For Immediate Release - November 05, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces $187,780 In Federal Block Grant Award Funding For Community Improvements In Methuen

Grant award will allow for the reconstruction of the Tenney Street Playground in Methuen’s Arlington neighborhood.

METHUEN – November 5, 2012 – Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein today announced that the city of Methuen will receive $187,780 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding (CDBG) to support the reconstruction of the Tenney Street playground.  

“With this grant, the city of Methuen will be able to not only reconstruct a playground that is widely used, but also ensure that it is accessible for all children,” said Undersecretary Gornstein.  “The federal block grants for community improvements are critical to revitalizing neighborhoods and creating jobs all across the Commonwealth.”  

“The Tenney Street playground project is a model of what can be done when key stakeholders unite behind a vision for our community and work together to make it a reality,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.  “In Methuen and across the Commonwealth strong local, state and federal partnerships are helping to provide means and mechanisms for revitalizing our cities and towns. A modern, safe playground will be a place for residents of all ages to build strong bonds that will in turn spur growth in the community.”

The Tenney Street playground is the main neighborhood play area serving the Methuen Arlington neighborhood. The grant will enable the city to remove and dispose of antiquated playground equipment. The new playground structure will incorporate accessible design features and safe play surfaces. A new wheel chair accessible platform swing will also be installed, as well as a toddler swing. The city also plans to replace deteriorating benches and existing fencing.  Construction of the playground will begin in spring 2013.

“This is great news for the city of Methuen,” said Mayor Stephen Zanni. "We're excited to continue working with our partners at the state to provide much needed park improvements for our residents, especially our children, to enjoy."

“The Tenney Street playground is not only a safe gathering place for children, but also a place where adults come together to discuss and affect changes that have great impact on public safety and quality of life in the neighborhood,” said Representative Linda Campbell. “This is great news for the city.”

The CDBG program is the Commonwealth’s largest resource for neighborhood revitalization projects and helps meet the housing and public service needs of low- and moderate-income communities while also building and repairing infrastructure vital to the health and safety of all residents. The infrastructure projects help communities create and maintain jobs while providing important improvements to the lives of residents in each city and town. Historically, 40 percent of CDBG funds distributed have been used for these job-creating projects.

The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to cities and towns in Massachusetts with populations of less than 50,000. Eligible communities with populations greater than 50,000 receive program funding directly from HUD. Communities may apply for CDBG funding for activities including: housing rehabilitation, infrastructure repair or replacement, construction or rehabilitation of public facilities, neighborhood improvement projects, economic development loans and other business assistance programs, social service upgrades, downtown improvement projects and architectural barrier removal and planning. The maximum grant for a single community is $900,000. Regional applications are accepted.