For Immediate Release - May 16, 2012

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY ANNOUNCES SPRINGFIELD TORNADO RELIEF FUNDS

$300,000 for DevelopSpringfield for implementation of Tornado Rebuilding Master Plan

SRPINGFIELD – Wednesday, May 16, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today announced a $300,000 grant for DevelopSpringfield to aid in the implementation of the Tornado Rebuilding Master Plan. Since the June 1 tornadoes, the Patrick-Murray Administration has been committed to supporting the rebuilding efforts in all of the affected communities.  

The funds are being awarded by the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) through the $15 million for state emergency response efforts included in a supplemental budget passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Deval Patrick.

“Our Administration has worked in partnership with the City of Springfield and DevelopSpringfield as we work towards implementing a long-term, sustainable plan to rebuild this city,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “Springfield has achieved significant progress since the tornadoes, but there is more work to do and we remain committed to working alongside our partners until all businesses, residents, and the entire community are back on their feet.” 

“This funding will assist DevelopSpringfield in bringing their plan to fruition as they lead the long-term effort to rebuild the City stronger and smarter than before,” said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. 

In the aftermath of the tornado, the City of Springfield hosted 19 community meetings. The feedback received by nearly 2,000 citizens helped form the Tornado Rebuilding Plan, an effort initiated by Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield in response to the destruction caused by the tornadoes. The Plan calls for a public-private partnership, including engagement with the citizens of Springfield, to redevelop the city bigger, better and stronger than before the tornado destruction.

“Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray have been good and true partners in continuing to assist us in our vision of rebuilding and redefining the City of Springfield in a bigger, better and stronger way,” said Mayor Sarno. 

“This funding is key to DevelopSpringfield and its efforts to implement the Rebuild Springfield plan through continued collaboration with the city and the community,” said Nick Fyntrilakis, board chairman of DevelopSpringfield. “Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray and their Administration have demonstrated time and time again their attentiveness and support for the issues that matter most to Springfield.”

Created in 2008, DevelopSpringfield is a nonprofit formed to advance development and redevelopment projects, to stimulate and support economic growth and to expedite the revitalization process in Springfield. The organization has a 13-member board of directors including representatives from the city, state and local business community. The DevelopSpringfield mission is to help create conditions that encourage private development with an understanding of Springfield’s unique and diverse redevelopment needs.

The Patrick-Murray Administration launched an immediate and comprehensive response to the June 1st tornadoes, and remains committed to helping impacted communities and residents use this crisis as an opportunity to rebuild, renew and rebound. Following the state’s multi-faceted emergency efforts last spring, the administration has maintained its presence in the region, dedicated significant resources to rebuilding projects and partnered with federal and local officials to get business and homeowners back on their feet. To date, individuals, homeowners and businesses have received more than $26.7 million in federal disaster assistance to cover uninsured losses. The Department of Housing and Community Development helped hundreds of families find emergency shelter and has so far funded $525,00 in home repair. The Division of Insurance served as a resource and advocate for consumers filing $200 million in claims. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has directed $2.3 million in state funding to repair more than 20 streets throughout the region.

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