SOUTHWICK – DPW Director Randy Brown is in the process of submitting two projects to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs as part of the M.V.P. (Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness) Program.
A state-run program, the M.V.P. program addresses issues or hazards in a community that have developed due to climate change. The program also allows municipalities to apply for grant funding by being a part of the program and developing plans and actions that revolve around climate change.
Hoping to have the two projects submitted by the end of the week, Brown said that the plan is to have the design and permitting portion of both projects funded, which would roughly cost $130,000 for each project.
The two projects consist of dredging the canal on Congamond Lake as well as replacing a culvert on Klaus Anderson Road. Located on South Pond on the Congamond Lake near the Suffield town line, the canal project will include a full restoration of the canal, bringing it back to its original dimensions.
“I know there are some locations where it’s very shallow,” said Brown.
Brown pointed out that there are some parts of the canal that are as shallow as three feet in depth. The restoration to the canal is expected to make an immediate improvement.
“It will just help facilitate the movement of water,” said Brown.
The current culvert on Klaus Anderson Road is deteriorated and undersized.
“There’s been several instances where waters have encroached upon the right of way (on the road),” said Brown.
There’s also a concern that if the culvert continued to be ignored, it could become a safety issue for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians traveling on Klaus Anderson Road.
“If the water spills over onto the road, then we have to shut the road down,” said Brown.
In May of 2018, Brown announced that the town was in the process of joining the M.V.P. program and applying for the grant. Working with a number of other town officials to discuss which projects in Southwick should be pursued under the M.V.P. program, Brown met with the Select Board earlier this year and they decided that the dredging of the canal and the culvert replacement on Klaus Anderson Road were the projects that fit with the program.