HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Mayor Terence Murphy joined Congressman Richard Neal in a discussion about what the American Rescue Plan means for western Massachusetts.
Congressman Richard Neal came to Holyoke Friday to announce federal funding from the $1.6 trillion American Rescue Plan.
$8.5 billion is going to Massachusetts and over $70 million is for Holyoke. The city will have to decide how to slice up $30 million, the rest is for the schools.
Holyoke schools are getting $40 million from the federal funding but the acting mayor is also concerned about the age of infrastructure and public buildings like City Hall, and the rising asthma rates.
“Especially in our children, we have a 27 percent asthma rate based on some statistics I received from the health center. Those rates have got to come down, so that’s one area where I want to use that money.” Terry Murphy, Holyoke acting mayor
Congressman Neal compared the American Rescue Plan to a mortgage of a home which he says is good move for the economy now and long-term.
“Millions of people died and millions have been infected. You can’t get back on the high road of economic recovery until we defeat the virus.” U.S. Rep. Richard Neal
And there could be more federal aid on the way. Congressman Neal expects a new infrastructure bill to get passed, that could help communities make big improvements to their roads, and water and sewer systems.