in the last six years to combat blight.

"It has helped us maintain affordable housing in town," Cesan said.

The streetscape project has been in the works since 2010, when the town used another block grant to design the road and continued with Tighe & Bond Inc. engineering. Last year, the town sought construction funding through the CDBG program but failed to be awarded.

The goal is to slow down traffic for both safety reasons and to encourage drivers to visit downtown businesses. The plan had gone through many phases to address residents' concerns — particularly with proposed bumpouts.

Through a series of meetings in 2011, the town eliminated the bumpouts, raised crosswalks and made the sidewalks wider. The idea of angled parking in front of Town Hall was also eliminated.

"We had quite an extensive public process last year," Cesan said.

The plan does include small curb extensions at each crosswalk, integrating bike lanes and general sprucing up of the road.

With a year of missing out on funding, the town is planning public meetings to bring residents up to speed with the plan. The first meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. There will also be a public hearing at the Selectmen's Jan. 23 meeting.

Cesan says the streetscape project continues the town's effort to revitalize the downtown. The town has performed many facade projects to downtown buildings, renovated Armory Court, made investments in the Registry of Deeds building and is currently looking to update the library.

The downtown development plan was adopted by the town's Planning Board in 2003.


Tags: CDBG,   streetscape,   

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