August 24, 2017
PORTSMOUTH – Using Community Development Block Grant dollars from U.S. Housing and Urban Development, last fall the City completed some planned improvements at Greenleaf Recreation Center and Gosling Road. The goals of these improvements was to upgrade neighborhood facilities, provide safe and usable sidewalks and improve aesthetics.
The Greenleaf Recreation Center project received CDBG funding for parking lot reclamation and other site improvements. NM Curtis Earthworks of South Berwick, Maine completed the work that also included reducing impervious pavement, landscaping, striping pavement and constructing concrete sidewalk construction. Two new bike racks and new signage were installed at the site. Building improvements are planned in fiscal year 2018, and will also be funded with CDBG dollars.
The recreation center primarily provides programming provided by Operation Blessing to residents of Wamesit Place, which is managed by Portsmouth Housing Authority. Over 100 families live in the housing development. Craig Welch, Executive Director of Portsmouth Housing Authority said, “Investments such as this into neighborhood facilities go a long way to providing improved access and services to our residents.”
Other groups including Easter Seals also benefit from the Greenleaf Recreation Center.
The City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan includes improvements to Gosling Road between Spaulding Turnpike and Woodbury Avenue that will increase pedestrian and bicycle safety as well as improve access to transit along and across Gosling Road. The first phase of the project on the Portsmouth side of Gosling Road was completed last fall by Advanced Excavating and Paving from Suncook, NH.
Welch said, “Families who live in Gosling Meadows are looking for improvements to safety along and across Gosling Road to the COAST bus stops that serve this neighborhood. The 8-foot multi use path is a significant improvement for pedestrian and bike safety.”
A bus shelter was also installed on the Portsmouth side of Gosling Road, which is accessible to 150 families who live at Gosling Meadows.
Enacted into law in 1974, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is the principal federal program providing grants to states, cities, and towns to devise neighborhood approaches that improve physical, economic and social conditions in communities. It is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and locally by the Portsmouth Community Development Department under the guidance of the CDBG Citizens Advisory Committee. This year, Portsmouth celebrates 40 years of undertaking the CDBG Program in the city.
To find out more about Portsmouth’s CDBG-funded public facility and accessibility improvement programs, please call Community Development Coordinator Elise Annunziata at 610-7281 or visit the City’s website at http://cityofportsmouth.com/community.