BY ANGELJEAN CHIARAMIDA
---- — SALISBURY — For the sixth consecutive year, Salisbury will receive a major state grant, amounting to $500,000, to be used to improve housing, drainage and help local families through the Boys and Girls Club.
In the past eight years, Salisbury has been a winner seven times in the competitive Community Development Block Grant program that filters federal money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development through state governments to local communities. Last year, Salisbury was awarded $850,000 and the year before, the town received $900,000.
Over the years, CDBG monies have been used to refurbish local homes in need of repair for low- to moderate-income households, as well as to improve roadways, sidewalks, water and sewer systems in qualifying neighborhoods, and support local social service agencies.
This year Salisbury was eligible for $500,000 in funding from the program and will use it for the housing rehabilitation of two units, and water improvements in the Lincoln Avenue neighborhood, as well as social services through the Boys and Girls Club’s emergency assistance program.
Town Manager Neil Harrington expressed his gratitude for the much-needed funding and offered his appreciation to state legislators, who wrote letters of recommendation supporting Salisbury’s grant application.
“Thanks to (state) Rep. Michael Costello and Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, Salisbury will be able to continue rehabbing homes, improving neighborhoods and investing in our youth through the CDBG program,” Harrington said.
Costello said working with Salisbury on the CDBG grants has been rewarding, as the town rebuilt infrastructure in the Salisbury Square neighborhoods from Gardner Street to Lincoln Avenue using CDBG funds.
“The grant has allowed Salisbury to make meaningful investments, to create jobs and to enhance the town center,” Costello said. “We have also been able support critical social service organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and Pettengill House.”
This year through the CDBG program, the state distributed $31 million to 38 cities and towns on behalf of 61 communities across the state. Salisbury is the only Greater Newburyport community to be awarded a grant this year. The only other community in Essex County receiving funds is Methuen, which was awarded $800,000.
“These grants will allow Methuen and Salisbury to enhance the quality of life in these communities,” said O’Connor Ives, who represents both communities. “I commend both the city of Methuen and the town of Salisbury for their strong applications.”