Around Town

Velis: Trail grants will help Westfield, other towns

Hello everyone and happy August!

I hope that we can all make the most of our final month of summer. I wish any of you taking trips or breaks this month a very relaxing time.

I want to remind you all that the COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to provide a strong degree of protection against the new variant, and I ardently hope that anyone in our community who has not yet received a vaccination will chose to get one. You can find locations and appointments at at no financial cost to you. Our community will thank you!

Last weekend, I had a great time serving as an official volunteer pitch counter at Westfield’s New England Regional Babe Ruth Tournament. While I was a little nervous about messing the count up, I think I did alright. Congrats to all the players who participated!

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of accompanying Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Mike Kenneally, Representative Duffy and Acting Mayor Murphy on a walking tour of Holyoke. Together, we visited The Plan Beauty Salon, Crave Food Truck, City Sports Bar, and El Paraiso Colombiano Restaurant. It was great to connect with these small business owners and learn more about how our state government can support them. I believe that businesses such as these constitute an integral component of Holyoke’s community, and I look forward to having similar conversations in other communities in our district.

On Wednesday, I met with Holyoke officials to discuss several affordable housing projects throughout the city. I believe we should strive to support residents of our communities, and it was great to hear the officials’ thoughts on the matter.

I would also like to share great news about the Baker-Polito Administration’s recent announcement of MassTrails Grants for communities across Massachusetts. These grants will provide funding for trails across the district, with some funding coming from municipality pledges as well. Westfield received $61,500 from the state to conduct a feasibility study and conceptual design for a Columbia GreenWay multi-use trail connector to Southampton Road. Southampton received $50,000 from the state for phase II of the Manhan Meadows trail restoration project and also received $100,000 for a rail corridor acquisition from the Easthampton town line to Southampton Center. Lastly, Granville and surrounding towns received $42,452 for maintenance of the Lake District trail system. These sums will certainly do a great deal for the trails in our communities, and I am excited to see them be put to use.

As always, if there is anything I can do to assist you, please never hesitate to reach out to my office. I can be reached at my email: [email protected] or by phone: 413-572-3920 and you can find me online at I have also started sending newsletters out from my office, and I invite you to sign up at to receive the letter via email.


John Velis

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