Special to the Record
City officials have announced a new initiative to improve the appearance and livability of the community. The “Chelsea Resident Grant” program will provide money to local residents to enhance their neighborhoods by taking on a beautification or improvement project.
This inaugural grant series, called “Beauty and The Bus,” will allow residents who abut bus stops to develop and carry out beautification projects for those stops. Property owners or renters with landlord approval can apply for a Chelsea Resident Grant of up to $500.
Projects can be simple, like painting a fence, planting containers of flowers, or providing a trash barrel for the bus stop; or, projects might be more creative and original. The test is whether it improves the experience of living next to, or patronizing, an MBTA bus stop.
“It was a long and ugly winter,” said City Manager Jay Ash, “and there’s a lot of clean-up to be done. This is a way for City government to say ‘thank you’ to our residents for hanging in there, and at the same time to engage them with us in the process of further beautifying our community.”
To qualify for a Chelsea Resident Grant, the applicant must be an owner or tenant of a property that abuts an MBTA bus stop within the city, and must be aged 21 years or older. If those under 21 wish to apply, they must have a sponsor applicant who is 21 or older.
“This is a great opportunity for people in the community to engage in a fun, civic activity, where the benefits will be enjoyed everyday by many appreciative people,” said Councillor President Marilyn Vega Torres.
“I’d encourage adults to involve kids and their neighbors,” added Councillor Calvin Brown. “A team project is a great way for a group to join together to accomplish something that might have been too much for one person to take on, and everyone can enjoy the results.”
Applications and instructions can be downloaded from the City’s website at www.chelseama.gov. Applications can also be picked up at City Hall, Room 302. Completed applications must be submitted no later than May 20 and projects should be completed by June 26.
Up to $10,000 will be available to be awarded. Grant awards will be decided by a committee of Chelsea residents and City staff, with City Manager Jay Ash giving final approval. Grants can be awarded as reimbursements for validated purchases, for those who are able to front the cost of their project, or as direct payments to vendors from whom project materials will be purchased (Home Depot, for example).
“This is a first-of-its-kind type of program,” said Councillor Brian Hatleberg. “You put in a little work to beautify your environs, and the City of Chelsea will foot the bill. What’s not to love?”
For questions, email Ash at firstname.lastname@example.org.