The following is a message from the Desk of City Councilor Nelson Roman. The following message is intended for information purposes only to give residents an update on community engagement and participation efforts happening in the neighborhood. Thank you Councilor Roman for your representative work in the community!
UPDATE / INFORMATION ON VALLEY ARENA PARK
By City Councilor Nelson Roman
To my constituents and residents of the City of Holyoke,
I recently came across an inquiry into the status update on Valley Arena Park in South Holyoke. I wanted to take the time to update you all on what is occurring. I ran on a platform of park renovations for Ward 2 (which includes South Holyoke), know that I am actively, and diligently working on fulfilling my promise. I am working with the Mayor’s Office, the Office of Economic Planning, DPW, and the Parks and Rec Department. We (Terry Sheppard, Bill Fuquaw, and myself) had the huge ugly tree that was in front of the park chopped down. Here is all that we know about Valley Arena Park —- The soil is contaminated with what we know most likely there are large asbestos tanks (from factory days) that were sealed over that have probably now seeped into the soil. There is a state ordered do not disturb the soil order on Valley Arena Park (Meaning none of the benches, equipment, etc can be dug up and removed). I was working with the Mayor who wanted to put up a fence around the park and do some sort of artist decorating the fence. Due to this state do not disturb the soil order, you cannot even do that. I am working hard with all of the above departments to work on money, and we fought for it with CBDG money (requested $100,000), unfortunately it didn’t get fully funded.
I do have to applaud Mayor Alex Morse on his response and his collaborative effort in fixing this park and all the parks in South Holyoke — Soucey Park across the street will be getting $60,000 upgrade. Carlos Vega Parks new splash pad, and Jackson Courts were in the past years renovated. They Mayor and I will be fighting to decontaminate Valley Arena, and rehab this. I also have a personal guarantee from the Mayor that Valley Arena is on his radar and he wants to work hard to get it rehabbed and back up and running as a neighborhood park.
I am working with the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association, LightHouse Holyoke, and other SH non profits to host a Community Conversation the state of our parks for South Holyoke, to hold a visioning and discussion with the residents of South Holyoke / the City on what they would like to see at Valley Arena, the rest of Carlos Vega, Jackson Courts and Soucey Park.
In addition the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association is organizing a South Holyoke clean up day Saturday July 30th 2016 from 9 am – 12 pm, also there was a clean up day in May in which Los Jibaritos Club of Holyoke came and cleaned up and picked up needles, picking up trash etc. I hope you all could make it on the 30th – we will be focusing on all of the parks in South Holyoke and the streets, that are in most need.
Since I have come into office I have made Quality of Life and the Parks a top priority. I am for the people, including me helping to form and found the South Holyoke Neighborhood Association. To empower the people of the neighborhood to rise up. As a formerly homeless man who lived on Cabot Street for a few years as my stabilization apartment.
I know that South Holyoke needs more investment. Again there will be 20+ more single family homes being built, better lighting. Also in the next week or so the parking lines will be up. I walk South Holyoke frequently and will be back out there this week with SHNA President Carmen Ocasio, passing out flyers about the Monthly Meeting – Election of Officers – – Wed July 20, 2016 at 6 pm — at El Mercado 401 Main Street. All are welcomed to attend.
I hope this clears up somethings, and as always I am here to serve and help out, and welcomed this attention to this park that desperately needs it.
Thank you palante!
City Councilor Ward 2
Nelson Rafael Roman