Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Amesbury, MA - Mayor

Congress Street Neighborhood

Amesbury's Neighborhood Improvement Program, coordinated by the Town's Office of Community and Economic Development, has mobilized staff, funding, neighborhood residents and outside expertise to stabilize the more than 100-year-old Congress Street Neighborhood. The goals of this multi-year commitment are to upgrade all infrastructure, improve a local park, and enhance the safety and visual impact of the houses in a neighborhood having more than 61 percent low- and moderate-income residents. The project also is demonstrating that the Town values its older downtown neighborhoods and their historic integrity as much as it values the newer subdivisions growing on its outskirts.

While CDBG funding was a needed catalyst for a project of this magnitude - one which included the renovation of five units of housing in the Congress Street Neighborhood - four other municipal departments have played significant roles: The Town's Water Department has invested more than $200,000 in labor to install new water lines, hydrants, curb stops and house connections. The Engineering Department is assisting with designs for a cross-neighborhood installation of a vital drain line, estimated at over $400,000. The Utilities Department will have invested more than $200,000 in the installation of new sewer piping. The Department of Public Works will have invested over $300,000 in the final phase of the project by paving streets, installing new drainage systems and improving the overall streetscape. In sum, a State and federal investment of $2 million will be improving a neighborhood of more than 1,200 low- and moderate-income residents.

The residents of the Congress Street Neighborhood are seeing the benefits of this investment carry over into other aspects of neighborhood life. For example, a Collins Street Park Committee formed to help with planning and maintenance of an upgraded park and playground. A park scarred by graffiti and vandalism has been transformed into a safe haven for residents and visitors alike who enjoy its well-maintained fields and new play equipment. Residents also boast about the cleanest and best-tasting water they have ever had and tasted in the area, about the improvements in the houses that have been rehabilitated, and about the new sidewalks that make it safer for their children who once played only in the streets.

Contact: Jennifer M. Raitt, Director, Community Development Block Grant, (978) 388-8110

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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