Springfield to apply for additional disaster aid

City had more declared disasters than any other potential applicant

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield will apply for additional aid from the federal government to deal with the lingering effects of a series of weather disasters, including the June 1, 2011 tornado and the October Nor’easter of 2012. City officials announced Tuesday that they were informed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development of Springfield’s eligibility to apply for at least $500,000 in funding.

The National Disaster Resilience Competition funding package is designed to help the city address outstanding issues. But Chris Cignoli, director of the Springfield DPW, says that if the funding is granted, it will also help Springfield move forward.

“This is a very unique opportunity for the City to obtain significant funding, not just to address outstanding items that have not been rejected by FEMA and other federal agencies following our disasters, but to also develop strategies and projects that will help the city minimize the impact of future disasters,” Cignoli said in a news release sent to 22News.

Mayor Domenic Sarno said that the city will get to work on an application that will address the city’s infrastructure needs, as well as make plans do deal with future disasters. Four to five public meetings will be held next month to discuss the program, and gather ideas for what the proposal should include.

Springfield has had more federally-declared disasters than any other eligible applicant. In addition to the tornado and October Nor’Easter, disasters were declared for a blizzard in January of 2011, Hurricane Irene in August of 2011, Hurricane Sandy in September of 2012, and the heavy snowstorm of February 2013.

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