SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- A new multi-million dollar purchase for the city of Springfield, and one made possible using American Rescue Plan Act funding.
Three downtown properties were bought but some say the redevelopment money should be used elsewhere. All three buildings are directly around MGM Springfield and one Springfield city councilor wants to see the funds benefit other city neighborhoods. For $2.75 million, the city of Springfield bought three properties on State Street, Main Street, and Stockbridge Street.
The funding came from the American Rescue Plan Act, designated for economic development. And while that’s not all the money allocated to Springfield through the ARPA, some say that money would have been better spent elsewhere.
Justin Hurst, Springfield City Councilor said, “Buy a super market in Mason Square there is a food desert there. There are a number of businesses that could use this money. You know investing in things that might not bring a great return to the majority of the citizens of Springfield is just not a great way to spend that money.”
Hurst added that the city should get input from citizens and businesses who are suffering as a result of the pandemic as to how to spend the money. The three properties are now owned by the Springfield Redevelopment Authority. Giving the city control to put them back on the market and control to which developers they are sold to.
In a statement, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said in part, “This ensures that these key properties will not be underutilized or underdeveloped by questionable investors who would have no intentions of properly investing in our city.”
The city of Springfield received close to $100 million through the American Rescue Plan but has not announced further plans for the spending of the money.