Vargas Says Aid for Winnekenni Improvements, Violence Prevention, Food in House Bill

State Rep. Andy X. Vargas. (Courtesy photograph.)

Haverhill residents stand to benefit from hundreds of thousands in federal pandemic relief aid and state surpluses earmarked for local use.

State Rep. Andy X. Vargas said the $3.82 billion approved by the House addresses disparities made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, which still must be reconciled with a Senate version, aims to speed recovery through one-time investments in housing, environment and climate mitigation, economic development, workforce, health and human services and education.

“…this bill also provides strong accountability measures for the public to see where and how recovery tax dollars are being invested. Through the advocacy of many, the House bill also allocates $100 million to address combined sewer overflows, a major issue in Haverhill. I’m also proud that we were able to secure over $700,000 in direct aid to Haverhill needs,” said Vargas.

The bill provides $100,000 for improvements at Winnekenni Castle and Park, $50,000 to Sacred Hearts Parish for its food pantry, $50,000 to the One Haverhill Fund to assist local social service agencies and provide emergency relief for families that don’t qualify for existing programs and $50,000 to Leaving the Streets Ministries to assist with violence prevention and street work to reduce gang violence.

As WHAV reported first this week, Vargas amendments to the House bill also include $250,000 to Haverhill schools for repairs, capital improvements and safety upgrades and $200,000 for the purchase of a new electric school bus that was proposed by School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti.

Besides Vargas, Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, Christina Minicucci and Lenny Mirra backed the plan.

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