Governor Deval Patrick came to town last Thursday with much more than his friendship for the city and the winning way that is so much a part of his persona.
He brought $1 million in Federal Block Grant money for the city to be used in the Box District, near to the end of Gerrish Avenue, to rehabilitate 11 foreclosed buildings.
“This grant money will allow Chelsea people to be put to work and for properties to be brought back to usefulness. Fixing up homes in a district like this one strengthens Chelsea,” he added.
The governor coming to Chelsea wasn’t just about Chelsea receiving $1 million.
The governor used the Box District as the setting for the announcement that Chelsea’s $1 million was part of a $28 million Federal Block Grant for 40 communities throughout Massachusetts.
Congressman Michael Capuano aided in moving these funds to Massachusetts.
“Community Development Block Grant funding makes a positive impact on our communities in so many ways,” he said. “In the Box District, these funds will be used to improve 11 foreclosed housing units, repair sidewalks and support social services programming,” he added.
Governor Patrick’s visit attracted a large crowd of area residents who came out of their townhouses with their children to say hello.
Patrick greeted nearly all the children and their parents in characteristic style, getting up close and accessible, answering all questions and taking time especially to introduce himself to the children.
City Manager Jay Ash could not attend the governor’s press conference.
Council President Marilyn Vega-Torres introduced the governor.
Chelsea Representative Eugene O’Flaherty attended as well as Councillors Leo Robinson and Brian Hatleberg.
The governor was given a walking tour of the Box District area by Ann Houston, Executive Director of Chelsea Neighborhood Developers.
Also speaking with the governor to the small crowd that collected at the end of Marlboro Street under a hot sun was Chelsea’s Director of Planning and Development Frank DePriest.
Governor Deval Patrick is shown announcing a $1 million block grant for Chelsea to be used on foreclosed homes in the Box District at a news conference held on Marlboro Street last week. Standing with the governor are: Rep. Gene O’Flaherty, Director of Planning John DePriest and City Council President Marilyn Vega-Torres.
Governor Patrick and City Council President Marilyn Vega-Torres pose for the photographer.
Governor Patrick used the event to befriend himself to a number of local children and residents as shown in the above photograph.