Daily Hampshire Gazette: State grants to be used to help towns adapt to climate change

04 Jan 2017

By Richie Davis

A set of grants awarded Thursday is aimed at helping communities to work together to boost resiliency against severe storm events, fight mosquito-borne illnesses and better manage the Connecticut River.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito awarded more than $1 million in community compact grants to over 70 municipalities, as well as 10 school districts, focused on efficiency and regionalization.

In Hampshire County Easthampton and Southampton received $48,300 for a shared conservation agent. Communities along the Connecticut River including Granby, Hadley and Northampton are part of the nine community group that received $111,550 for work with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on stormwater and wastewater management.

The project will look to put cost-effective ways share expenses, facilities, and expertise across municipal lines to meet requirements of stormwater pollution and nitrogen loading reduction requirements, according to the PVPC.

“I’m very pleased that the grant was funded through the community compact program,” said Northampton Mayor David  Narkewicz.

“The ten Pioneer Valley communities that will be participating in the grant, including Northampton, are all working on many of the same issues related to EPA regulations and wastewater and stormwater permit requirements,” Narkewicz continued. “This grant allows them to collaborate and carry out some of those requirements in a more efficient and regionalized approach.”